Wine Country

Napa Weekend

Monday, September 7th, 2009

One of my favorite books, A Tale of Two Valleys, humorously chronicles the history of the two most prominent Northern California Wine Country counties, Napa and Sonoma.  From a visitor’s point of view, the book fuels the ongoing fiery debate as to which county has more to offer its residents and visitors.  Mr. CG and I are Sonoma County residents, so naturally, we’re biased towards our own home turf.  But every now and then, we wander over the hills to visit Napa, and for good reason.  A weekend in Napa County is simply divine.

napa grapevines Graeser Winery vineyard

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Content in Carneros

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

This afternoon, Mr. CG and I needed to get away.  So we hired a sitter and traveled just over the hills for an afternoon jaunt to the Carneros appellation for some sipping and savory cuisine.  The Carneros region crosses over both Sonoma and Napa counties in the California wine country.  It is a cooler climate, known for its Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and sparkling wines. 

First stop, Domaine Carneros, a world renowned artisanal winery, famous for its sparkling wines. 

domaine carneros from websiteImage via Domaine Carneros website 

Located on the border of Napa county, the tasting room sits atop a knoll surrounded by vineyard and formal gardens, like a chateau transported right from Europe.  My pictures do not do this place justice.  Check out their site to see it’s true beauty.  Sometimes I need to pinch myself in places like this.     

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Treasure Hunting

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Sonoma County, California is most famous for its wineries.  Within its borders there is a town called Sebastopol that is more famous for its orchards and antiques.  Weekend treasure hunters can visit the flea market, a dozen antique shops, and find great salvage, all within a three mile radius on a Saturday morning. 

I go looking for great finds in Sebastopol at least once a month.  One of my favorite stops is Ray’s Trading Company, offering some of the best salvage and vintage finds around, as well as great reproductions.  The proprietors can answer any question about anything in their warehouse, and they are never shy about telling you if something is a reproduction or a true antique.  I ask a lot of questions and I always get an education. 

rays sign

My apologies in advance for the quality of these photos – they were taken with my iPhone since my camera battery died.  

Inside Ray’s, you can find all sorts of antique knobs, pulls, keys, crystals, and doorknockers. 

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