Woke up to another bluebird day and off to Alexander Valley - we corkscrewed around the mountain - it was a day to remember...buds on the vines and flowers in bloom everywhere!  An hour later we pulled up into the NEW Coppola winery (old Chateau Soverain Winery)  Some have nicknamed it Disney Land in Sonoma County...You walk up the grand stairs and come up to all the pools, cabanas, bocce ball courts, the stage area for bands, a tiki bar!  It really is a beautiful sight and one like no other winery.  You can rent a cabana and stay all day and play in the sun, drink wine and bring your kids (is this a joke?)  No its Coppola.  
  After a great tour and tasting (and a new cool hat purchase) we had an amazing lunch outside overlooking the vineyards. Restaurants name is Rustic - and has many of Coppolas favorite foods from around the globe.  And some tasty and creative ones at that!   Kila and I shared a porterhouse for 2 ( I am not kidding) with roasted veggies and anchovies to start.  We had their reserve Viognier (which I am in love with) and bottle after bottle of Cinema (dry creek zinfandel and Alexander valley Cabernet blend) What a grand lunch! Service was excellent!  www.franciscoppolawinery.com 
  We left full and happy....then off to the most romantic, gorgeous winery in Sonoma County to stay at..Jordan Winery.  We checked into our suites overlooking the barrel room (the best rooms in Wine Country- chateau feel, fireplace, amazing linens and toiletries and a great big bathtub) and off to our private tour and tasting.  The Grounds here are stellar, the wines are tight, well balanced and delicious.  The winery itself is full of surprises with the "secret room" and the food pairings were well thought out.  
Off to the Healdsburg for a tasty dinner at Scopa - www.scopahealdsburg.com and it just so happened it was "winemaker Wednesday" there.  And Ben Cane, the winemaker from Twomey Cellars/Silver Oak was there!!  We had sauvignon blanc and pinot noir comparing tasting! Awesome....Food was great- we had fresh burrata and several other local and fresh items...then back to the winery for a bottle of Jordan cabernet, a fire, a bath and great conversation.  In the morning I took an awakening run in the vineyards as it was 34 degrees! I came back to french press coffee, fresh squeezed juice and fresh bakery out of the oven.  I feel blessed every time  I have the privelidge of staying here.  Those are the moments when you sit back, relax, and thank God for such a wonderful life.  www.jordanwinery.com 
   After a relaxing morning we headed into Healdsburg for some shopping, then a stop on our way south to J winery in Russian River Valley.  We both love bubbles - so the perfect impromptu stop.  We had some tasty pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot noir (robert thomas) and then J brut rose and 2005 vintage brut.  Michael was our host and was fun and knowledgeable.  We will be back for a Bubble room food and wine tasting soon!  www.jwine.com 
  Down to Berkely we go- for an exquisite dinner at the acclaimed Chez Panisse.  Oh Alice Waters always thrills with the local and tasty food.  We had a gorgeous chateauneuf du pape blanc and lioco chardonnay- the service was excellent and the day goes down in the books as one I would like to replay! www.chezpanisse.com 
The next morning food coma started to sink in and my pants were tight fitting- but- 2 days left.  I went to the airport to pick up my lovely cousin and we headed north back to Napa.  It was her first trip to Wine Country - and its the best to see it all unfold in the eyes of a newbie.  We started with a perfect lunch at Bouchon  www.bouchonbistro.com Thomas Keller is known for his perfect roasted chicken so I gave in and had it with a glass of schramsberg brut rose...Then a dessert that was so over the top I actually felt my pants stretching to the limit! Chocolate at its best.
I drove her around to some sights in the Valley and then we hit some shops in St Helena.  We were staying at Black Stallion Winery- so we checked into the Stone Paddock house - with hot tub, fire pit, pool table and wine cellar included (YES) and were off to Dinner with my favorite winery owner John Buehler - www.buehlervineyards.com to Terra www.terrarestaurant.com in St Helena.  He and his daughter were lovely dinner companions and laughter was everywhere! Dinner was delicious, light and local.
Came back to the winery, sat in the hot tub with a full moon shining down, vineyards hugging us all around and a smooth Napa Valley estate cabernet to end a perfect day...
    Last day of sin was a great one.  Started the day at Raymond Winery - One of the most interesting wineries I have ever been to.  Different is an understatement.  And so lovely and cutting edge. And educational.  www.raymondvineyards.com They have the walking tour about bio-dynamics and organics.  They have the "sniffing" wall.  They have the "velvet" room.  The VIP tasting room in the Tank room with Baccarat crystal and scantily clad women with wings.  The place is amazing to see in person.  Go.
Off to a quick lunch at the place everyone loves - Taylors Refreshers - www.gotts.com Tuna Tacos, fries and a shake later- we were off to Anderson Valley!  A twisty, turny drive up north where the terrain gets rocky and greener.  We made it to Goldeneye Winery and checked into the One room Apple Dryer to spend the night overlooking the vineyards.  We had a delicious pinot noir comparison tasting- and even got to try the Ten Degrees Pinot noir (OMG SO GOOD) www.goldeneyewinery.com 

I took my cousin to The Gentle Giant State Park to walk amongst the Redwoods and then to Roederer Estate Winery to taste bubbles! www.roedererestate.com Awesome day that lead to a sweeter night.  We watched the sunset over the vineyards, then off to Table 128 for a prix fixe menu  www.boonvillehotel.com  
We had steamed mussels with grilled bread
Seared asparagus with soft boiled egg, proscuitto and frisee
and then bacon wrapped chicken with saffron rice and braised greens - 
dessert was my fav! strawberry shortcake with strawberries from the back garden!
Met a Wisconsin wine guy as well - small world!

Off to bed and the next morning we started our drive back to San Fran so I could fly home - Happy easter- 
 


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