Friday, July 21, 2006

All that wine!

Today is our BIG hiking day. After breakfast we're leaving Sonoma County and heading southwest to Point Reyes National Seashore, on the coast. We will have a 5.5-mile hike along ocean cliffs to our campsite, which looks from the map like it will be right ON the beach.

But first, our wine-drinking day. Our hotel is a member of the Russian River Wine Road, so at breakfast they gave us a Wine Tasting Hospitality Card, which waived the tasting fee at almost every winery we went to.

After a very hearty breakfast, we started our morning at Silver Oak, a lovely little winery that makes nothing but cabernet sauvignon. We bought a couple bottles of their Alexander Valley cabernet to put away for a special occasion. Kristin's father served us a special Silver Oak cab when we visited her parents in D.C. back in February, so we have warm feelings toward that winery.

From there, we wandered over to Ferrari-Carano, an Italianate manor of a winery whose fume blanc is one of Kristin's all-time favorite white wines. We tasted four wines apiece, making sure to choose different things so we each actually tasted eight. Lisa N. will be shocked and appalled, but we didn't buy the fume. You can get it in Nashville, after all. Instead we bought a bottle of sauvignon blanc, the flor de moscato and the tresor, which Vern, our kindly barkeep, said is the very best wine they make.

Vern also told us about a place down the road that hosts olive oil tastings, which sounded too fabulous to pass up, so we went next to Preston. It was lunchtime, after all. We tasted some lovely wines there and met a cool couple from L.A. who visit Nashville from time to time. Didn't buy any Preston wines, but did come away with the most silky, floral, sensuous bottle of olive oil either of us had ever tasted. We won't be using this one to grease the grill!

From there we hit Quivira, which the woman at Silver Oak had said was known for their zinfandels. No lie -- they had some terrific things to taste. We met another cool couple here, retired computer people from L.A. We kept seeing the same faces all day, actually. A couple from Mississippi who were staying at our same B&B turned up at almost all the same places we hit. We bought a couple bottles of sauvignon blanc and one of the zins.

Yes, it seems like we bought a lot of wine, but we had no choice. Tennessee's baroque liquor laws prohibit the wineries from shipping to private customers in the state, so if we want to have any of these wines ever again we either have to come back (oh darn) or take them with us.

Next we went on to Seghesio, a recommendation from the woman at Silver Oak and from the couple we met at Quivira. This is another place known for its zinfandels. We tasted a bunch, and brought home a couple bottles of an "old vine" zin.

It was getting late and we were getting a little lightheaded, but our friends from Quivira had said we couldn't not go to Rosenblum if we like zinfandel, so off we went to their charming little tasting room in the middle of Healdsburg, which is every bit as charming a wine country town as you could wish for. It felt just ever so slightly like home, as they were playing Emmylou Harris' Spyboy album the whole time. We picked up one more zin and a black muscat, another dessert wine. We tried another dessert wine, Desiree, which tasted like Hershey's syrup for grownups. Good, but too sweet for us.

By now the entire backseat of the car was full of bottles -- and everyone we encountered at all the wineries were well past lightheaded -- and it was almost time for hors d'oeuvres hour at our inn. We ducked into the grocery store next door to Rosenblum and picked up cheeses and bread for a picnic supper at the hotel. We tried to make it to champagne maker Korbel before they closed at 5 p.m., but alas, it was not to be.

Sitting outside watching the sunset and eating our bread-and-cheese supper, all the excesses of the day began to catch up with us, so we turned in rather early. We do, after all, have a long day of hiking ahead of us, and we wanted to be well-rested.

On a completely different note, we have been keeping a list of all the animals we have encountered during our trip.

So far, we have seen:

A bald eagle (yes, it actually was a bald eagle. It flew over our car in Oregon.)
a giant slug on a trail in Portland
wild turkeys
golden eagles - they're everywhere
and our friend, the wild boar

It's going to be late tomorrow before we make another post because we're going hiking now in Point Reyes, and we're staying there overnight. We'll be back in civilization tomorrow night, once we land in San Francisco at the Hotel Carlton, which is very close to Union Square.


  • Christian and Kristin,
    Love the pictures! Can't wait to see more. Be careful on your 5 mile hike. Watch out for those bears! Just click two sticks together to scare them off. (Did you ever see Hailey Mill's Parent Trap???)
    Love, Mom

    By Blogger djbottorff, at 1:14 PM, July 21, 2006  

  • Awww man. Haven't seen you all all summer long...And you have been making excellent use of your time!! I love Silver Oak and I will be on the lookout for some of those others. You are a great ad for them. :) Enjoy the rest of the trip!!

    By Blogger Laura Creekmore, at 7:55 AM, July 22, 2006  

  • Have ya'll given any thought to how much your wine purchases weigh and how the airlines these days get a premium for being overweight? We may be able to freight it out of LA but we'll get it back for you by hook or crook! Buy more vino and be happy!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:10 PM, July 22, 2006  

  • Soooo jealous! Also sooo glad to have tripped over your blog; will keep reading for more Adventures! Y'all continue having a fabulous time!

    By Blogger grandefille, at 4:31 AM, July 23, 2006  

  • I bought at magnet of your old favorite, the Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc Reserve, in the outrageous gift shop at FC to remember you by when I visited three years ago.......


    By Anonymous Lisa, at 4:00 PM, July 24, 2006  

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