Thursday, September 30, 2010

Goin' Back To Cali

I love a little old school LL Cool J, "Goin' back to Cali, stylin', profilin'...". We worked as hard as we could to be "stylin" in our rented 12-passenger van as we checked into the Avia Hotel in downtown Napa. The Avia is a new boutique hotel on First Street that is within walking distance to great restaurants, bars and tasting rooms.

I don't know if it is inherent because I am a woman but I care about the small things. Like the cozy bed with fluffy down blankets and the fireplace at my feet that lit with the flip of a switch. I loved the big bathroom with lots of counter space and the random tub in the middle of the room with a tray of bath products.....aaaaaahhhhh.

Enough daydreaming, lets get back to the business at hand; WINE! I mentioned there was a tasting room within walking distance to the hotel, Ceja. The Ceja family came to the US from Mexico in the 60's to pursue their winemaking dreams. They now own 113 acres and produce wine that has earned them various titles including "Hottest Small Brand of 2007".

A typical tasting is $10 for four pours. We enjoyed: a 2007 Sauvignon Blanc that was full of guava, papaya and lychee; a 2007 vino de Casa which was a delicious blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, full and balanced with ripe plums; a 2007 Pinot Noir that had layers of menthol and dried fruit; a 2006 Sonoma Syrah that exploded with pepper and blackberries, a comfort food wine. Only 575 cases were produced and we bought one of them.

The wines we tasted ranged in price from $20-$40 and all were well worth it! However, it's really hard to find Ceja in Florida. Sorry for the tease. Join the wine club.

The tasting room also offers gourmet foods, cozy seating and engaging art work. In addition Ceja hosts a Salsa night at the neighboring Bistro Sabor on Saturdays. Very cool place to visit.

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