Wine tasting party bus.

Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
Trip End Mar 11, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

For today we booked a tour with Platypus to visit some wineries. We figured it would be better to take a bus tour so we don't to drive ourselves. That would not be such a good idea when going out for a day of 'wining'. The Bus picked us up promptly at 10:00, we were the first on the bus. The bus was actually a sort of party limo/bus crossover. On board there were flatscreen TV's, a fridge with lots of bottled water and the seats were comfortable couches. Our driver was Rod and he was quite entertaining.

We picked up the rest of the people at the other hotels in the region (Best Western, Hilton and Marriott) and soon we were complete. Our group consisted of two girlfriends from Chicago celebrating one birthday. A couple from New Jersey both working for Continental, he was a retired pilot and she a flight attendant. A couple from Kansas that had been married for 35 years. Another couple from Philadelphia and another couple from Chicago. In total we had 12 people on the party bus.

Our first stop was the Elkhorn Peak winery in the most southern part of the valley, really off the beaten path. You could see the towers of the golden gate bridge from the back yard. The Winery produces no more than 500 boxes of wine a year and is not even on the map of wineries. The tasting room is normally closed to the public. The wine grower and co-owner Ken Nerlove gave an educational explanation about wine making, grape growing and wine tasting. Good to do this in the morning as we would not register much as the day progresses. We tasted his creations which were amazing. We brought back two bottles of dessert wine.

The next stop was the Hopper Creek winery which is also a very small winery. The pourer was hilarious. The guy was around 400 pounds big and cleansed his pallet with a 'Bud Light'. We tasted around 9 wines and lost track of what was what. After the tasting we had a little lunch in the garden where the big man kept pouring the Zinfandel. The whole group became a bit lightheaded and the Kansas man was begging for a Bud Light as wine was not really his thing.

After lunch we headed out to stop number 3, the Arger Martucci vineyards. Here we tasted another 5 or 6 wines. The wines from this winery were a tad more expensive than the others. After the tastings we soaked our feet in the pool and chatted a bit amongst each other.

Then time came for stop number 4, we were promised some bubbles at the Chandon winery. On the way there we had some beers as Rod managed to buy some whilst we were at Arger Matrucci. We all then decided to continue the party with a group dinner at Bottega. Yes we were there the day before, but that was no problem for us as the menu is big enough to enjoy twice. And this time we know what to order. Once we arrived at Chandon we learned that their tasting room was already closed, bummer.. But we had the perfect (and cheaper) solution to this, Rod took us to a local historic landmark, a grocery store that sold nice delicatessen and,.. bubbles. We bought a couple of bottles and nice snacks and enjoyed our private tasting in the bus on the way to dinner. Again we had a loverly dinner, and lots of fun with the group. After dinner Rod took us all back to our hotels, we said our goodbyes and were off to bed. What a super day...
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