Buckingham – they leave me with Kevin and Salsa and go north to Napa Valley, wine tasting for the day. Salsa and I make sort of a peace and occupy different parts of the house.
Meanwhile in wine country they hit their first winery just before noon and are taken on a behind the scenes tour of Provenance by Shaun, the visitor centre manager. Provenance are about to experiment with cement vats instead of steel from France (so they must be good) and this innovation is apparently the latest thing to hit the valley. They buy a couple of bottles of Malbec from the buy and retreat to the Rutherford Grill for lunch. The it’s off to the Reserve room of BV to sample the clone wines that go into making the top of the range George de Latour.
Up the hill to Artesa, a favourite spot as the views are great and the winery is buried in the hill. However the wines don’t match the vistas and it is all too much for Rex. The tastings are rounded off with bubbles at Domaine Caneros, one of the few places that serve full glasses and stay open until 5.45pm.
Being the non drinker Lisa has been driving the other 3 sippers around all day so they make their way through the Napa rush hour to join Mark and Cheryl Laven, old friends and colleagues from Canada, for dinner at the latest Thai restaurant in town. Mark L brings a fine selection of wines which they all endeavour to make an impression in.
Full, (in more ways than one) they leave for the 2 hour drive home. The GPS having failed, Janie provides directions home (time to get a new toy perhaps).