How Red and White (and a little Rose) was my Valley
Napa Travel Blog› entry 4 of 14 › view all entries
Driving into Napa, I did some quick checks online via my phone and saw that the Andretti Winery was open until 5PM, so we decided to head there before going to our hotel. Hotel? Well...Erin had this huge pile of papers but the only one I was allowed to look at was the map of the wineries. However, she was looking for something on one of the pages, flipping through papers, and driving at the same time. It was a little verve wracking, and I was watching just to make sure she didn't need any help. She got to a piece of paper and was reading it, and I glanced down and saw the name of our hotel, Beasley House Bed and Breakfast. She glanced over and saw me looking and instantly I realized that must have been the surprise.
We drove through a little of the town of Napa, following the little map, hoping to find the proper road for the winery. I have to admit...my first glimpses of Napa had me a little concerned...it seemed just like any other American suburban sprawl...but that soon changed.
We got to Andretti, and it was a gorgeous summer afternoon...in January! The only difference was the empty vines, otherwise I would have thought it was late May or something. The grounds of the winery were amazing, and the way the sun was shining on the buildings, the fountain, and across the fields of vines was simply breathtaking!
Inside, I saw my first ever wine tasting room, and was a little surprised by a) how many people were there, b) how laid back and unpretentious it seemed, and c) how quickly Erin was recognized :-P We tasted the full slate of wines available for tasting, including the new releases that were going to be part of that month's wine club shipments.
We left Andretti and after almost giving Erin a heart attack when I thought she was about to go the wrong way down the highway, we headed down to the Bed and Breakfast to check in. We found it very easily, parked, and then walked in to register. Immediately I was struck by how nice ans quaint the whole place was. Colin was very friendly in checking us in, gave us a little tour of the common areas of the Mansion and grounds, and brought us over to the carriage house to show us the room we would call home that weekend.
What a room! Erin hadn't told me anything yet about the room, but oh my god...when I saw the place I fell in love with it! The room is incredible, with the fireplace, jacuzzi bathtub, and a bed to die for! Colin left us the key and we made plans to meet back in the main house a little later for the reception and then proceeded to bring our stuff in from the car and I finally got to relax after the trip out from the Netherlands. Of course, first Erin had to show me all of the specials she had arranged, such as the special wine glasses, the fresh strawberries, and the heavenly chocolate merlot sauce! Oh my god, that is good!!!
We joined Colin and the other couple (Curtis and Shirley) staying in the house that weekend for some wine in the parlor of the mansion.
After asking for recommendations for dinner, we decided we would like to the the Bleaux Magnolia, a relatively new cajun resteraunt within walking distance. Colin made us a reservation and we finished our wines, chatted a while, and then bid our farewell to go make our reservation.
Dinner was awesome! I've never been a big seafood eater, but after the dinner in Brussels in December, I decided that it wasn't bad at all, so I decided that Erin and I could both try some of the night's special appetizer, an Oysters Marscapone or something, named after the cheese that was part of the preperation.
The oysters came out first, and were to die for! Next time I'll just order a bunch of those, they were so good. This is not to say there was anything wrong with the main courses...but these were beyond perfect. I loved Erin's gumbo as well, as it had some nice spice and I love spicy foods! I started to get my patented droop as dinner neared an end, and we soon returned back to the room where we relaxed a little, made use of the room's many amenities before retiring to prepare for the next day's agenda of wine tasting.