Wine Country, USA

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

I’ve come to California’s wine country for a girl’s trip to celebrate a sentinel birthday (I will never say which one).  After meeting in San Francisco, we’ve rented a car and headed to the wine region.

The weather is perfect and we have decided to launch our food, wine and shopping journey with a tasting dinner at the St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in nearby Santa Rosa. And, OMG, what a wonderful way to begin.

Fourth course: NY Strip Loin

Fourth course: NY Strip Loin

Second course: Red Wine Braised Duck

Second course: Red Wine Braised Duck

We arrived just in the nick of time (they keep to tight schedules here), tired and hungry. The food and the wine pairings were absolutely wonderful. We started the meal with Arctic Char à la Barigoule (with a celery root – Yukon Gold potato purée), paired with a Chardonnay.  Next was a Red Wine Braised Duck with coriander spätzle along with a really nice Pinot Noir, and a Smoked Beet Salad with goat cheese fondant and green garlic purée along with a different red.  Our main course was a Coffee & Cocoa Crusted NY Strip Loin with roasted cauliflower, smoked garlic and crispy shallots, set off with a terrific Cabernet Sauvignon.  For dessert, an incredible cheese selection (almost like a cheesecake) was served with a Mexican Chocolate Pot du Crème and a Port.

The meal was perfectly portioned and exquisitely prepared and served.  It was heaven.

Refreshed and pretty mellow, we headed to Sonoma and the historic bungalow we had rented for a few days. This turned out to be a case where the photos looked great and the actual bungalow even better.  The two-bedroom, mission-style home is just a couple of blocks off the town plaza and has been beautifully restored and outfitted.  Bikes included.

We settled in, walked to the center of town and around the square, taking in the historic sites, mission-style, beautiful park and even the first Williams-Sonoma. Although It’s hard to believe we could eat more, we eventually stopped in at Oso (a new restaurant we’d heard about from our new friends at St. Francis), and shared a few delicious appetizers before calling it a night.

If you go:

You will need reservations for the dinner and wine pairing. $60 pp.  Each seating has a maximum of 16 guests.

Oso, 9 E Napa Street,

Patio at St. Francis Winery.

Patio at St. Francis Winery.


About KFBuchsbaum

A lover of words, learning something new every day, exploring new places, and meeting people from different cultures is what feeds my spirit. One significant thing I learned from my years in market research is that time away from an experience dilutes the memories.  You lose the highs and lows and end up with middle-of-the-road impressions.  The reason I started to blog, was to capture experiences real-time, in the moment.  I hope my moments help you relive some of your own great adventures or maybe plan some new.

Posted on April 28, 2015, in California, USA and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Enjoy! Weather looks wonderful!


  2. Happy Birthday, Karen ! Love from Susan Baxa


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