September 15, 2008

A Saturday trip back to Napa Valley

Chateau Montelena
The story of how California wine was revolutionized,just like the title says.

Bought some nice fabric in St. Helena
Found a wonderful new Chocolate shop.

A few weekends ago we tried to visit this winery,but showed up too late. They are open very early,and they close earlier than the other wineries. This time, we went straight there and enjoyed a wine tasting, and the grounds. It was a very pretty fall weekend; and you could smell the grapes in the air as you walked up to the chateau.
This particular winery is famous for being one of the wineries that revolutionized wine in California. The other is Stags Leap,which I love. I heard mixed reviews of the movie that just came out about the 1976 Paris tasting, called "Bottle Shock," but I can't help wanting to see it. I might just read the book pictured above instead. The tasting was nice, and I really enjoyed the Zinfandel the best. I do have a bit of difficulties drinking California reds because of the sulfites that are added, they make my face turn bright red and hot. The French wines don't have sulfites, and any reddening of my face with those, is probably having had too much of it.
After that, we stopped in St. Helena. This is a very charming little town,with loads of shops and restaurants. We blew through there last time,and I saw a couple of places I wanted to go the next time we were in the area. One of them is called "Vintage Home," the other is "Woodhouse" chocolates. I bought some nice linen fabric that I can't wait to use, and tasted some very tasty chocolate. I wish I could have taken a picture of the inside of the chocolate shop, since it looked like a shop that would have been in Paris. They even had the tapestry, that I blogged about a while back, hanging on the wall. It really reminded me of my favorite chocolate shop in Paris called La Maison du Chocolate. I think I might visit their web site and see if I can have some shipped to my home.
Wine, chocolate,and beautiful fabric, what more could you ask for! Hope everyone else had a great weekend.


  1. one of the things i miss most about living in the bay area is napa valley. i don't think i've ever been to any of the places you mentioned in this post. so much to see.

    i haven't been to maison du chocolate either...i always fixate on laduree because it's so pretty.

  2. I was in London last Friday and there was a La Duree (sp?) and a Maison Du Chocolat almost right next to each other! I had a cup of tea and some macaroons at La Duree, so no room left for chocolate. Any reccomendations re: La Maison for my next stop there?


  3. Dear anonymous,
    Anything you buy at Maison de Chocolate is beyond amazing! I love orange and chocolate,and they have these candied orange strips dipped in chocolate. We use to buy a good sized box and only have a couple pieces at night with a little cup of espresso, HEAVEN!! You are so lucky that they are both in London. Living on the west coast, we will most likely never see either of them here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  4. thank you so much for these tours. we're hoping to visit san francisco in april, fingers crossed, so they come in handy.;

    thank you for your comment today, sometimes work-life can be heartbreaking despite our best efforts. i've been there, too!

  5. Amazing little get away! Thanks as always for the yummy photos. Even the tissue paper around the fabric you bought is FAB :)

    I thought MM was GREAT this week! And of course I LOVED the polka dot dress(especially how she wore it for a whole 24 hour stretch).I even felt badly for Joan on this episode, and I NEVER feel bad for her.

  6. What a fantastic weekend! What will you do with the chocolate? If you go to Napa again and want new recomendations I could help you out! We go often and try to get a few tours in. I love the elephant logo on the chocolate!

  7. our puter has been away...virus...lost all my photos. anyway, way to go with the 100 posts!
    love the fabric you bought. i'll bet it will work well with a project from your new book...home sewn. kids are deep into school again so i'll be finding a little time for blogging soon i hope.