Wine Country and San Fran Trip: Monday – Day 4

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have nice upcoming weekend plans. How is it already August???


Monday was our first completely relaxed day of our vacation. While we did have things planned, of course, we just weren’t rushing off to places or arriving a few minutes late. As fun as the last couple days were, I think we were certainly in need of a slower-paced day.

My morning began with my right heel really hurting from the race. I definitely had to limp for a few hours in the morning, but soon the pain eased up a bit. Christina educated me on something that would completely alter my managing of my plantar fasciitis in my feet – using a lacrosse ball! Until now I was either using a tennis ball or golf ball which was okay, but didn’t really do the trick. The lacrosse ball was a little piece of heaven to my feet since Christina let me use her ball to massage my feet throughout the entire trip. I also found that the ball was a good travel replacement for a foam roller. The things you learn!

Anyway after we all had showered, packed up our suitcases, and checked out of the hotel we were on our way to breakfast at Grace’s Table, a cute restaurant in downtown Napa. We had a nice leisurely breakfast talking and catching up. Since it was such a nice morning our waitress opened up the glass partition in front of the restaurant so our table was actually spilling onto the sidewalk.

Grace's Table

After breakfast we moseyed on to our last winery of our trip, Palmaz Vineyards, or as I like to call it the “big enchilada” or “grand finale”. The property and grounds were just stunning – there are no other words to describe it and the pictures do not do the winery justice at all. All of us were in awe – and promptly joined their wine club after our delicious wine tasting!


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Palmaz is now owned by Julio Palmaz, inventor of the stent, and his family. His wife Amalia had always wanted to own a vineyard and so they purchased the property and have been in the wine-making business ever since!

In addition to the acres and acres of beauty at Palmaz, the winery is also known for it’s technology- progressive state-of-the-art facilities where the wine is made. It is noted for having the largest wine cave in Napa Valley, totaling 100,00 square feet. I will leave it to Wikipedia to explain it further:

Palmaz Vineyards’ winemaking and aging takes place within the living rock of Mount George, in a flawlessly engineered maze of tunnels and lofty domes. The height of the wine cave is equivalent to an 18-storey building, providing the vertical range needed for true gravity-flow winemaking. Thus, the wine is never subjected to the violent agitation of pumping, which can change the wine’s intra-molecular structure. This gentle treatment allows the finest nuances of flavor to develop naturally—the result is a complex, elegant wine.

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A mosaic collage of the inventor and winemaker:

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My lovely wine tasting table setting.

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I decided to join the wine club for several reasons: 1) the wine is really, really good. 2) I liked that it was run by a family and not run like a corporation. 3) Who wouldn’t want to come enjoy the grounds of the winery (members can visit and hang out at the winery whenever they want). 4) The wine club started only 2 years ago so it’s still a really intimate and exclusive and it’s exciting to be part of something that is new and evolving. 5) The parties the winery hosts for it’s members: including a paella party with wine and an Argentinian style BBQ  featuring the release of their Brasas Cabernet Malbec and the Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Yes please!!!

After about 3 hours (the tour and wine tasting took 2 hours in and of itself and then we just hung around and asked questions that our amazing tour guide was only happy to answer) we were back in the car heading to San Francisco. Tiffany was flying back to New York City that afternoon, while Christina, Allison and I were going to check into our hotel there. Allison was flying back to D.C. on the red eye so she was going to hang out with Christina and me for a bit before heading to dinner with a friend that lived in San Francisco.

The rest of our afternoon was similar to our morning. Chill and relaxed. Christina, Allison and I ate ramen for lunch at Katana-ya, a small ramen restaurant in Union Square that Allison’s friend recommended. So good!

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And then we just wandered around Union Square shopping before we headed back to our hotel to rest for a bit before heading to our respective dinners.

I did run into this adorable red-nosed pittie pup in a Starbucks. Meet Luna!

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Later that evening, Christina and I were on the move again! We were heading to “the Mission” to eat dinner at Flour + Water. Another colleague of mine had highly suggested it. As you can most likely predict, it didn’t disappoint!

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Christina and I loved the interior decor and setting of the restaurant – cozy, modern, simple. It definitely gave the vibe of “neighborhood gem”.

We both began with salads that we let each other sample. I got the grilled stone fruit with herbed ricotta, salsa verde, purslane & pistachio (picture below) while Christina got the heirloom tomato panzanella with mozzarella di bufala & basil (not pictured).

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Rocked my world.

We then split a pizza, the zucca – summer squash, mozzarella di bufala, salmoriglio & squash blossom.

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The entire meal so hit the spot!

Then it was back to the hotel for bedtime. We had to wake up early the next day to go to Alcatraz Island!



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