Day 10 Wineries of Sonoma

As I mentioned before, we weren’t quite at home in our hotel in Santa Rosa, and also Santa Rosa is a very bustling little city, with much diving on and off freeways to get around, which it turns out I am not very good at. I ran some poor woman onto the shoulder this morning when I changed lanes and then changed back again at Lara’s urging. That woke me up more than a latte, for sure. No harm done, thanks to her quick reflexes, and my apologies to you ma’am, whoever you are.

We navigated to a Safeway to stock up on Pepsi and picnic supplies, and also picked up a bottle of Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay. Worth over twenty dollars at home, it was on sale for about ten bucks, and we just found out why. It’s gone bad. Deep gold and faintly vinegary, it must have been stored badly or something.

Headed out to visit some Sonoma wineries before relocating to Healdsburg. Stopped in at Chateau St. Jean first, because we had a coupon for a free tasting. I have realized that I don’t really like tasting wine. I like drinking wine, preferably with food, and definitely when I’m done driving for the day, but all that sipping and thinking and trying to sound intelligent gets in the way of the drinking. Tastings have become expensive, too, with many wineries charging ten dollars, and they don’t all credit it back if you buy, either. Nonetheless, Sonya at St. Jean was very nice, and we actually liked most of the wines they were featuring; they had chosen to showcase five wines that won medals at a recent wine festival. We even bought some.

Second stop, Cline. We know we like their basic Syrah, we can get it at home. Turns out we also like their Viognier, and their other Syrahs. Gary must have thought he was on a roll, and he tried to get us interested in the Zinfandels and a blend with Grenache in it. It’s very rare for me to like a Zin, and the blend wasn’t my thing either.

Had to pull in at a little airport, there was a fabulous old wreck of a plane there. I walked out on the apron to photograph it, and I was politely intercepted by one of the locals, just like I would do at home. Chris let me take pictures of this old Lockheed torpedo bomber, which I think he said was a PV-2, but I might have misheard that part. TB-2 would be a more typical kind of name for that kind of machine.

Next stop St Francis. Expensive to taste there, $10 for the basic stuff, and two of the five featured wines didn’t interest us. $15 for the ‘reserve’ tasting, and some of those wines were out of our price range. Worse, if you bought two bottles, you still only got half your ten bucks back. So we’d have to buy four bottles to get half of two tasting fees back, and we’d already ruled out 2/5ths of the wines. We figured the chances of leaving happy were slim, so we just left.

Tried to find Kendall-Jackson, but they’ve moved from where Lara said they were. Gave up and trundled up to Healdsburg. When we had originally tried to book for four nights here, there wasn’t a room available. Having stayed one night in Santa Rosa, we were delighted to see that the remaining three nights were open here, so we moved.

Did some pool time, but it was cooler today, only 24C at noon, so we had to move to the hot tub by 1600 or so. We’re going to see if we can walk downtown to scope out the restaurants, but we’ll probably want to cab back.

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