Hiking and wine tasting
Hiking and wine tasting on a budget in Napa Valley
After breakfast, we headed out to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park ($4 parking fee) and walked tonearby Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park ($3 each). Built in1846, the mill processed flour and cornmeal back in the valley’searly days. We had come full circle ― from the pinnacle offood preparation at the CIA to this 36-foot wheat-grindingwaterwheel.Our biggest indulgence of the weekend was lunch at Martini House in St. Helena. We’d read the buzz about thisPat Kuleto restaurant, and the place was just as gorgeous as we’dimagined, with a garden patio, woodsy Craftsman interior, and amassive driftwood chandelier. We sat downstairs, next to the bar,and ordered wine, soups, and a cheese plate to share. It was aleisurely, decadent meal for $52.26 ― a pretty penny to be sure, but a lot lessthan dinner here would have cost.
Our palates whetted, we headed out for an afternoon of free wine tasting. We started with white Zinfandel at Sutter Home Winery, and admired the garden as well. Then wejoined a group of tourists to sample Chardonnay at V. Sattui Winery. Finally, we savored a deliciously richNapa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon at Raymond Vineyard & Cellar, a small winery, using acoupon for a free tasting from the complimentary Wine Country This Week.