So it was with fervent pleasure that I accepted my friend "Sal's" invitation to go champagne tasting, along with my cousins, while they were here on their quick visit.
Sal works in the wine industry, and is the ideal guide to the best wineries Napa and Sonoma County have to offer. Not to mention she's an awesome friend!!
Domaine Chandon graciously offered us a tour and tasting at their amazing winery located in Napa Valley. Our guide Helena (love her!), led us on a fascinating walk through beautiful grounds. We then sat down to a sampling of three of their best champagnes, and delicious Oysters Rockefeller.
The étoile Rosé was my pick for favorite, until I tasted their fabulous Sparkling Red. All I can say is WOW! The color was exquisite, and the flavor was pure ambrosia. It truly was a luscious start to a fantastic day.
We next headed on over to Mumm, where we sat amidst stunning scenery and each had a delectable glass of champagne. Our host was from France, and though I did not catch her name (Sorry!), she was absolutely lovely, and made us feel welcome and pampered. Did I mention the salted caramel chocolates she brought us to pair with our champagne?? Delightful!!!
Our third stop was to visit Sal's old workplace at Andretti Winery; as in the Mario Andretti. We felt as though we had traveled to an old Italian villa, as we sat in a sun dappled courtyard and were offered lovely wines.
We actually made a fourth and final stop to view the grounds at Gloria Ferrer Winery, which I have always been told were splendid. But as we were NOT treated very welcomingly, I refuse to dwell on them. So there. (I just stuck my tongue out, 'cause I'm super mature like that!)
Not to worry, we didn't let them spoil our memorable day. Instead we took advantage of the location to grab a few great photo shots and share some of the best laughs of the weekend.
All too soon our beautiful sun-filled afternoon was over, and we headed home with the warmth of the day still on our skin.
Our sunny weekend ended perfectly!! But with the cousins gone, I realized something...
...My Italian vacation is about to begin! Eek! I need to pack!