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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Perfecto Day in Wine Country...The Vineyardist Rocks

 In an effort to eat at all 3000 restaurants in San Francisco and having been to over 800, my wife Linda and I recently spent a "perfecto" day in Napa Valley enjoying some great wine and food.
Our foodie friends Josie and Ron Hable joined the fun. We had the pleasure of visiting The Vineyardist Winery on Diamond Mountain in Calistoga on Petrified Forest Road.
My friend and Bay Area lawyer Dirk Fulton and his wife, Becky Kukkola, spent 10 years finding their perfect gem, a hidden 1879 Victorian farmhouse. The house has a fabulous renovated kitchen as a result of the previous owner, a professional chef.  The grounds are abundant with lemon, olive trees, organic herb gardens and spectacular and heavenly views. We enjoyed a wonderful tour from the Director of Marketing & Hospitality Mark Sherwood.  The 100 percent 2013 Cabernet is rated 98 by Robert Parker and a  worthwhile treat even for the most sophisticated wine lovers. We had a private tasting of their 2011 and 2013 vintage that were bursting with flavor and a silky smooth finish. Both of these vintages were so great that a bottle of each made it back to Danville with us.

We also enjoyed a lovely lunch at Sams Social Club in downtown Calistoga. It was named after Samuel Brannon California's first millionaire. We started with house made ricotta crostini with pepper jam that went well with our Venge Cabernet that we brought with us. Sams has no corking fee so it is smart to bring your favorite juice. Ron ordered the in house cured Reuben sandwich that brought an eternal smile to his face. Josie had the tuna sandwich that was also tasty and nicely presented.  I had the chicken soup with dumplings and thin crust pepperoni pizza that was  fantastic and large enough to take home for dinner too. Linda ordered their famous cheeseburger and fries on a homemade bun and said "it was the best she had ever eaten."

On the way home, we stopped at The Olive Oil Company.  This tiny white house at the end of the street from the former Tres Vigne Restaurant is a hidden St. Helena gem. The Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salami and pantone from Italy is something not to be missed.  This place has been around since the 1930's and a "must do"  to complete a perfect day of Napa wine tasting.

Whether it be winter, spring, summer or fall, the natural beauty of Napa is always a ball.

For more information go to:

Info@ thevineyardist.com