We started off the day with another wine tasting at 10am. Please note: TASTING wine, not DRINKING wine. (Our Napa experience has shown us we’re clearly not alcoholics.) We started off with a free tasting at the Frank Family Vineyard, another suggestion from Ricardo. This winery also had sparkling wines. The tasting experience was somewhere in between yesterday’s tasting and so were the wines. They had a showroom tasting bar, but it was a bit less rigid and scripted than Beringer’s. The wines were good, better than Beringer’s by far, but still not up with Conn Valley.
Our next stop was Chateau Montelena. This is a beautiful estate with an interesting history. It was initially established as a winery, but during Prohibition, it move into orchards and farming. In the 1950’s it was owned by an Oriental couple who didn’t care about farming, but created a beautiful lake and gardens. In the 1980’s, it was under new ownership and turned back into a winery with a beautiful lake and gardens. We split a $10.00 tasting of 5 wines. When I first saw tree white wines on the list of five, I thought “Ugh, we really don’t care much for white wines”, but these were not the typical white wines we’ve had before. The Riesling was tasty and clean and the two Chardonnays were crisp and fruity, not the heavy, buttery Chardonnays I’ve had before. We also sampled two Cabernet Sauvignons which were wonderful. These wines came closer to the quality of Conn Valley’s wines. After the tasting, we walked around the beautiful Jade Lake and fed the swan, ducks, turtles and fish.
It’s lunchtime and Ricardo recommended Taylor’s Refresher. This place is a walk up/ outdoor dining type of place with good gourmet food. We both had tacos, I had fish tacos and Andrew had the shrimp tacos. Both were wonderful, but a little pricey for outdoor dining.
Today’s not as hot as yesterday, but it’s still quite warm. It’s time to head north, out of Napa Valley and towards Mt Shasta. The weather is still quite hot, in the 90’s, in Mt Shasta. We found a campsite for the night, not great, but it will do for tonight.