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Taking it Slow in Napa, CA (Part 1)

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Danna and I each did simultaneous demos at two local markets. It wasn’t meant to be a weekend long trek, but we decided to pop into one of Dann'a' relatives’ house as we made our way back to San Francisco. Turned out that someone was home, and with genuine concern and care, we were offered to stay the night. I didn’t really have the time, with this weekend being the start of the Holiday rush, but we decided to stay and take it easy.

Danna’s family lives in the famed Stag’s Leap area in the back roads of Napa. The house is surrounded by 360 degrees of Cabernet grapes. We decided to stay and get a taste of country life, California style. We stayed up, drinking a bottle (or two) of Clos Du Val Chardonnay–from grapes that grow in the region and had freshly picked fruits and walnuts from the neighbor’s fields. We used a mortar and pestle to crack the nuts and as I was standing there in the kitchen cracking nuts, a feeling of excitement came over me. In a world where everything is packaged and ready-to-eat food products are the norm, it was kind of cool to actually crack the nuts myself. I was fascinated that the nuts came from someone’s yard. “Free food”, I thought. I just paid a whopping $10 for a small bag of walnuts from the grocery store. And here the walnuts were falling off of the trees. Very interesting. But it didn’t stop with just walnuts. In the kitchen were pomegranates, persimmons, huge lemons, and table grapes all from the surrounding area. Pick and eat. From harvest to table. This city girl was fascinated by country life. “Tomorrow, we’ll go walk to see my neighbor, she’s the one with all the fruits and nuts.” exclaimed our gracious hostess. I couldn’t wait, but the wine was making me sleepy. As I retired to sleep, I opened up the balcony and was welcomed to a blanket of a million stars blinking in the sky. Just then, I began a mental note of why city life is so overrated.

When I awoke the next morning, I immediately opened up the balcony door to see the morning view, and what a wonderful sight to see. A thin layer of fog was hugging the vines but was still thick enough to mask the mountains from my view. I couldn’t wait to meet the neighbor. We’ve been told she was quite the character. We had to walk though the vineyard about 1/2 mile to get to the neighbor’s house. Awesome–we walked through the vineyard! The photo on thebelow are Cabernet grapes belonging to the Regusci Winery.

Read more about Isabella Regusci, the neighbor, in the next post.

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