Having never toured the Wine Country, Ricky and I extended a business trip to include tours of Sonoma and Napa. What a difference two days make! After a delightfully delicious dinner at Celadon (Napa) with friends, a good night’s sleep at the Lodge in Sonoma and an eggs benedict breakfast at Carneros Bistro Wine Bar, we began the next day boarding a Platypus Tour van! Ken, our driver was wonderful. He allowed time for pictures and made sure his eight passengers knew more about Sonoma County, its people and its wineries by the end of the day!
Our first stop was not at all what I expected. Ty Caton. A warehouse! Are you serious? What happened to the quaint and romantic vineyard I imagined? We were PLEASANTLY surprised! Surrounded by barrels filled with aging wine….we tasted….and tasted and tasted some more. Ty was a wonderful host and even whipped out a barrel thief (think turkey baster) and shared his special futures! What a treat! We placed an order.
Next stop…Loxton Vineyards. Talk about seeing all of the action. The grapes had been harvested and were being punched down and squeezed right in front of our eyes. With grape stained hands; Chris Loxton explained the art and science of producing the perfect wine. Barrels of percolating wine were near by….quite the treat for our eyes AND ears! Yes! We could hear the grapes turning into wine and musical tunes bubbled throughout our lesson! Chris was another gracious host and after tasting and….another order….we had a delicious lunch (prepared by our wonderful driver) smack dab in the middle of more aging wine barrels.
Another tasting at Moondance Cellars Halloween party, complete with dogs in costumes and more orders, led us to Figone’s. A first time for me…we tasted olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Another treat for our senses! Ricky and I joined the club and are looking forward to new and DELICIOUS flavors arriving on our front porch throughout the year.
The tour ended at Paradise Ridge with a happy and entertaining “pourer” and….another order. After Platypus Tours dropped us back at the Lodge, Ricky and I enjoyed a “progressive dinner” at The Bistro and Mary’s Pizza Shack. Our day in Sonoma was filled with treats! Tomorrow….Napa Valley!
Aladdin wants to know! Have YOU been to Sonoma County and if so, what were YOUR favorite experiences?