Tuesday, April 17, 2012

wine country - day 3

And here we are again- another trip recap post. Sunday was our last full day in wine country, and we packed a lot in!

We started the day at Domaine Chandon. They offer a fabulous tour, and their sparkling wine just cannot be beat.

After a fun time at Chandon, we made our way to Auberge du Soleil for some lunch. We dined on the terrace, where you are treated not only to great food, but also some pretty incredible views of the valley. The Ahi Tuna Tartare appetizer is a MUST!

After a tasty lunch, our next stop was Rubicon Estate. Clint especially enjoyed this place, since it is owned by the Coppola family (director of the Godfather). It was an absolutely beautiful estate!

We headed just a few feet down the road, and I whipped it into Hall Winery. This was an unplanned stop, but I love Hall cabernets so I just HAD to stop. Another fun, spur-of-the-moment stop!

Back in the car, we headed to Frank Family Vineyard. This place was too cool! The owner is a former Disney executive, with ties to classics like "The Little Mermaid", "Father of the Bride", "Home Improvement", "Desperate Housewives", etc. For tv and movie buffs like Clint and myself, this place was so much fun- tons of memorabilia (and GREAT wine!). This is Oprah's favorite vineyard, and she frequently orders cases of wine for her parties from here. The owner Rich Frank also has a son who is involved with the production of one of my current favorite shows- "Smash".

Our final stop of the day was Beringer. If you have every walked into a grocery store, you must have heard of Beringer. I'm not a huge fan of the stuff they sell in supermarkets, but the grounds were just so pretty we had to visit. Plus many of the Beringer vineyard-only wines were surprisingly very good!

On the other days, we headed back to the cottage to get ready for dinner. Sunday we did not have dinner reservations and since it was the last day, we wanted to make sure we got in a couple of extra vineyards. It was such a fun last day exploring wine country! We ended this evening by popping into Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen for dinner. You might recall that we had lunch at Mustard's Grill. Cindy's is owned by the same people, and since we loved Mustard's so much, we decided to give it a shot. As a starter, we had Oysters Bingo. I enjoyed the quail with apricot barbeque sauce for my entree, while Clint had the prime rib. Both were DE-LISH-US. For dessert, we shared the Campfire Pie: a ridiculously amazing concoction of toasted marshmallow fluff, fudgy chocolate, and oreo crust. Fabulous meal to end our stay in wine country!

That's all for now folks! Hope no one is getting sick of these recaps- I think these posts, even the minor details, will be something I will read down the road and smile about. Good news for anyone ready for a change of subject- I plan to do just one more post to sum up everything we did in San Francisco now that I've covered wine country.

Enjoy Tuesday!

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