Paul had Wednesday off. We had an itch for a day trip. What to do? What to do? We could go on a hike. But where? It was still hot inland but I didn't feel like freezing windy beach weather. I knew where to go! Bothe- Napa Valley State Park! I had read about a hike there that was well shaded in a redwood forest by a creek. Score! So I checked the map and wouldn't you know it- right off Highway 29 in the midst of wineries. Double score! Who in their right mind would take two toddlers to a winery? Well I would but I have never claimed to be in my right mind. A little bit more research and I came across this gem of a winery only a couple miles up the road from the park- Sterling Vineyards.
I wouldn't say wine tasting is really ever centered around keeping little ones entertained. After all, its an adult activity and most people on vacation in Napa aren't there for some family fun. However some of us don't get the pleasure of vacationing without children so we have to make the best of the situation. Sterling Vineyards is a great winery to bring the kids to because 1) they have an aerial tram that takes you to the top of the hill where the tasting rooms are located 2) There is a self-guided tour that gives a great glimpse on the whole wine making process and forces the kids to learn a little something 3) There are many great terraces with views galore so the kids have something neat to look at while enjoying the fresh air 4) They give the kids Capri Sun, crayons, and picture to color so you can actually linger instead of chugging your wine. All of this is available for the low, low price of $20 per adult ($15 with a coupon from the website if you go before 12:30 like we did ), $10 for 3-21 and free for under 3. The over 21 crowd will get to taste 5 different wines including reserve wines on their tour so I would say that is a pretty good deal in a not so inexpensive place like Napa Valley. I particularly loved this spot because of the view and the exceptionally picturesque location between Saint Helena and Calistoga. The kids enjoyed themselves on the tram and we all enjoyed the view on our way to the top.
Here is me trying to look like a real live adult
And Ben learning about the finer points of the fermentation process.
Look at the size of the barrels in this shot. Just think of all that glorious wine...
And here is my ill fated attempt of me getting a shot with my two little ones
Ughh.. one of these days I will get my shot with the kids... Oh well we got a good family shot.
One shot I wish I did get was when Ben decided to test the floating capabilities of the cork the nice employee gave him by throwing it in the toilet right before Mommy sat down. Yep- floats wonderfully.
Here are some more shots from the winery including Mari enjoying the flowers, an amazing view, Ben's bump from a run in with the tasting table, tasty treats for the kids, and grapevines galore.
Well this post has gotten plenty long so I think I will make it a two parter and save my lowdown on the park for tomorrow. I also think that since I gave Sterling such a stellar review they should send some wine over my way. I was digging that reserve chardonnay Mr. Sterling. Come one, throw me a bone!