Thursday, April 23, 2009

Birthday Trip: Day Two - Carneros

Brian and I headed for Napa early on Thursday - over the Golden Gate Bridge. We were both excited to start our road trip and also to spend the first part of our wine tour in the Carneros region.As you approach the wine district from the south - you first pass through the Carneros region. This region is cool and windswept and until the latter part of the 20th century - this mixture of marsh land, sloughs and rolling hills was mainly known for its sheep herding (carnero in Spanish = sheep).Carneros is famous for sparking wine, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. The Carneros wine country runs along the southern tip of Napa and Sonoma Counties.Our Tour:

• Roche – Small, view of South Carneros valley, young under-developed wines
• Viansa Vineyards
– relaxing atmosphere, Italian flair and marketplace
• Gloria Ferrer - No tastings (wine bar only) - nice patio, inviting
• Acacia - By Appointment only (we didn't know); nice pinots, friendly staff
• Artesa Vineyards
– spectacular architecture, fountains, and viewsWe checked into our hotel and had an appetizer in their wine bar.Off to dinner at the Boon Fly Cafe - along the rural Carneros Highway. This cafe sits in front of the Carneros Inn. The interior is slick and inviting - a cross between chic modern and rustic charm (airy surroundings and dark wood). I loved the outside porch swing!The menu reflects the ambiance.....local and casual with a balance of fresh salads, comfort classics and burgers.

Our journey continues....