Arrival in Napa


The day after Independence Day, we had a great breakfast at the Top of the Mark and then got into the car and headed north to Napa. We were greeted, once outside, with an intense cold gust of air as we waited for our car hidden away by the valet service. We took about ninety minutes to get to destination, some fifty-three miles away, because of traffic as we got closer to our near Calistoga destination.

We arrived at the B&B, dropped off our luggage, and headed back into the fray of traffic where we originally stopped at the Sattui Vineyards. They had a picnic table situation near the vines and a deli but the crowds were so ridiculous that we labeled it the Disneyland of Vineyards and left quickly to escape the hordes of teeming Napa tourists.

We stopped at a lovely restaurant and had a light lunch of fresh pizza, salad, and drinks without alcohol. Okay, it is Napa, but we just were not ready for that yet.

We headed off to the Peju Vineyards and had our first wine tasting, and also bought wine (we could not wait) since we found a perfect summer wine that was light and seemingly right for the season. The Peju family is Iranian of origin but coming via France. The wine we purchased is called ‘Provence’ and is a mixture of many different varieties. One reason for the seemingly impetuous purchase was the fact that the winery admits to being very green and pesticides are avoided at all costs, special plantings are put in to attract pests and keep them away from the vines.

We enjoyed the koi pond and the beautiful artwork found there as well as the beautifully manicured estate. We left and headed into Calistoga from St. Helena where the winery was located and decided to have a nice dinner and celebrate Jack and Carolyn’s thirty-eighth anniversary. After picking up a few items in town, we headed back to our outpost and retired to the porch where a cool evening greeted us after a pretty hot day. Napa has cooled off after a huge hot spell and the weather during our time here is supposed to be warm but not killer hot.

We are not sure what we are doing tomorrow, but that is the beauty of all of this, this is vacation after all, and we are not planning like crazy, despite my usual need to do so.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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One Response to Arrival in Napa

  1. GregPeters says:

    Top of the Mark a famous San Francisco tradition. I was eight, and when I rode the elevators to the top, decided I wanted to be an elevator operator, the ultimate profession. Who would know they would replace these talented individuals who could stop on a floor with no jiggling, with buttons?

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