The fact that we wouldn’t be buying anymore wine during our trip didn’t mean we couldn’t taste some, so our first stop on day 9 was Peju Winery. The grounds were beautiful, and the wines were tasty. I have no idea why, but as I looked at the price list during our tasting, for some reason, I mistook the two prices listed as being per glass and per bottle. Geez, I thought as I eyed the prices of $28 and $336 for one wine I especially liked. I remembered Napa wines being more expensive than those from Sonoma, but this was ridiculous!
Before long, I realized that prices were per bottle and per case. *facepalm* Of course! That much more reasonable!
Next up was Sterling Vineyards. Outside the front doors is a large chalkboard with Before I Die… across the top of it. Visitors are encouraged to fill in the blanks with things they want to do before they shuffle off this mortal coil.
As we stood in the short line behind the ticket window at the entrance to Sterling, I couldn’t help but feel a little like I was going to an amusement park instead of a winery. That feeling continued once we had purchased our tickets and got on the gondola tram, which took us up to the winery and offered a great view along the way.
Our wine tasting was combined with a self-guided winery tour, with a different stop along the tour for each wine we tasted. The wines were fine–nothing wowed me, but they were all perfectly respectable. The rooftop terrace at the end of the tour was lovely, though!
During our tram ride back down to the parking area, the car ahead of ours got stuck. I’m not sure what had to be done to unstick it, but whatever it was involved something that made noises straight out of a Star Wars movie.
Our next stop was Old Faithful Geyser of California. Before this trip, I hadn’t heard of it, but apparently, it’s one of only three geysers in the world with the old faithful designation (I’ve now seen two!). Because of all the recent rain, the geyser was even more active than usual, and we got to see it erupt a few times while we were there. There’s also a little farm there with sheep, llamas, and goats, including fainting goats. I was slightly disappointed that none of the goats fainted during my visit. Then I felt enormous shame for wanting to see goats faint. Clearly, I’m a monster.
We ate lunch at the Calistoga Inn and continued on to Brian Arden for more wine tasting. It was a slow day in the tasting room, and the two women working there seemed happy to have people to chat with. When we mentioned that we were on our anniversary trip, one of them asked how we’d met, and they were both delighted and encouraged to hear that we’d met the old-fashioned way–in a bar. “There’s hope for us yet!” one exclaimed.
We returned to the city of Napa and did a couple more photo re-creations, browsed some shops, and went to the Oxbow Market for a beer at Fieldwork Brewing. OMG, this beer I had–Vanillaberry. YUM! I kind of wanted to buy yet another suitcase and fill it up with crowlers full of that!