My husband pointed to a t-shirt in a shop and made a glib comment that this might be something I would do. I paused to consider.
Last time we came, we did the Napa Valley wine tasting trip. We drove around, randomly stopping at small and large Disneyland type wineries, where you dodge the tour buses for parking and try not to trip over families on picnics. I was also pregnant last time I was there and kinda just stood around a lot since I couldn't partake in the tastings. I vowed this time would be different.
So, on Sunday, we decided to try Sonoma County wineries. We loved the open spaces, the quiet landscapes, you could see the olive trees all over and smell rosemary in the air. We definitely enjoyed this more than Napa.
Here are my picks from the wineries we visited:
Gundlach Bundschu - Chardonnay Sangiocomo Ranch : You take it as artistic license when wineries start describe their wines with "Complex aromas of granny smith apple, meyer lemon, pineapple and toast". However, this was on target - the crisp apple flavor was right there! This vineyard was beautiful and they offered a tour of their cave, which was interesting.
Cline Cellars - Marsanne Roussanne :This was the first one we visited and enjoyed the experience - it definitely looked like a beautiful place in the summer. I liked this wine for its fruity flavor and smoothness.
Cline Cellars - Zinfindal: We had tasted this at the winery and then found it at a "world market" downtown. We enjoyed this wine with Afghani dinner at Salang Pass. The guys loved this with the grilled kabobs and it went well with my vegetarian dishes. (By the way, the bolani at the Afghani restaurant was awesome - square aloo paratha!)
Gloria Ferrer - Blanc de Blancs : Ah, a sparkling wine! I had a yen for some bubbly when I had seen our hotel serving mimosas for a brunch. This was nice, dry and not very sweet. This winery offered an excellent view, though we could barely stand out there for 10 minutes before we ducked inside to warm up.
We were told to go here. So we did. Kinda knowing what to expect, but not really.
Here's the deal with the Mystery Spot: there's something funky happening with the gravitational pull in that 150 meters. (I got a B in Physics in high school, so I don't really understand any of the magentic and gravitational explanations or lack thereof). Alls I know is the ball rolled up the plank! We thought we were standing straight but we were leaning about 40 degrees! I did a handstand on the wall and my husband was doing backbends (you have to take a picture when your husband finally bends over backward!!)
I felt really dizzy in the funhouse and felt like I was drunk - I held onto the railing. Gravity pulling the wrong way disturbs your equilibrium and I felt lightheaded for at least an hour.
We were annoyed that there were no signs warning you about this. If we were healthy people and felt dizzy, what about people with blood pressure issues, heart conditions or pregnancy?
There are no birds or animals in that area and the trees grow in bizarre formations - branches on one side only or one tree was corkscrew. See, nature knows when something is wrong and doesn't need a compass.
Check out the slideshow on the site and I can attest that all those pictures really happen. I wish I had more pictures to share, but our rechargeable batteries died in the middle (we were told the magnetic forces screw up batteries and cameras). We had to go get new ones. Here's a picture of our guide standing "straight" on a table.