a day with friends in wine country

One of the things I miss about living in California, aside from our friends, is the amazing wine. Before moving there my experience of California wine, like most Brits was the rubbish mass produced Blossom Hill stuff that is the only type really exported here.

When we moved we hadn’t realised that the town we’d chosen was surrounded by wine. Bonus! We always took visitors to our favourite wineries for picnics and made our way through plenty of bottles. These were our favourites…

Savannah Channelle

Beauregard

Pichetti

Testarossa

A little further afield is the more famous wine country – Russian River, Napa and Sonoma. Just before moved back to England I had an amazing goodbye weekend in Sonoma with my friends. And when I relaised I’d have a day off in the middle of my recent cooking tour we plotted another trip.

I had a day off half way through the week and had an amazing day catching up with my old gang of friends. We started with a spin class at Cyclebar the perfect way to burn off some calories in anticipation of a day of eating and drinking. Then swiftly sorted out our energy levels with a box of pastries from my favourite bakery, Manresa Bread.

We took a car up to Sonoma, about 90 minutes north of Los Gatos, for a day of wine, food and non stop chat. Rather than hop between wineries we booked a table at my happy place Scribe Winery. The last time we’d visited we drank outdoors under a tree overlooking the vineyards and palm trees. This time the weather was a bit cooler so we had a table in the stunning newly renovated house on the property.

This place is an instagrammers dream – Heath ceramics, stunning interiors, an open kitchen and picture perfect plates of local snacks and salads to eat with the blinding wine.

Later in the day we went for an early dinner and cocktails at a Sonoma institution, The girl and the fig. Before we drove home, chatting all the way. It was the perfect day out and left me full of inspiration to cook.