Sunday, January 27, 2008

Santa Helena Ranch - March

Mike's family owns a beautiful house (ranch) in Santa Helena, the heart of Napa Valley. Mike, Lev and I went there for one of the weekends in March. It was an absolutely great trip, both very eventful and relaxing at the same time. All of us had a wonderful time there and we all agreed that everything about this weekend was perfect. Throughout the weekend we had great food (mostly thanks to Lev's great cooking skills), great wine and good conversations over variety of subjects. Moreover, in the evenings we either watched Monty Python's Flying Circus or played games (Modern Art, Scrabble).

On one day we went for a longer hike in the nearby hills (The Palisades? have to check on that one with Mike). During this hike I learned how to recognize poison oak and the reasons for avoiding it... something most Europeans are not aware of at all.

On the second day of our stay at the ranch, we visited Terra Valentine Winery, where we got a private wine tasting. Afterwards we got a private tour through Casa Valentine, a house of the owners of Terra Valentine, as one of Mike's friends (Rori) was taking care of it in their absence. That was a very interesting experience - we got to see how our lives could have looked like, if we had been extremely rich :)

Few pics:

View from Mike's family house to their vineyard:

Breakfast on the fresh air:

Still bare brunches of vines:

View to the village from Floral Springs vineyard:

Hiking the palisades:

On the top:

View to the valley from the top:

Terra Valentine Winery:

Outside Terra Valentine:

Rori, Lev and I in front of Casa Valentine:

Me with Casa Valentine in the background: