A DAY OUT WITH BACCHUS
The Roman God of all things grape and wine was Bacchus, who later went on to win the title of
“God of Orgies” but today we will concentrate just on his love of the grape.
Nice one Bacchus !
Suitably refreshed after a good nights rest I’m ready to take on the might of the Napa harvest and
Brenda has many a bottle on her shopping list. Our plan, subject to Jason the driver, will be to try for a
few new wineries and of course still take in a couple of our favorites including Frank’s and Rutherford
Hill. …… and a stop at Dean & Delucca’s for some high end cheese for the picnic.
Brenda continues phoning the office to check on our slot but still no answer which is getting annoying.
We are due to leave on the wine tour at 1100 so time to get showered and changed and be ready with
dogs walked and their hair still on them and not on us!
More phone calls and still nothing, and then at 1050 some woman arrives with a clip board, and had
she had an arm band she could easily have been Rosa Klebb or the Camp Commandant. She tells
Brenda they don’t retrieve their messages, she is also new, she doesn’t know our booking, but we
MUST move NOW !!
“You are to move zeee coach…. NOW !”
Just as I’m disconnecting everything and getting the jacks up Jason arrives! Round the park twice and
finally into another slot which only has 30 amp and no dump facilities. Seems the Safari will run on 30
amp as long as services are selected one at a time and no overloads occur, well we will sort all this
Into the Limo, and off to Frank’s who supplied the Champers at our wedding FOC so we need to say
thank you yet again. Things have changed dramatically here and the old uneven floored shack has
been replaced with nice gardens and an upmarket tasting room. As much fun as before, champers to
start, then the room temperature Chardonnay “Because we can!” and onto the reds and of course the
LPR Zinfandel (Liquid Pantie Remover). They also have a new “writer” who decribes wines in a way
that defies any rational sense !
I just might agree
The new upmarket tasting rooms
A couple of bottles later and Brenda already has a buzz, we venture into a new one for us at the
Rombauer Vineyards. Beautiful gardens in a truly lovely setting but our tasting host is somewhat snotty
and also reluctant to pour before dollar bills are exchanged. Jason sweetens the deal and snot nose
is put in his place as we wander through his selection. Nothing really of note until we get to the 2008
Zinfandel which has a delightful “Port” consistency and goes exceedingly well with chocolate. Can’t
resist a couple of bottles of this even if snot nose isn’t keen on giving us the normal complimentary
glasses. Also not keen on me having two pieces of chocolate!
Someone is a keen gardener
The Tasting rooms
Getting a buzz !
Off the hill and down to the valley floor once more and into another new location at Wm Harrison.
Brenda goes barrel hunting and another tasting begins on some rather bland but expensive offerings.
However, despite Brenda’s wish to buy up the place we just settle for fun conversation with jovial
bartending lady and purchase a nice bottle of their 2008 Pinot Noir.
Brenda takes her own tour
How much by the cask ?
“You bought ONE ! …with REAL money
Jason and I wait
Time for picnic bits so off to Dean & Delucca and after their mini tastings suitable cheeses, a fig jam
and an olive loaf are in our hamper and we set off upward for our favorite of Rutherford Hill.
Any of that 2001 ?
While tasting some of their selections we mention the long standing story of the 2001 Merlot which
was without doubt the best wine we ever tasted on our first visit. Lo, and behold, the man says he
thinks he saw some of it recently. While he vanishes into the bowels of the cellars we arm ourselves
with the classic opener, two boxes of the “to die for” blueberry chocolates and a souvenir book to mark
the occasion. ….. and lo, our man returns with a case of the 2001, two bottles of their port and our first
two bottles from their monthly wine club.
Armed with all our goodies time to take the party outside and enjoy the gorgeous picnic setting while
looking across the valley.
Exactly what we came for
Yum, yum !
One bottle less, cheeses part consumed, the delightful day runs to a close and all too soon we are
back in Calistoga and rapidly (in my case) falling asleep.
He was a good bottle