Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hall Winery (Napa)

Positives: Great 2006 Napa Cabernet which received a 94 point rating. This wine will most likely be included in the top 100 wines by Wine Spectator this year. (a little bird told me) Also very pretty tasting room that looks like a chic barn.

Negatives: I felt Hall's tasting room was the least friendly tasting room that I experienced during my two weeks California. Why? The vibes from the behind the counter staff were not great vibes. I don't know if we were being treated differently because we were two women or because the workers were just having a bad day. Not sure. Other people in the tasting room were being treated better and all those parties included men. (just saying.....) I also gave them a printed tasting coupon from the Internet. It was a 2 for 1 tasting coupon. Maybe people that bring coupons don't buy wine...I don't know the statistics. I just hope future visitors are treated with smiles and better attitudes.

I also got the vibe that the winery was more impressed with Kathryne Hall's accomplishments during the 1990's as an ambassador to Austria than they were with their 94 point Cabernet. Mrs. Hall used to be a corporate lawyer blah blah blah.....get over yourself!!

Back to the positives -- THEIR CAB IS AMAZING AND FOR $40 YOU SHOULD BUY IT. The winemaker deserves praise.

So that is my experience with Hall. It might not be yours...but wine experiences are always changing just like the grapes.

Taylor's Refresher

After we left Bennett Lane winery we stopped at Taylor's Refresher (now called Gott's Roadside) and had fresh off the grill burgers with totally carbolicious fries. This all came with fresh ranch made at Gott's. I about died and went to grease heaven.

This place totally takes me back to the 1960's...well it took my mom back to the 1960's. I wasn't alive then. This place throws all Micky D's in the water. I just like that they make everything fresh to order. Simple idea right? Makes all the difference.

Here are some burger loving pictures from this roadside stand.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bennett Lane Winery

Bennett Lane Winery is located in Napa and is close to Dutch Henry. Bennett Lane sells itself on being Napa's "Friendliest Tasting Room." This statement is not far from the truth. Mark, who worked at the winery and poured wines for us in the tasting room was very knowledgeable about wine and many other topics. He was very friendly and I could tell he really enjoyed working at the winery.

Bennett Lane makes a really great wine called Maximus. We tried the 2006 Maximus and it was great. The blend on this is 65% Cab Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Syrah, and 5% Malbec. It is GOOD.

A few more Dutch Henry Winery pictures

Belong are a few more pictures from Dutch Henry .

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I have so many great posts on the awesome wine experiences that we have enjoyed while being out in Napa, Sonoma, Healdsburg, and Paso Robles.

The weather out here is amazing. Foggy and cool in the morning and then clear skies and warmer weather in the afternoon. We couldn't have asked for better weather. It is a great change from the Florida heat.

First off -- I received my blog business cards in the mail a few days before coming out here. I love them. They are from (if you are interested) They are smaller than most business cards and I was able to put pictures from our trip to France on them.

Our first stop in wine country was at DUTCH HENRY. I just love the vibe and grounds at this place. Dutch Henry is located along the Silverado Trail, on the way to Calistoga. When we arrived we passed a crossing sign for airedale dogs. I thought it was a joke, but immediately after this a dog jumped in front of the car. She proceeded to greet us by jumping and licking the arm that was hanging outside the car window. I later found out that the two airedales are named Sadie and Minnie.

We were greeted inside by Gary Koehler and Floyd (a.k.a. the friendliest left shoulder loving black cat). I think Floyd jumped on my shoulder twice while I was there.

Gary was super nice and gave us a tour of the caves plus some tastes from the barrels. The caves at Dutch Henry were a feat to build. We got to see how thick and dense the rock is and that explosives were eventually used to help construct the caves. Three times a year Gary puts on "Cave Ins" where he collaborates with other artists to put on a concert in the Dutch Henry caves. The room where these concerts are held is awesome, and I want to someday make it out for one of these events.

I am glad we decided to make this our first stop in Napa. This is a friendly winery with great people working there. Make sure to stop here for some wine tasting and even for some bocce ball.