Friday night I check the weather for Saturday. Ohh, what do you know, the rain clouds were supposedly going to transform into cloud clouds, or clouds that dont soak through my non waterproof gloves/boots. Looks like a good a reason as any to head up to Napa. The alarm goes off at 0545, by the time I convince myself I really want to be out this early its 0600, on the road by 0620 my first stop will be the Bouchon Bakery in Yountville. For only one arm (no leg required!) you too can have a squished ham and cheese croissant with a large coffee (they left out that heated = panini). I was a bit late to see the hot air baloon launches so that was a bummer. From there I got bored and needed to kill time before wineries opened so I headed up to Lower Lake. Alas I did not see their stone jail or whatever the historical stone building was. First stop down south was the quaint little spa town of Calistoga. They had all sorts of signage for some kind of outlaw racing (which even though it was on a track took up a chunk of the "downtown" parking") I headed back to Napa My next stop was the CIA (no not the one that would work with James Bond or Jason Bourne). That'd be the Culinary Institute of America. One of these days, I will eat here (hopefully pick up a class or dozen too). In the parking lot of the CIA I got to play "Guess what the license plate means" We are Porn?? Also That must be the Fog City Dumpster (er Diner)...thank you Phil Frank... From there I stopped at the Beringer Estate for my one wee taste of the day as well as to purchase some botrytised wine (Nightengale) that I had the pleasure of imbibing at a winemakers dinner a few weeks ago. Their Cab Sav was surprising mellow and balanced (yes, it was a wee sip from a wee pour, drinking and riding are two passions I don't mix). From there I wandered down the road to an Euro/American joint venture between the Mondavis and Rothchilds, Opus One. The place for some reason has always reminded me of a mausoleum. From there I went down 29 a bit more and use the Oakville cross to hit the Silverado Trail (get their early otherwise you will be stuck behind some self absorbed twit who thinks that 55 = 35 and that pullouts are for everyone else) I went to the Darioush Winery (never actually been in before since on previous trips I was too early.) Next time maybe Ill sample their wares, but the look has always intrigued me. Indoor waterfall Cellar? Super happy fun time party room? Maybe next time Ill be invited in. The fireplace support looks almost Sumerian Anyone recognize the writing (and what is says?) is it Persian? Looking out from the tasting room The twin horses atop the columns Close up of one side of the column topper Aside from not being able to taste much, I had a really nice ride (ok, NB: the twit in the jeep whatever that couldnt use a pull out and did 20 below on a curvy mountain road can bite my shiny metal...) Oh and sadly, many bugs gave their lives to this very brief RR.