Napa, Day 4-5

The Pfeiffer crew was up early and ready for our morning tasting at Regusci Winery.  It’s off of the wine road that goes through Napa, and is really close to Paraduxx.  We pulled up and there were two yellow labs out front to greet us — this was gonna be a great morning.

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Since Mark was a member of their wine club (see a trend?) he set up a tasting, and they put us on the patio overlooking the garden and vineyard.  Absolutely gorgeous!

We tasted 6 different wines, and they even had one called “The Elders,” which wasn’t done on purpose — they just know quality in a name 😉 They also taught us wine tricks, like rolling the wine in your glass on the table to really let the smell come out (Warning: Must be done with a certain amount of wine, and in bigger glasses or you’ll have a mess).

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Elders cheers the Elder wine

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Toward the end we took the wine with us, and got a tour through their cellar, the garden, the farm area, and this awesome special events space.  Yeah… so we really liked Regusci.

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Next stop was the Oakville Grocery to pick up our picnic lunch.  Kind of like the Oxbow Market, everyone grabbed what they wanted for lunch, some drinks, and we packed up. I think we ate just about everything they served, from crab cake sandwich, fried chicken, chicken salad, chipotle mac n cheese, etc — it was goooooood.

Sterling Winery was the second wine stop of the day.  Mark warned us that the wine wouldn’t be on the same level as the other 2 wineries we had been to, but the gondola ride and views were worth the trip.  He was totally right.  The wine was good, but they definitely were more of a commercialized business than the smaller ones we’d visited.

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Highlight of Sterling: Beth rode the gondola, and Pegs got a great candidate for her Christmas card.

So this is when things started getting weird… Lauren heard of these fainting goats, that basically freeze up if scared (Check out this video of the goats, totally worth your time).  The goats are at the same “park” as the old faithful geyser of California, and it was close to where we were, so that’s where we went next.

Imagine the 8 of us at this dusty fenced in farm, trying to scare a bunch of goats –> told you it got weird.  Then the geyser went off.  Maybe it was the wine, but the whole thing seemed a little crazy, and just a weird combination to have together.  Definitely skip this if you’re in Napa, total tourist trap.

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After all the excitement at the farm, we headed back to the house to relax in the hot tub and…. drink some wine (surprise!).  The boys grilled, Aunt Beth cooked the sides, and we all enjoyed a big, homemade dinner, then played some games because it wouldn’t be a Pfeiffer family vacation without some games.

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Monday morning we all slept in a little bit more, or maybe I just did.  The guys went off to play a round of golf at the Chardonnay Golf Course, which is literally in the middle of a vineyard.  Every hook resulted in some grapes being lost, oops.

The girls headed to downtown Napa for some shopping and lunch.  I was actually underwhelmed by the shops downtown — I just expected more from such a cute area.  I did manage to find a cool USA scarf, and the others bought a few trinkets, but there wasn’t as much shopping as I expected!  (Note: Apparently this could be due to the earthquake last year..?)

After wandering around, we ended up at The Pear which is on their (very low) riverfront.  The restaurant was newer, but what I liked the most was my meal — fondue.  I got a smoked gouda fondue with dippers and devoured it.  I think everyone else cleaned their plates too, and we finished up right as the guys finished their round of golf.

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Once we reconvened, we were off to our last wine tasting at Pride Mountain Vineyards.  Pride has a few things that sets it apart from others: it’s land is split between Sonoma and Napa counties, it’s on a mountain, and it has huge tunnels that serve as their cellar.

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We started in their VIP tasting room (feeling pretty fancy), and tasted 2 wines, before we started walking to the caves.  Pride is actually a newer vineyard, and it’s buildings and tunnels showed that off.  There’s over a quarter mile of cases in the mountain — think of all the concrete to make that!IMG_0122

After we wrapped up the tasting, we bought some wine, and then headed up to the top of a mountain for a little picnic.  I mean, check out this view….

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We all just relaxed and enjoyed the scenery.. with a glass of wine in hand, of course!  Not a bad way to spend a Monday.

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The last big meal of the trip was at Celadon, in downtown Napa.  Mark spoke very highly of this restaurant, so we were all excited for a great meal.  When you walk up to the restaurant (as we did earlier in the day), they were setting you up for an experience with the walkway, and then courtyard.

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I don’t have any pictures of the food, but it was all AMAZING.  (Lauren has pictures of our meal here).  I had a pork belly and watermelon appetizer that was outstanding — who would’ve thought to put those flavors together?  Well they work quite well together, and I’ll remember that.  Like the rest of the trip, we all cleaned our plates that night and went home stuffed.

We had a fantastic time in Napa, and I hope to visit again soon.  Cheers to family, the ability to have experiences like this together, great food, phenomenal wine, and doing it again somewhere else next year!

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