Winter in California

The leaves have turned and are now finally falling to the ground and it is December!! Since returning from St. Thomas we have had lots of company; toured several  new wineries; and had our traditional Thanksgiving in an RV Park.   The areas grapevines have all turned their beautiful colors and the crush is finished for 2011.  We are really enjoying our time here in Calistoga and the weather has been excellent (this week!!).  The week of Thanksgiving it rained a lot and was pretty cold but now we are back to a balmy 70 degrees with total blue skies.

The weekend before Thanksgiving our friends Barb & Brian came to spend time with us.  We visited the Castello di Amorosa which is a beautiful Castle surrounding a very expensive winery.  The tour was well worth the $32 that includes some great wine tasting.

Paul, Barb & Brian


The view

Amazing colors

We also visited the Bale Grist Mill near St. Helena.  The Bale Grist Mill is a restored mill that is run by the California Parks and is currently producing wheat & corn products for sale.  We watched them grind some corn into Polenta and then bought some wheat flour and cornmeal.  I used them to make cornbread for the Thanksgiving stuffing.  Very good with lots more flavor!

Thanksgiving was great.  My mom & dad joined the 5 of us at the RV park in their new 36′ motorhome and it was a good thing because it rained and Stephanie needed somewhere dry to sleep Thanksgiving night!    Mom and Dad left for home on Friday as they don’t like to travel on the busy days and we were back to our family of 5!

Appetizers on the patio

The girls, Nick and I played 9 holes of golf Friday afternoon and were there past sunset where I lost my ball on the 9th hole!  I am sure it was in the fairway but we couldn’t see it!!!  Finding it wouldn’t have made my game any better so we let Nick finish #9 as he was the only one who still had the ball he teed off with!

Saturday Nick had to head home to work so Paul and I took the girls wine tasting.  We visited another castle, Chateau Montelena but didn’t taste the wine as they were very busy.  Chateau Montelena is a very old winery here in Napa Valley and the movie Bottleshock uses the winery for their movie about the Calistoga area during the 70’s.  We borrowed the movie and watched it.  Not the greatest movie but fun to watch as it is about an era that I am familiar with!.

Chateau Montelena

Next stop was Rombauer Vineyards where they have a great Zin and Chardonnay.  I had been their earlier this year and wanted to share it with Paul.  They also have some amazing views of the valley and the wine is great.  Rombauer is the family that wrote The Joy of Cooking cookbook.  They have a dessert wine that has that name.

A beautiful Saturday in Napa Valley


We had a fabulous week and this week is back to amazing weather.  Golf 2 days so far!  Life is good

Trying to get a Christmas Card photo! Didn't work

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