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Making Caymus Famous

During a quick trip to San Francisco, we managed to squeeze a nice long day trip to Napa...figured we needed to celebrate the NY Giants NFC Championship win.  After escaping the tours of Alcatraz and seeing the forest through the trees at Muir Woods, we started out on our journey.  Here is the route that we took along with all of our favorite stops.  Next time you are in Napa for the day, consider these indulgences:

Yountville, CA rocks if you are a foodie.  Michelin Guide's 2011 awards have bestowed six stars on restaurants in Yountville.  If you're reaction is, "So what?," there's this: Those six stars are all within about six walking blocks of each other -- a culinary feat for the tiny community in California's wine country.  Its located on the southern end of Napa.  Not only are the restaurants great, but there is some fun shopping and a few wineries that we loved:

  • Cliff Lede:  This is a beautiful, contemporary small vineyard in the Stags Leap section of Yountville.  The Poetry Cabernet is the signature pour.  The owner of this vineyard creatively named each section of his land after his favorite musician or song, such as Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band and Landslide.
  • Caymus: OUR FAVORITE (hence the title of this post).  We did a private tasting here and were able to ask the sommelier loads of questions about the grapes, the wine making process and the availability/exclusivity. Our favorite part of this tasting was guessing at the notes in each of the pours.  We especially loved the 2009 special selection cabernet's vanilla tones and the black cherry essence in the 2009 napa valley zinfandel (only available through the vineyard).
  • Rombauer: Further along toward the north, we stopped at Rombauer.  We love Rombauer wine but the best thing about this stop was the beautiful gardens and the fact that we could take our tasting wine outside with us.  Nothing like a cool glass of chardonnay in the California sun.  
  • St. Clement: The last stop on our winery tour was at St. Clement in St. Helena, located in the very northern part of Napa.  We were introduced to this wine/vineyard by Lee and Monica Gold.  In fact, probably half of our Eurocraft wine fridge at home is filled with wine from this vineyard.  By far, our favorite is the 2007 Oroppas, again with vanilla tones.  It is worth a try if you see it on any restaurant menu or wine shop. 

On our way back south, we stopped in Yountville again for an early dinner.  If I could, I would go to Bistro Jeanty everyday of the week.  Not only was the food amazing, but the whole scene was exactly what we had in mind for a casual bistro style dinner.  Mike had the escargots for an appetizer and the cassoulet for his main course.  He said it was THE BEST cassoulet he had ever eaten.  I went for the onion soup au gratin for an appetizer and the epaule de porc for my entree.  Service was very good- casual yet attentive.  Fresh french bread was served with our meals.  If you do nothing else in Yountville (or Napa for that matter), please please please pass by the famous Bouchon or French Laundry and opt for Bistro Jeanty.  I promise you that you will not be disappointed.  Tres tres tres bien!

CassouletEpaule de Porc

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