Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tasty Lunch Spot in Carneros

If you're heading to the Sonoma or Napa Valley via the Golden Gate Bridge, you'll drive through the wine region known as Carneros.  Just before the intersection of CA 121 and 116, you'll come to Cornerstone Gardens, a collection of beautiful gardens, shops, galleries, tasting rooms, and Sage Fine Food and Provisions.  Here you can get tasty sandwiches, salads, soups, and desserts as well as a variety of wine country gift items.  You can take your food to eat at one of the outdoor tables at Cornerstone, or Sage can pack the food so you can picnic at one of the nearby wineries; perhaps Cline or Nicholson Ranch.  While you stop for food, don't forget to explore Cornerstone.  You'll find interesting items for sale and some good wine to taste.

If you want to take a private wine country tour that includes a stop at Cornerstone, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or Rick@BlueHeronTours.com.  

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Pleasant Surprise at Etude Winery

A few years ago, I took some guests into Etude's tasting room, which had just opened.  The tasting left much to be desired and I never returned.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, some guests requested to visit Etude.  I entered with trepidation but was quite pleased with what I found.

Etude completely remodeled its tasting room so visitors now find a sunny, spacious room in a pretty brick building.  Guests have the option of tasting at the bar or sitting outside on the patio.  The current staff are friendly and willing to engage with folks about their wines.  Located in the Napa side of Carneros, you can taste the expected Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but also Cabernet made with Napa Valley grapes.

Etude is a little out of the way, located on Cuttings Wharf Road, but worth a visit.  You can drop in for a $15/person tasting between 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  Reserve tastings are offered by prior appointment at 10:00, 1:00, and 3:00 for $25/person.  On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the same times, a wine and food pairing is offered for $35/person.

Since Etude is located near one of my other favorite wineries, Bouchaine, its likely to become a frequent stop on my tours through Carneros.  If you'd like to join me on a private tour of Carneros' wineries, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or Rick@BlueHeronTours.com.