Cruise Report: California Wine Country

This morning’s fog drifted serenely over the Sonoma Marshes. Fishermen cruised by slowly admiring our ship, National Geographic Sea Lion. Following breakfast we made our way to the town of Oxbow to visit their market. There we were enamored by the variety of spices, antiques, chocolates, and local olive oils, as well as interesting variety of fresh produce. Soon the sun burned off the clouds and we knew we would have the perfect kind of Napa Valley weather; light cool winds, warm sunshine, and comfortable temperatures.

As we drove through the gorgeous landscapes we noticed that the grape crops had been mostly harvested, leaving only a few late varietals. We also admired the olive, walnut, and sequoia trees.

Later, we ventured to the William Hill Winery, up the Napa Valley where we were greeted with magnificent Chardonnays and Merlots. We enjoyed one of the best views of the valley, and later sat down to a lesson and lunch on fine eating, given to us again, by Chef Gary Jenanyan. Excellent rib eye and Fresh Alaskan Halibut tantalized our palates. This experience was beyond expectations. Shortly thereafter, we visited a second winery, the Parraduxx, where we saw the installations and enjoyed the pristine red wines produced there. The floral planted arrangements attracted humming birds and other pollinators. Some chose to ride bikes through quiet trails of the valley vineyards. We were in awe of the peace, tranquility, and the magic of the Napa Valley.

Laura Prince, Wellness Specialist

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