We have breakfast in the restaurant downstairs today. Zung has the Crab Benedict.
I need something lighter and have the yogurt and granola. They threw a few grapes on top.
The breakfasts are solid. Nothing amazing, but consistently good food.
Our first tasting of the day is at Schramsberg in Calistoga. It takes 20 minutes to get our car, so we are late. The winery is up a narrow mountain road. We check in, pay our $50 per person fee for the tour and tasting and are given a glass of their Blanc de blanc. Schramsberg specializes in sparkling wines. Ilya is our tour guide and she is just adorable.
She tells stories of making Mimosa’s at the movie theatre. This was during the instruction on how to cork a bottle of sparkling wine without the POP! I still haven’t perfect the technique.
She takes us on a tour of the caves.
It is a larger group that anywhere else we have been. We learn all about making sparkling wine.
They don’t have barrels. They have bottles. Lots and lots of bottles.
This picture shows my attempt at Riddling. A Riddler turns the bottles a quarter turn. Which doesn’t sound like such a big deal. Until you hear how many he turns and how fast he can do it. Sometimes they use a machine. Schramsberg has a Riddler named Ramon who kicks butt when it comes to turning those bottles.
We pass by some dudes taking some bottles down.
It is really cool to see the way they store the bottles. After learning a lot about making sparkling wine and the history of Schramsberg, we finally get to the tasting.
We taste several sparkling wines and a J Davies Cabernet Sauvignon. We join the wine club. It was the only club we joined this trip. We buy a case of sparkling wine and Cabernet. It was an awesome tour and I highly recommend it.
When we are done with the tour, tasting and buying, we go to Gott’s Roadside for lunch. This was a place that my friend, Elise, had told me about. It’s, as the name suggests, a roadside stand. It had long lines every time we went by. Today the line is not too bad, comparatively, to the other ones we had seen. However, between waiting in line and waiting for our food, this cannot be considered fast food. It is very good food though.
Next stop was Robert Biale Vineyards. More wines.