Travel Guide: Wine Country, Day 2

3.11.2015

DO & DRINK / One of our top priorities was hitting up a winery, duh! Our lovely airbnb host Pamela had the a few listed in her handy welcome packet that she left for us and Benziger Winery was at the top of the list, so naturally we chose that one! Specifically known for its wine grown in a number of eco friendly ways, ranging from certified sustainable, organic, and biodynamic vineyards, this was a wine experience I could definitely get on board with. Everything we came across in the beautiful fields had been set up for a carefully structured eco system to ensure the best tasting wines. We saw sheep that grazed the grassy lots, keeping it all nice and trim. There were olive and lemon trees to help stop the soil from eroding. We even spotted owl boxes nestled up high to help keep the pests at bay. The sun shined down on us as we rode around the grounds in one of those cute little cars and made pit stops every so often to savor delicious wine.

 ^^^wooden barrels for wine safe keeping^^^
 ^^^the best smell ever in these wine caves- damp, oak & wine!^^^
The vineyard offers plenty of tours and tastings to choose from and we opted for the Partners Vineyard Tour & Exclusive Wine Tasting and couldn't have been happier with it. We got to learn (and taste!) a lot plus get an exclusive behind the scenes look at the biodynamic vineyards to fully understand all the care that goes into crafting those fine wines. The tour was small and intimate with only 8 guests total plus the quirkiest tour guide ever. When I had called earlier to book ahead (suggested since they book up fast!) I was warned that a couple would be getting engaged on ours and if we would mind... Mind?!? I was beyond excited and even decided I would take pictures to send my new friends via email, would I mind. I guess some people had in the past and so the winery had to just put it out there... you know, just in case. So of course the whole time I was whispering to hubs about who it might be and informing him that my detective skills concluded that neither of the two other girls had engagement rings so really it was anyone's game. Hubs kept telling me to shush, less I be overheard (his words, not mine). We ended in the coolest of wine caves, literally... they were super cool! The smell that smacked me in the face was one of damp musk with deep warm oak and hints of wine, all lingering together, leaving me breathless. I really couldn't get enough and have decided that someone needs to make the scented candle version of this asap!

 ^^^and the winner is: 2012 de coelo, terra neuma pinot noir^^^
 ^^^also known as a dangerous room where all your dreams can come true!^^^
Well the tour came to an end and you can imagine my disappointment when no one had proposed... Case of the cold feet perhaps? I did a little further investigating with a now tipsy tour guide lady and turns out she had suggested taking them to another wine cave after for a more intimate moment. I mean, it does sound perfect except my new friends had no one to capture the moment but oh well, I'm sure they weren't too bothered. Also can we talk about perks of the job?! Where do I sign up to tour guide? Drive a cute little cart around luscious grounds AND drink on the job... I'm in! After the tour guide was over, we each parted ways and hubs and I bee-lined to the tasting room to try more wines, duh! We got served by a quirky old lady that spent most of our time together sized us up before deciding at the end that she liked us. She also may have given us a few extra try and she also may have been kind of tipsy but who's paying attention at this point anymore, really? Hubs and I enjoyed her great banter and then headed back outdoors to sip our wine of choice looking onto the lake.

 ^^^drunken purchases with guaranteed no buyers remorse^^^

And of course no trip to the winery would be complete without some drunken shopping for more wine. Hubs and I pleasantly agreed on the same wines which I was surprised about since normally he opts for sweeter and I like the drier ones. After much trying and deliberating, we settled on these as our top four, listed in ranking order and also no judging please! 


EAT / A day of wine tasting and sun soaking surely does build up quite an appetite so hubs and I decided to check this little gem out. Glen Ellen Inn was the perfect spot to indulge in some martinis (they have a huge selection and it was time to switch up) while we talked about the highlights of our day. The atmosphere was cozy and inviting in this not quite indoor, not quite outdoor section they had since it was still much too cold to sit in their garden area. I settled for the mussels and garlic fries and hubs chose the halibut in parchment, both equally tasty. Fun fact: hubs and I usually agree on ordering our mutual top two and then go halfsies... except this one time when I thought we weren't I ate almost all my food before realizing hubs was ready to switch and I nothing left to offer, but that's another story.

*On him---> coat: banana republic / blazer: banana republic / button down: j. crew / trousers: j. crew / shoes: tba / backpack: everlane (similar)

*On her---> jacket: current elliot / cardigan: madewell / turtleneck: madewell / jeans: hudson / shoes: madewell / backpack: everlane

Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 

***Today I am thankful for the chance to explore a lovely new town and loyal sidekick/drinking buddy to do it all with!***

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