These knarly Zinfandel vines, planted in 1924, grow outside Wellington Vineyards and Winery's tasting room, part of their 21-acre estate vineyard that includes 24 different varieties. Of particular interest in the tasting room is their bold 2008 Noir de Noirs, Old Vines—a deep, dark blend of Alicante Bouschet, Lenoir, Grand Noir, and Petite Bouschet (some of these rare varietals are estate-grown).
Excellent wine—and food—replenish the soul. Our last dinner found us in St. Helena, at Tra Vigne Restaurant, an establishment Julia Child used to frequent. Their appetizer, seasonal fritto misto, delivered a fried assortment of gulf prawns, calamari, artichokes and a first for both of us—fried lemons. Thinly sliced, breaded, deep fried and served with chile aioli, this tangy new discovery caught our attention and we looked forward to choosing our entrees.
Our friendly waiter helped us settle on two choices that proved excellent. For me, sage infused papardelle with braised rabbit ragu and wild mushrooms. My friend chose smoked and braised beef short ribs with three cheese polenta and horseradish gremolata. Both were amazing—my dish proved one of the best pasta dishes either of us had ever enjoyed.
And the wine?
After two days of tasting in Napa, a trunk full of bottles purchased, and an excellent wine list at Tra Vigne, we settled on the obvious: we brought a favorite bottle from San Luis Obispo County with us.
Claiborne and Churchill Vintner's 2007 Pinot Noir, Edna Valley AVA
A satisfying SLO taste from home...at the end of an indulgent Napa weekend.
All Text and Photos Copyright © 2010 by Elizabeth in SLO. All Rights Reserved.