A couple East Bay friend’s of ours invited us out for a day of wine tasting on Sunday. The drive to and from Calistoga was beautiful and wonderfully green as a result of the rain storms we’ve been getting lately.
There was, of course, plenty of knitting being done in my lap to and from the wineries, but that slowly became more and more challenging with each wine tasting. In fact, I don’t think I made much progress with my Cupido Cowl project that I cast on, due to the amount of backtracking I did. Let’s just say that I am very thankful for this pattern and to the thick-thinness of this Handspun in Bolinas merino yarn, because is has successfully helped with hiding any tipsy mistakes.
Our first stop on Sunday was Chateau Montelena, which is a vineyard that helped put California wines on the map. The story is that they entered their Chardonnay into a Paris white wine tasting event in the 1970s and won first place. There was even a movie loosely based on the event called Bottleshock, which Danny and I had coincidentally recently watched after Alan Rickman sadly passed away.
The grounds were very beautiful, which included the main building, Chinese garden, and pond with turtles, ducks, and swans. Their wines were very tasty, too.
Before our next stop, Tamber Bey Vineyards, the four of us made sure to head into downtown Calistoga for lunch. BBQ sandwiches from Buster’s turned out to be the perfect way to prep our stomachs for the remaining winery visits.
Tamber Bey is just down the street from Chateau Montelena, but while Chateau Montelena is surrounded by trees, Tamber Bey is flat and wide open. So, there were some very lovely views of the surrounding hills. A couple horses were stabled just outside the tasting room, and a very friendly tuxedoed cat greeted us when we arrived. I was told that the cat was one of two on the property: Cali and Stoga. (Calistoga, get it? Harhar.)
We only visited for a few minutes to have the tasting, but I could see myself going back with a group to sit outside for an afternoon picnic. Perhaps even a knitting group. 😀
Our third winery stop was my personal favorite of the day. Lava Vine tasting room is a very relaxed place with a great selection of wines on their tasting menu. Connected to the tasting room was a cozy little space with a stage, where they host events and the occasional small concerts. The two owners that were working the counter even treated us to an impromptu live song.
Our final winery stop of the day was Tank, located in downtown Calistoga. This tasting room was converted from an old garage gas station, complete with vintage gas pumps out front and an intimate speakeasy space behind a curtain, which was just adjacent to the main tasting room. Danny and I decided to buy a bottle of their sparkling wine,
“Unspoken,” for whatever Valentine’s Day festivity we end up planning this month.
We were lucky to have a gorgeous and sunny afternoon for our time in Calistoga. There was only one solitary rain cloud that brought a brief, refreshing shower at the end of the day. We were even rewarded with a few rainbow sightings on our drive home.