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Wine Country Experiences: Day 4

Yesterday, we explored a little of Healdsburg downtown. We started the morning with a three-mile hike. Pretty much everything was closed and there was hardly anyone on the streets, exactly what we wanted. Oh, the ways COVID has changed the way we think!

We decided to pick up breakfast at Costeaux French Bakery in downtown. We choose it because the bakery has been around for ever and because they are currently doing a lot by helping the community via food programs. I love to support businesses that are giving back, especially in times of crisis.

The store was busy with people trickling in constantly. The place was pretty big, however so social distancing was easy. People were picking up bread but we decided to get their avocado toast and egg preparations. This was a really bad idea because the food was terrible.

I have to say though that the macaroons that Anya picked up from there were just fantastic.

On our way back, we also picked up coffee from a store called Plank right outside our hotel. This place had a bunch of vegan and vegetarian food options, def a find.

In the afternoon, we headed to Kendall Jackson's tasting room where we tasted five wines. The property was HUGE and delightful and there were only five tiny groups around us.

Given how big the grounds were, I was super comfortable in this set-up. Our server was a bit of a talker so we learned much about the grapes and the process of wine making at this winery.

A couple of their wines tasted metallic and some of them were harder to drink - Puneet and I had different reactions to each of the wines we tasted.

Kendall-Jackson is big business, they have 15,000 acres of cultivation and they grow several varieties of wine. Ten years ago, this brand was recognized for their highest-selling super-premium wines. Personally, I wonder why. But taste is a personal thing.

What is most impressive about this winery is their demonstration as well as their vegetable garden. I walked around the demonstration garden to see the number of grape varieties! Just the way you have 10-20 different types of salad greens, you have 10-20 types of grapes.

Surrounded by Walnut trees, their vegetable garden was something else!! The person is charge of this culinary garden is Tucker Taylor and he has done extraordinary work! Fresh food, unique food, probably the most delicious food is grown in these well-maintained gardens. Tucker scours the globe for interesting food to grow and Kendall Jackson sells the produce to fine restaurants in California. This is a must-see.

After Kendall-Jackson, we went to Lake Sonoma.

We stopped on the way to take a few photos - that overlook gave us the best views of the lake.

Then, we drove up forward and saw something we had never actually ever seen before - A boat launching area!

The road sloped all the way down, and went right into the lake. Puneet and Anya were so excited but I screamed in fear and asked Puneet to stop the car and park it away from the water. I had just had a mini-heart attack with a daydream that Puneet had driven the car into water. How dumb am I? Poor Puneet has had to put up with all my idiosyncrasies - 14 years, can you believe it?

Anyway, Puneet turned the car around and both Puneet and Anya jumped out eagerly to see boats load and off-load.

I was too scared to leave the car alone - I knew the fear was unfounded but my knees were weak and I was in unfamiliar territory so I just watched from afar. After several minutes, I gathered the courage to step out of the car. It truly was a beautiful site with very few people.

I am told people like to 'boat'-camp on Lake Sonoma. The recreational area is popular with a ton of water-based activities. The water is suspected to have high levels of mercury so it is not wise to eat the fish but renting a boat and enjoying the day on the lake is definitely worth the consideration.

That night, Puneet poured me an Oregon Pinot Noir, turned on a candle and put on a car movie - Ford vs. Ferrari. He knows me so well. It was a perfect way to help me forget the day-dream nightmare.

1 Comment

Ruksana Hussain
Ruksana Hussain
Jul 21, 2020

Now you make me want to own a boat! I love how happy you are at the veggie garden, growing your own veggies at home you probably have much more value for the time and effort it takes to grow these babies :)


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