posted on July 28, 2008 10:06
California Wine Country: A Trip to Remember
Summer's probably my favorite time to visit Napa and Sonoma -- the nights are cool, everything's lush and green, the roads and wineries are not nearly as crowded as they are in the fall, and, compared to the South, there's almost no perceptible humidity (which I'll take all day long).
Join me as I look back on a recent trip (which was out of this world!)......
Next stop: A "wine blending experience" at Bennett Lane Winery (3340 Highway 128, Calistoga, Napa; 707-942-6684)
Scott's Picks: Maximus, White Maximus, Los Carneros Reserve Chardonnay
The staff-lead Custom Wine Blending Experience is a splurge (at $175 a person for a party of 6 to 8), but it's definitely worth it...at least once...and with a few good friends. (Call to check on pricing for parties of 1 to 4, or more than 8.) The Experience also includes a wine and cheese pairing, and a limo ride to and from your hotel (within the Calistoga or St. Helena areas) -- I reckon when you add it all up it's actually a pretty solid value. If you're interested, be sure to call ahead to schedule a time.
The winery is open to the public daily from 10am to 5:30pm. Guests are also welcome to use the winery's picnic area. Don't miss the dark chocolate and Maximus pairings every Saturday -- call to check on times. For more information, call 707-942-6684.
Bennett Lane owner Randy Lynch is a man on a mission to introduce wine to beer-loving NASCAR fans. Like his long-time pal, Richard Childress (who produces outstanding wines at his winery in North Carolina), Randy is heavily involved in racing as well as his growing winery. In fact, Randy and his wife, Lisa, are the first California winery to own a NASCAR team. The couple's also partnering with Infineon Raceway in Sonoma to serve Maximus -- their rich, full-bodied red -- by the glass in the track's new entertainment zone.