That was really awesome memorial day weekend. My friend, who was in same baseball team in Japan, came to San Francisco in the weekend. He came from Tokyo to L.A last week for his business trip and saw MLB game which is in Anaheim with Seattle. He works for international travel agency, so half of this trip is for business and the rest is vacation.
Upon his request, we went to Napa Valley Saturday morning and spent there for one and half day. We visited several wineries, mostly famous ones, to have tasting. I list up in order we actually visited as follows;
- Napa Train This is not winery, but tourist train where you can have lunch or dinner and visit a couple of wineries on the way. We went into their office and talked with sales manager because my friend works for travel agency in Japan and have interesting in this tour. After talking for a while, the manager came to know we were from Japan and started talking in fluent Japanese! I did not expect it at all. He was very kind and introduced their tour and Napa’s wineries, restaurants. We did not ride the train because of schedule limitation, but it looked good service. I recommend you to try it.
- V. Sattui We liked this winery overall. Not only a service guy, I do not know how I should call them, but I mean the person who pour wine for visitor with explanation of wines, was very nice and informative, but also they surprised us by sudden blackout! They have picnic place and sold BBQ this day, so we enjoyed pork ribs for lunch.
- Opus One This place is famous for expensive prices. Both visitor center and the manager of Napa Train did not mention this winery. It is famous among Japanese, but maybe not a recommended place in common.
- Robert Mondavi We participated in the short tour which took about half an hour. This was really busy weekend and we did not have reservation, but we could join it. It includes two glasses of wines on the way and quickly walk through the cellar. I was confused because the name sounds like French, but the Italian flag was at the entrance. I heard Robert was born in the U.S, but ancestor was from Italy.
- Sterling Vineyards We reached this winery nearly 5pm which is almost closed. We gave up taking air tram which brings you to top of the mountain.
- Beringer We went to this place for the last this day.
- Terra This restaurant in St. Helena was one of highlights we were looking forward going. We made reservation a couple of weeks earlier so that we do not fail to have dinner there. As we expected, dinner was amazing! Wines were great! Especially, I liked the appetizer which contains foie gras and avocado.
- Artesa This winery is located on top of the hill, so they have pretty nice view. You could see San Francisco over the bay. I think it is new, so inside building is clean and modern design.
- Domaine Carneros A unique feature at this winery was that you can try tasting with seating at table.
- Fillipi’s Pizza Grotto We had big pizza for lunch. He had wine, of course. He tried probably 20 kinds of wines in two days.
Sunday afternoon, we drove back to San Francisco to visit some popular places like Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s wharf and Lomberd st.
- Great Eastern We tried decent Chinese in china town for dinner.
Monday (Memorial Day)
We took BART to Powell to hang out around union square in the morning. And then we went to AT&T park to see ballgame between Giants and Rockies. Starter of both teams were ace, Lincecum of Giants and Jimenez of Rockies. The ballpark was full of audience because the weather was good, both pitchers were good, too. Actually, Jimenez pitched a shut out and got his 10th win. His fast ball was 98 or 99 miles (158 km) mostly although his pitching form did not look so dynamically.
After the game, we drove to Twin Peaks and Japantown to get some Japanese food for dinner. Because we had lots of Western foods and alcohols, he could not eat it any more. 🙂
That’s pretty much it of our three days intense vacation!
The picture of Artesa is from their website.