Spring is here in the Napa Valley, the sun is warm, and many of the vines are alive with recent bud break. It is a very enjoyable time to travel to the Napa Valley. Not only does spring bring tourists to the Valley but other creatures as well. We had just finished tasting some delicious Buehler wines and were on our way to the terrace to enjoy a picnic lunch. There it was basking in the beautiful sunshine, a rather long and ominous looking rattlesnake. John Page Buehler was the first to alert us and then quickly raced into the tasting room and returned with a shovel. Page with his handy long shovel was able to corral the snake and move it away from the picnic area. What a man!
Other than the rattlesnake incident, Buehler is a wonderful place to visit. It is far off the beaten path and open by appointment only, so visitors get a lot of attention at Buehler. The wines are all well made and when you consider the high cost of Napa valley wines, the Buehler wines perhaps give the biggest bang for the buck. The Buehler Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Napa Valley Cabernet won’t break your pocket book, while delivering delicious and full-flavored wines. We are not the only ones to think so; Buehler seems to always pull off a best value award or 90-point rating from Wine Spectator and others. It is a beautiful trip up to the winery and the views are stunning. Bud break had occurred about a week before our arrival and the vineyards looked young and vibrant.
Brannan’s – Free Corkage on Wednesday Night
The owners of Brannan’s restaurant have a special on Wednesday nights offering free corkage and a three-course meal for the price of one course. Brannan’s also owns Checkers, Flatiron Grill, and Borolo in Calistoga. The same special applies for those restaurants on different nights of the week. Free corkage is always a very nice idea. See the Website for complete details.
Name change for Taylor’s Refresher Creates Controversy
Taylor’s Automatic Refresher changed its name on Thursday, March 27, to Gott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet at its three locations. The next day, the two granddaughters of the original owner, Lloyd Taylor, were furious at the name change stating they had been promised the name would not be changed when they leased the property to the Gott brothers long ago. Nevertheless on that Thursday, even under raining skies, there were long lines and parking space arguments at the St. Helena location.
Robert Sinskey — Drops Picnic Area
One of the most beautiful and enjoyable winery picnic spots will no longer be available to visitors to the Robert Sinskey Winery. It’s now designated for use for wine club members only. The reason, and one we have heard from other wineries about their picnics spots, is shameful abuse by picnickers. They bring in their own wine, do not clean up after themselves, or are too loud and offensive to other picnickers. We love this spot and are sad to see it go by the wayside.