Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Day In the Wine Country

Yesterday we spend the day in the wine country. We went out for a private tasting and food event with Continuum at their new estate. We our day raining day in the wine country at Silver Oak tasting their new releases. Wonderful as always, though this year I think the Napa has the edge over the Alexander Valley release. It was nice to see their new tasting room and winery after the old one burned down a few years ago. Very well done. From here we went to Twomey for a special tasting of their newly released pinots, and also a sauvignon blanc and a one time bottling of syrah. There was a food pairing (appey) with each wine. We weren't crazy about the pinots, but loved the syrah. I am a fan of their sauvignon blanc. They did the majority of the tasting and pairings in the barrel room.

We ate a picnic lunch in the car in St. Helena; David a sandwich and I sushi since it rained most of the day. Then we headed over to Yountville and did some wondering around through Michael Chiarello's Napa Style store, poked our heads into his new restaurant Bottega, a fabulous glass gallery and art gallery before heading on to Continuum.

A shot of Bouchon restaurant while driving to Continuum.

The first stop for this special Continuum tasting is a parking lot where we catch a van limo that takes us up and up the hills to their new estate. We were in the back seats having been the last to fill this limo. At one point we were climbing so steeply that looking out the front window of the limo all we could see was sky.

A few shots I snapped on the way up the hills......

Once we reached our destination we were let off in front of the estate. The first thing you see is a lovely pool and surrounding gardens. Walking a lovely stone pathway takes us to a long porch/walkway in front of the main house and guest house that links them together. There is a table set up and they are pouring a white wine and Tim Mondavi and his daughter Clarissa are there to welcome and greet each guest as they arrive. From there we went into the guest house to the kitchen and eating area. Here they were pouring tastings of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and petit verdot. I am a fan if the cab franc. They served an olive panna cotta with it to bring out the flavors in the wine. Awesome! Then we made out way to the main house. A room right off the entry way (I believe to be the dining room) had a live jazz group and buffet tables laden with finger foods; pates, a dried salami that had an orange flavor to it that was delicious, dried prosciutto, cheeses, nuts, olives, pickles, breads. Stepping down a few steps from the entry way we went into what I would say was the living room. A gorgeous stone fireplace and a wall of glass doors leading to balcony over looking hills, trees and vineyards. Lovely. Here they were pouring the 2006 Continuum. Very nice. Walking past the room with the band and passing the kitchen which was closed off because the caterers were working there, we walked up a small flight of stone stairs to another room that I would say is a bedroom with a separate small sun room off it that overlooks the pool area and gardens. They were pouring the 2005 Continuum here. Very very nice. During this event wait staff passed around appeys. A few examples halibut with capers, citrus zest and herbs served in Chinese soup spoons and boneless leg of lamb stuffed with herbs and garlic and with an olive tapenade served on bread. An absolutely delightful day and experience. We made our way back down the hill in the limo to our car and headed on home. I am sure tou are wondering why I was guessing at what each room was. They had removed 99% opf the furniture and art work from the walls (the hooks were still on the walls) so that nothing was apparent of what the house is decorated like perssonally. The guest house had most of it's furniture still in it.


Jen said...

Oh boy! The food, not only the wine, sounded delicious! Even though it was raining, the pictures looked like it was a very fun trip! I love the pic of you and David; you look so pretty in your tourquoise!

Deb said...

What an awesome experience! I felt as though I was there. Your descriptions were so vivid. Do they always do a tasting tour through a house?