Sunday, July 11, 2010
Met at Delius Restaurant in Signal Hill for a champagne breakfast before embarking on our annual bus trip.
This trip went without any problems. We could not have had better weather or traffic today.
Our first stop was Brander Winery which is known for the Sauvignon Blancs. They make about 6 of them but my favorite is called "Natalie" which is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Reisling and Pinot Gris. This was a great stop and the personnel seemed genuinely happy too see us. Too may places cringe because we are a group of 35 and even when we have reservations some people seem to put out because they have to handle our group. I guess they don't like to work much.
Our next stop was Alma Rosa which is owned by Richard Sanford. When Dave at Delius told me the bus was going to Alma Rosa I questioned him because I know how narrow the drive is. He confirmed with Richard Sanford that the bus would be able to come in. WRONG. The bus got as far as the start of the tasting area and had to stop. It could not get past the buildings and had to back up. One of the employees told us that they had a bus flip over once trying to get in. So we disembarked and walk the short distance. The bus then back down the road and somehow our diver Melvin managed to get it turned around. But we did have to walk part way down the road to board the bus when we were finished.
This was our lunch stop and we had a nice array of food supplied by Delius Restaurant. We had our tasting while having lunch which made it really nice. My only complaint was that they had the picnic tables with the attached benches. I and several other could not swing our legs over to get into the table. Luckily I sat on an end but some people had to sit with their backs to the tables and hold their plates in order to eat.
Our last stop was a tasting room in the town of Buellton. Casa Cassandra. I had seen this place before but had never stopped in. Now I know why. The wines just were not good at all. But they did have great olive oil and balsamic vinegars. I did purchase a bottle of "Vanilla" Balsamic. Great for dipping bread.
We had no traffic to speak of on the way home and we returned to Delius in record time. In all the trips I have done with Delius I have never returned so early. It was before 8:00 and it was still daylight.
After last years "Mr. Toads Wild Ride" this was so refreshing. Everyone did a great job today and it was one of the least stressful trips I have done. Looking forward to next year.