Having made it back safe from a short trip to Florida, we lingered at Travis AFB for three more days to get ourselves stocked up, rested up, and wined up before moving to Norther California. We hit the base commissary and exchange of course, but also stumbled across a list of “military friendly vineyards and wine tasting rooms” in the Napa area. While we had previously hit half a dozen affordable places in the Suisun Valley, we had yet to go to the actual heart of wine country this year.
List in hand, I plotted a course that would take us to as many as we could handle, most offering free flights, or 2 for 1 specials at the very least. We made it to a grand total of two of them. The closest two. Because, if I am not making myself clear, they gave us so much wine.
First up was Black Stallion Vineyards, operating on a beautiful piece of land with fantastic buildings, formerly stables, as their tasting room and facility. They were very accommodating, and were not at all put off by the fact that their prices were pretty obviously out of our range. We had a great flight of five or six wines each before moving down the road a bit.
Next stop: Pine Ridge Vineyards, and what a gem this was. Our fantastic sommelier served us up five great wines ranging from $50 to $100 a bottle despite our rather clear indication that we would not be buying something that pricey. He gave us a great lesson in the nature of Napa Valley and why it produced such great and varied wine. He even brought out a special reserve vintage normally priced at $200 a bottle for us to try.
Our head was spinning for more than one reason by the time we walked out for some fresh air, resolved to skip all the other vineyards on our list and just get a bit to eat before calling it a day. We stopped at The Noodle House, a convenient and tasty Chinese place nearby for some egg rolls before heading back to base. All in all, I strongly recommend that any active, reserve, or retired military people get the latest list from Travis and make the rounds.
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