day two in napa

Exercise was essential as we were pretty sure the ridiculous consumption of food and alcohol was in our future.  We went out for a walk before the days activities.  It is so damn beautiful here.  This is the vineyard we are basically staying in.  They are in the height of picking right now.

Carslinedupfor picking honda
This is all the cars of the farm workers.  For some reason they all have the same Honda.  Probably because they last for easily 150,000 miles.

Quite an aloe plant.

We wandered down a street and into a local artists gallery.  Barbara Nechis at D'Anneo vineyards.  This is her working area.

One of her pieces.

This guy was hanging out around the corner.

Peter and ryan
Our afternoon activity was amazing.  We went on the Secret Garden Tour.  This is Ryan Hill and his godfather Peter Jacobsen.  Peter and his wife Gwenny run a small organic farm that provides many of the vegetables and herbs for French Laundry, Bouchon and others.  Ryan is the part of the Hill family who has been in Yountville for four generations growing applies, cherries and prunes and now grapes where they produce their own wines. Peter is a dentist during the week in SF with his wife and works the farm on the weekends.  Both Ryan and Peter were just wonderful people opening up their lives to us it was obvious how much they love what they do. 

The farm is small, unique and just incredible.  Here are some figs just sitting out on the table.

This fig tree produces 1000 lbs of figs a year.

These are some onions and shallots that were picked to put away for the winter.

This was the coolest part.  We ate small blossoms of certain plants that would create the most powerful punch in your mouth.  Ryan gave all of us a completely different appreciation for places like French Laundry.  In my hand here are 3 different parts of a rosemary plant.  The first is a flower which has one taste, the holder of the flower which actually had the most intense delicious rosemary taste and the last being the piece of rosemary we are all used to.  That was the least interesting flavor of the group yet to harvest a small flower or holder is no easy task and is expensive to do.

Here is one small piece of the farm.


After walking the farm we had an apple and fig flight tasting different varieties.  This is a small slice of apple and on top are two small seeds that tasted like strong anise.  Quite amazing. 

More figs.  I just love figs.

I believe these are called cherry husks.

After the farm we had a wine tasting in a nearby hotel from the Hill Family vineyards.

Cheese withwines
The cheese plate certainly changed the taste of each wine.

A happy bday treat at the end…and the celebration continues. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Diane

    I love your posts! 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal


  2. Rohan

    sweet 🙂

  3. Nancy Duley

    What a thrill to see you post about the Secret Garden tour! And lunch at Bardessono, too. I live in Napa and I get so excited when other people see the parts of this place that I love so much. 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      An incredible community

  4. Nancy Duley

    Happy Birthday, too!

  5. Debbie

    You know those cars belonged to migrant farm workers, right? 

    1. Gotham Gal


  6. CCjudy

    How marvelous and some of those photos like the bird are really good. Enjoy J

  7. Janet Hanson

    Mouth watering!!!!