After Christina, Allison, and I had stretched our sore muscles out a bit (my feet were still hurting), showered, and changed the four of us were happily in our rental car along with our driver for the day, Deborah! Christina and I had used Deborah last year and loved her so much we decided to utilize her services again. In a nutshell Deborah has a business where she drives people’s rental cars around wine country so they don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. Genius!
You might remember from my Matanzas post last year that I just loved how much lavender is grown at the winery, and thus incorporated into a lot of things to enjoy – soap, oil, body washes, olive oil, etc). While we were still able to enjoy some of the lavender on the grounds (clearly from the picture below) we did notice that a lot of it had already been cut and trimmed down to our disappointment.
Since Christina and I were wine club members we were able to schedule a complimentary private tasting for the four of us. We soon realized that are stomachs were already grumbling so we decided to pay a little extra for food pairings with our tasting. Best decision ever. Our tasting was on the lovely patio looking out towards the vineyard.
I have said it once and I will say it again, Matanzas really does make delicious wine!
Soon we had to say good-bye to Matanzas and were saying hello to Hall Winery. Unlike Kelly Fleming and Matanzas, Hall was more on the modern side of a winery, but still different from Raymond. I would describe the winery as sleek, clean, and artsy – particularly because the winery could have also doubled as an art museum as there were tons of interesting sculptures, paints, and murals throughout the property.
None of us realized how big and beautiful Hall’s property was until we started walking around. While we sipped on a welcome pinot griggio our tour guide led us on a tour through the property, along with another couple we met there.
First we started inside:
Then we were led outside to wander around. So pretty and unique!
Then back inside we were shown Hall’s facilities where their wine is made, which was then followed by our tasting in a nice big sunny room.
I ended up buying two bottles of their dessert wine we tasted. Soooo delicous and not too sweet which is not common for dessert wines.
I will go ahead and say it, though it saddens me to. I was really disappointed with our dinner at Bottega. This was one of Christina and my most favorite restaurants we went to last year out of our entire trip and decidedly made it a point to suggest that we come here for dinner again this year because Allison and Tiffany would be in for such a treat and great experience. We got an experience all right, just not a good one.
The food was okay. The fries with Parmesan sauce were still incredibly tasty, but everything else we ordered was just okay. The kicker was our server. Very rude and inattentive. I will just leave it at that, but I did write a less than stellar review on Opentable about our meal, which is something I have never done before. Unfortunately I do not think we’ll be coming back to this restaurant on our next visits to wine country.
After dinner while we had high hopes of sampling some amazing cocktails at The Thomas a colleague of mine had highly recommended we were so beat from our busy day we headed back to the hotel!