On Tuesday when we planned a day trip to Muir Woods and Sonoma wineries, the rain was non-stop. Our driver told us that in his lifetime (41 years) he had never seen rain at this time of the year. One of the things that makes the Sonoma region so good for growing grapes and wine production is that the climate is like the Mediterranean. The winters are temperate and wet but by the end of May it gets very dry with no rain until the fall. Apparently, this is very good for grape-growing.
Well, we broke the record as the rainfall this day was very unusual and it didn't stop for the 8 hours we were walking around. What was supposed to be a nice hike among the redwoods turned into a sloppy, cold walk. I should have planned better. I even had a rain poncho in my suitcase for Grace (from a rainy evening at Magic Kingdom in May) but did I think about bringing it with me? No. Because it never rains in June.
We tried to make the best of it, buying ponchos at the gift shop and playing a game of jumping and hopping over the puddles. Grace, to her credit, was amazing. She went along without complaining even though her feet and pants were getting soaking wet! Unfortunately, we really couldn't enjoy the giant coastal redwoods at Muir Woods and we made it only to the second of four bridges before turning back. New, dry socks warmed Grace up and we headed to our next stop - Sonoma.
The drive to Sonoma reminded me of the Amalfi coast with twisting and turning narrow roads that the driver handled with ease. Our first stop was a beautiful vineyard specializing in Italian wines. The Jaccuzzi winery is owned by the family who invented hot tub jets. Yes, THAT Jaccuzzi.The entire place was designed like an Italian villa and was just beautiful!
We were treated to a tasting of 5-6 wines in a private tasting room and then visited their main tasting area. Grace and I wandered into their olive oil room where she was able to sample a few flavored oils. But, we ended up buying popcorn flavored with their pistacchio olive oil. Yum!
The remainder of our day included lunch and more wine tasting in the town of Sonoma and a visit to Cline Cellars which is owned by the same family as Jaccuzzi. But, the two wineries were worlds apart - the style, the wines, and the people. Grace and I spent most of our time here outside on the front porch swing and feeding the fish in the pond.
Later that night, after a nap for all of us, we wandered the streets and finished the day with delicious ice cream from Ghirardelli. Mmmmm. I could use some of that right now!