Friday, March 24, 2017

Wine Country- Part II

Day 2 started out grabbing breakfast at Bouchon Bakery (another Thomas Kellar restaurant).  Just a FYI, staying in Yountville was a foodie lover's dream come true.  Not enough time to fit in all the food we wanted to try!  Anyway, French croissants and macaroons were on our list to grab before starting our day.

We hired a driver from Wine Country Drivers for our trip and had a GREAT experience.  We knew we didn't want to worry about doing tastings and driving, so getting a driving was a must for us.  

We started our day at Amizetta Winery.  Oh, my, goodness!!!  This winery was ah-mazing.  It was out in the middle of nowhere and settled up on a hillside.  The views were incredible from this winery.

We received a private tour by the family and learned about hillside wineries.  Fun fact- some of the steepest hillsides located on this winery are up to 60% slope.  By current regulations, nothing can be over 30%...thus, since this was grandfathered-in, this winery has some of the steepest land for the grapes to grow.  And you know what they say, stressed grapes are the best grapes.

We also got to tour Amizetta's barrel aging cave.  One of the things I found most interesting (#1 was trying different grapes from the different appellations) was trying wine from different barrels.  The ones we tried while on our trip were either French Oak or American Oak.  Very interesting the differences.  

We LOVED our experience at Amizetta.  May have been our favorite!  Maybe because of the views, maybe because it was a private tour, maybe because it was our first one, or maybe because it was family owned and ran....who knows!  It will forever stay with us.  If we ever join a wine club, it would be with Amizetta!

Next, we left to go to another hillside winery, Burgess Cellars.  We became familiar with Burgess from a restaurant we frequent when we go on vacation in Florida.  The bartender we always request let us know about this gem of a wine.  This was Derek's only request for which winery we go to and I am SO glad we did.


Again, the views were so incredible.  We were so lucky to have another private tasting...I still don't know how we got so lucky this day!  The person who was hosting our tasting experience, pulled 9 wines for us to try!!!  Yeah- there were lots of water and snack breaks lol.  I remember at one point thinking we had to be close to done and looked at our list and we were only have way through.

We were able to ask so many questions and learn a lot about this wine.  Fun Fact- all of these tastings were 100% straight varietals...meaning, every wine we tried (beside 1) were 100% cabernet, or 100% syrah, 100% merlot, etc. etc.  This was the coolest way to try wine!  Most of the time you are tasting a blend technically.  For example, you only need 75% of cabernet grapes in a wine to call it a cabernet even though 25% of the wine contains other grapes.  So, you could really figure out which elements you preferred in each grape.

If this didn't tie with our favorite came in at a close second!

It was now break time.  We made a pit stop at Gott's Roadside for a burger and fries!

We were (again) the only ones not enjoying an adult beverage with lunch....we needed a break, ha!

Our last stop for the day (with the driver) was Groth Vineyard & Winery

Groth is that beautiful pink looking building located on the valley floor.  While our tasting experience here was fabulous because we learned so much...the wines were very young and very hard to drink.  The grapes used in this winery are located on the estate/valley floor.  It was incredibly interesting to hear how they stressed the grapes themselves since they do not have hillsides to rely on for this.  We must have seemed disinterested in the wine because they finally started pulling out their library wines (a term we learned that meant an older vintage) which then tasted REALLY good, ha!

From there we said goodbye to our driver and headed over to a wine shop across the street from our hotel.  Wine Country Connection ended up being our best friend!  It is an adorable wine shop that featured 75+ different wines to try.  This was exactly what we were looking for.  We met the owner (and then the next day, the master sommelier who was also a business partner) and tried wines that evening.  2 hours flew by and before we knew it (and before we knew how much wine we drank!) it was dinner time.  We had dinner that evening at Redd which was absolutely fabulous.  We shared the glazed pork belly, and I had the gnocchi and Derek had the sashimi.  We brought a bottle of wine to drink with dinner.  As you can imagine if you are tallying up how much we had to to drink at that point, we barely touched that wine, ha!

As with the first night, we were ready for bed...and it was only 8pm (California time that is) :)


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