Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ninety Degrees in Napa

I use most of my vacation time to go back to the Midwest and spend time with my family, so the recession term “staycation” is quite relevant for me (and was significant even pre-recession). One of my favorite “staycations” is a day trip to Napa Valley. Although the forecast for San Francisco was unusually warm, Franklin and I decided to head north to pick up some wine club shipments and knock a restaurant off Michael Bauer’s Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants list.

Every moment of the day was full of bright colors and fragrant flowers, rounded out with friendly people and delicious food. The sights were incredible – the crimson Art Deco Golden Gate Bridge, the clear blue sky reflected in the Bay, a brilliant rainbow of wildflowers growing on the side of the roads, blackbirds with red-orange tipped wings, vibrant green grape vines.

A quick version of the itinerary involves:
  • Breakfast at La Boulange to fortify us for the drive (cheese Danish for me, ham and cheese croissant for him).
  • Wine tasting at Jessup Cellars in Yountville.
  • Lunch on the back patio at Brix overlooking their garden with a view of the mountains.
  • Tastings at St. Supery (still my favorite reds in the Valley), Frog’s Leap (organic before organic was chic), and Honig.
  • Dinner at Barber’s Q (the top 100 restaurant we checked off).
Enjoy these photos!

Tasting flight at Frog's Leap.

Drive at Peju

Wine train passing through Brix's backyard, and our lunchtime view.

Chandelier and patio awning at Brix.

Ribs, pulled pork and sausage and Barber's Q.