Sometimes grand plans fail to become reality,
but often what happens instead is even better.
A visit to Napa was on our agenda during NH's vacation. Only an hour drive from our house, 9 months have elapsed since our last visit. This time we met my in-law family for the day. :-)
The grand plan was a visit to one winery in the Carneros area before heading up the Silverado Trail. In reality we never left Carneros, and discovered a new favorite.
Ceja Vineyards is located near downtown, and just up the road from Acacia Winery where MIL and FIL are wine club members. Upon a recommendation we made it our first stop.
Ceja is owned and operated by a family who worked from the ground up to create a flourishing business and beautiful winery. The first Latino-owned winery in Napa Valley, you'll likely meet at least a few Ceja kids in the tasting room (which is by appointment only so make a reservation!) Son Ariel took this picture of NH and I at the tasting bar.
They founded Ceja in 1999 and currently have 113 producing acres of grapes. There is an additional tasting room downtown where live music and salsa lessons can be enjoyed. It's worth visiting the beautiful winery and house, where the family shares their extensive knowledge and makes you feel right at home.
Every wine we tasted was good and we came home with these two: '05 Vin de Casa, a sort of house red wine with flavors of berries, toasted vanilla and cocoa, '07 Bella Rosa, a dry rose with pomegranate and cranberry aromas.
The house also features a beautiful kitchen where wine club members can prepare food,
and a bocce ball court outside among the vineyards.
By the end of our stay MIL and FIL were wine club members and we had a few rounds of bocce ball under our belts.
Next stop was down the road at Acacia Winery so the in-laws could pick up their quarterly wine. There we enjoyed a free tasting. They've been members for over a year and are huge fans of the 2005 Pinot Noir.
We had a nice tasting in the barrel room.
Acacia produces mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. I am not a fan of California Chardonnay, but if you come across Acacia's '05 or '06 Pinot Noir be sure to try it.
The whole family
Like the rest of the cottage-style inn, the Cafe looks a bit like barn from the outside, but light pours through the windows and the atmosphere is decidedly wine country.
My flatbread lunch: summer squash, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, goat cheese, and parmesan. Being 3:00pm, I snarfed the whole thing down.
Tasting rooms were closing by the time we finished so our day was at an end, but a great day nonetheless. And as we agreed on the car ride home, we will be back much much sooner!