Wine Country

Favorite Escape

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

One of my absolute favorite places to relax and getaway for an afternoon is the southern corridor of Sonoma on Highway 121.  Along this route are three of my favorite wineries, an amazing European Antiques store, and my favorite high end salvage shop.  I always take visitors to Viansa winery, a little piece of Italy in the southern part of Sonoma, built on a hilltop to capture valley views.  Guests love to snap photos of the architecture of this winery, with its tiled rooftops and terra cotta colored walls covered with climbing ivy. 

viansa 

outdor tasting roomoutdor tasting room 

Whenever visitors come to town, this is where I like to take them for an incredible afternoon.

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A Piece of Italy Near Home

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I’m sitting here at my laptop completely exhausted from having started and half finished five different projects today.  Thank goodness for a good glass of red wine at day’s end.  I’ll be featuring some of these projects this week, but first I must share with you the final stop we made on our weekend getaway to Napa over the Labor Day holiday. 

I was fortunate enough (in my pre-baby lifetime) to have traveled to several different European countries.  Upon return, I always said that one of the nicest things about living in the Wine Country is how reminiscent it is of many of those European regions I’ve toured. In winter, Sonoma’s hills are so green, it’s like Ireland and Northern France.  In summer, the dry hills, vineyards, and countless wineries of Napa remind one of southern France or Tuscany. 

One such place that is sure to transport one to Italy is Castello di Amorosa in the Napa Valley. 

castle from afar

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Napa Style, Take Two

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

My friends, I must be frank.  The past week has not been easy for me.  My entire family, including myself, has been sick with the flu so I didn’t get to do any of my DIY projects during the week.  Bummer. When I can’t get to my primer and power tools, my knees start to shake and my hands start to twitch.  I start to go a little stir crazy.  So finally, on Saturday, I was finally able to tackle some projects.  I’m hoping to feature them this week, if all goes well.  Good stuff coming. 

Y’all remember last week’s look at wine tasting in Napa.  Here’s another peek at just a few more stops on our weekend getaway.  

Day Two began by with a spectacular luncheon at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Yountville.  As many of you know, Mr. Keller is famous for his world renowned French Laundry restaurant, also in Yountville, with its nine course prix fixe tasting menu.  It’s practically impossible to get into the French Laundry, unless you go online at the exact perfect time (at midnight Pacific Standard Time two months in advance).  Don’t believe me?  Read this dude’s suggestions.  And even if you do get in, you’ll spend your kids’ college fund on one meal.  But as I understand from my swankier friends, it’s pretty spectacular.  

For the ‘regular’ folk, there is Bouchon in Yountville.  (And also in Vegas.)  It’s a little slice of Paris in the heart of the Napa Valley, from the menu, to the interior décor, to the waiters in little black vests, ties, and aprons. 

bouchon

And the food.  Oh, the food.  It’s ooh, la, la, off the charts. 

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