Day 12 in Napa
Day 12 in Napa began with the amazing aromas of coffee and the outdoor fireplace. We gathered around, enjoying the fire and the company of our friends, the Larkins and the Longs. We all pitched in for a delicious breakfast, and with the help of everyone, we whipped up biscuits, bacon, and locally sourced eggs. It was the perfect way to fuel ourselves for the day ahead.
While the others were ready to embark on a day of wine tastings, I had a few errands to run, including getting a haircut. As I returned, refreshed and ready to join in the festivities, we loaded up the van and set off on our wine adventure. But before diving into the world of wine, we decided to make a quick stop at Bottega for a "pre game" cocktail. The men enjoyed liquid nitrogen Manhattans, while the women sipped on the refreshing "After Spa Water."
With our thirsts quenched, we headed to The Vineyard House Winery, where the Larkins are club members. The winery, owned by Jeremy Nickels, whose family once owned Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel, welcomed us with open arms. The winery's hospitality manager greeted us and treated us to a vertical tasting of their exquisite wines, including the 2011, 2012, 2013, and the 2016 "Boss" from Block 8, which boasted the finest grapes on the property.
In addition to the fantastic wines, we were introduced to Jeremy's impressive car collection, which included a vintage Rolls Royce, a convertible Porsche, a Cobra Mustang, motorcycles, and even a handcrafted boat built by his father, Gil Nichols. The tasting garage was filled with stories and treasures, making the experience even more memorable.
We were then taken on a golf cart tour of the property and vineyards, where we discovered a magnificent fig tree with a table and lights nestled within its canopy.
As we bid farewell to The Vineyard House team, we hopped back into the van for a short 15-minute ride to Rombauer Vineyards. The timeless song "Sweet Home Alabama" blared as we arrived at the winery. Our tasting room host, Philip Smalley, happened to be from Orlando and a fellow graduate of UCF.
We sampled through their line up of wines, beginning with the Sauvignon Blanc and then the newly released Pinot Noir, followed by their flagship Chardonnay, the Napa Valley Cabernet and renowned Zinfandel. With The Vineyard House and Rombauer tastings behind us, we made our way back to the villa. The best part was that we were just a short 15-minute drive away.
However, the day was far from over. One of Sherry's birthday requests was to learn how to make fresh pasta, and luckily, we had come prepared with a mixer that had a pasta attachment and se also brought a ravioli template from home. Together, we crafted a fantastic Italian dinner, featuring three-cheese ravioli and chicken parmigiana. It was a culinary delight, if I must say so myself.
To accompany such a fantastic meal, we selected some outstanding wines, including ZD Cabernet, Heitz Cellars Cabernet, and Ferrari Carano Tresor. We dined al fresco at the outdoor table, accompanied once again by the warmth of the fireplace. The combination of good food, great wine, and wonderful company made for a perfect ending to another beautiful day in Napa.
Day 12 was one for the record books. We immersed ourselves in the world of wine, learned about the history and craftsmanship behind each vineyard, and celebrated Sherry's birthday with delicious homemade pasta. Tomorrow will bring new adventures, new flavors, and new memories, and we eagerly awaited what lay ahead.