a morning walk in danville & a drive up the silverado trail

Tuesday, January 7:  This morning, Jayne has some work to attend to, along with a dental appointment.  While she’s taking care of business, I take a nice long walk along the Iron Horse Trail, where a friendly sign welcomes me to Danville.

Welcome to Danville
Welcome to Danville

I pass by the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, which has this Southern Pacific “radio-equipped” train outside.  It reminds me of the Washington & Old Dominion trail in Vienna, Virginia, even down to the old train station and the train.

Train at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley
Train at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley
Southern Pacific at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley
Southern Pacific at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley

Once Jayne returns home, we head out to Napa Valley, over an hour away, where we intend to stop at a number of wineries.  As we get on the scenic Silverado Trail, I say, “I can’t wait to eat something at one of the wineries. I’m starved.”

Jayne says, “There’s no food at the wineries.”

I say, “What?  Every time I’ve stopped at a Virginia winery, I’ve gotten food.”

She says, “Well, none of the California wineries have food.”

Oh.  I tell her I’m hungry and she agrees we should probably grab a bite somewhere, possibly in Yountville.  Close to 2:30, we stop for lunch and a glass of wine at the Pacific Blues Cafe. Feeling pretty good, we get in the car in search of our first winery.  By this time it’s about 3:30.

I take a picture of this brown vineyard in Yountville before we leave the town.

fallow vineyards in Napa
fallow vineyards in Napa

We go in search of a winery with a view, looping back over the same part of the Silverado Trail that we already traversed.  We can’t seem to find the ones we pointed out on the way in.  Finally, we stop at one that seems to be perched on a small hill.  It’s quite beautiful but also nearly empty, and when we ask the price for a flight the woman tells us it’s $35.

$35??? For a wine tasting?  We leave, in search of a $15-20 flight.

one vineyard with $35 flights
one vineyard with $35 flights

We pull of the road at several other wineries that seem promising, but by now it’s 4:00, and the signs tell us the wineries close at 4:00 or 4:30.

In one last attempt we drive through a sprawling vineyard to this winery, only to find this sign.

Winery Closed
Winery Closed
purple cabbage plants
purple cabbage plants

I take one parting shot of the vineyard belonging to this closed winery, as the sun sets on our wine-tasting plans.

Napa Valley
Napa Valley

We drive the long drive back to Danville, after sitting in a traffic jam for a half hour. Back at Jayne’s, we meet her boyfriend Claude and take off to see the movie Inside Llewyn Davis, at a movie theater where you can buy beer and take it in to the theater.

So much for our winery expedition.  I was hoping for an experience like the movie Sideways.  Well, not quite.  But at least something approaching it. 🙂

20 thoughts on “a morning walk in danville & a drive up the silverado trail

  1. No food at a winery? Wow, that sounds weird to me, too. Sorry you didn’t have more luck. And those are some seriously steep prices. Better luck next time. By the way, I loved Sideways, as well.

    Hugs from Ecuador (where the wine is more affordable),

    1. That seemed weird to me too! I envisioned kind of a wild, fun day, much like Sideways, but it didn’t quite work out that way! Oh well, it’s probably for the best. 🙂

      I just bought a guidebook for Ecuador, inspired by your blog! I’m dreaming, but who knows when I’ll get there. 🙂

  2. What a great trip. I’ve been to Danville, but not the one you visit. I like yours better.

    Sent from Windows Mail

    1. There are probably a lot of Danvilles, Eileen. I know there’s one in Virginia too. We also have a Monterey, like California’s. 🙂 It was a shame we really didn’t get the winery experience I was envisioning. I guess that’s why it’s good to travel with no preconceived notions. 🙂

      1. I was there in June 2001 and it was perfect ! Toured many wineries and tok the Wine Train ! Such fun!

  3. $35 doesn’t seem too steep to me, but then I am mystified as to what a ‘flight’ is 😉
    I did a wine tour from SF some years ago and we visited several wineries in the Sonoma region, We stopped for lunch in Sonoma itself, but I do recall a lovely food hall at Viansa. I’d love to go on that wine trail train they have in the Nappa Valley.

    1. Haha, I guess that tells where we come from Jude. I think in the UK, $35 doesn’t seem like much at all. I’ve heard everything is outrageously expensive there. I was shocked by prices when I returned to the US from Oman.

      I wish I had had a couple of days to spend in wine country, but I think it would be lovelier in spring or fall.

      1. Spring would be lovely there, I also visited in winter. Maybe you should go to the wine region in South Africa – prices are very reasonable there (once you get there of course), wine, food, accommodation… sigh…!

  4. Sounds a bit like our port-tasting expedition in Porto, Cathy. Our wine lodge of choice was at the top of a very steep hill (lovely views!). We got there at 6, minutes after they’d called time! I grovelled but they wouldn’t let us in. 🙂 Ah well- you did have a glass of wine and some grub!
    That expensive place does look pretty!

    1. Yes, it was quite pretty, but also kind of cavernous, empty and cold inside. It just didn’t seem like a warm cozy place where I’d like to spend $35 for a flight! So you’ve had a similar experience. Frustrating, huh? We did enjoy our lunch and wine though! 🙂

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