2012 Wine Country Trip - Day 5 Already?

I can't believe today was our last day here in the wine country.  We've had an amazing time, met some incredible people, eaten great food and even better wine.  Today was no exception to the rest of the trip.

I was looking forward to this morning's breakfast since I made the reservation weeks ago.  Today we had breakfast at Worth Our Weight (WOW) in Santa Rosa.  WOW gives people in their teens and early twenties, who have faced major challenges in their lives, including foster care, difficulties with the law, homelessness, and significant family disruption, a place to work and learn.  They receive tuition-free culinary and food service training.  They learn about sustainable farming, professional cooking, and have access to high-quality food prepared by chefs and food service professionals all under the leadership of Executive Director Evelyn Cheatham.  Dave and I try to eat here each time we visit this area.  I really wanted to come this time since seeing Evelyn Cheatham on Chopped!

Breakfast starts with a sampling of sweets and fruit.  The breads this time were a cranberry scone, mini cinnamon roll and a bread pudding.

We had a hard time deciding what to have for breakfast.  I decided on polenta with chicken apple sausage and Dave had a waffle.  Both were excellent!  My polenta was crispy on the outside, creamy in the middle and had great corn flavor.

After breakfast we were served a few little sweets, a homemade biscotti, a chocolate cookie and white chocolate with dried cranberries.  The biscotti was my favorite!

There are no prices on the menu at WOW.  You pay what you think the food and service is worth.

While we were eating I noticed Evelyn was there.  After we were done eating I asked the greater if Eveyln would be willing to come out for a picture.  She was!  She is so sweet!  She does amazing work at WOW and chatted with us even during the busy Saturday morning service.

She told us that her visit to the Chopped kitchen was a process that took over two years!  The producers came out to visit and interview her several times before she was on the show.  We also learned that the producers mess with the contestants in the first round.  She said you can't find anything in the kitchen.  They play tricks on you and if you make it through the first round you learn the tricks so things get easier.  Unfortunately she was "chopped" in the first round.  She was ok with that though.  She said she just wanted to get out of there!  And she got great exposure for Worth Our Weight so it was all worth it in the end.

After breakfast we shipped out some wine that had been collecting in our room.  We were going to try checking it on the plane but that would have been an extra bag charge and we would have to haul it all over so we just shipped it from the hotel!

Then it was off to Amista in Healdsburg.  The sister-in-law of a very good friend of mine worked in the tasting room and offered to give us a private tasting.  Who could say no to that?

Check out the special greeting in the tasting room!

Cindy let us not only taste each variety, but several years of some of the wines.  They were all very good but Dave and I really liked the Rock Pile Cabernet so that went home with us!

I have to point out that this is the only winery we've been to (and we've been to a few, and I check at all of them) that has purse hooks in the tasting room!

We also met this sweet puppy!  Her name was Shasha (I have no idea how to spell it but it was pronounced shay-shay).  She was so sweet.  If only Cabby would be so calm!

Thanks to Cindy for a great tasting!

Before we left Cindy suggested we go to Raymond Burr "just up the road."  Raymond Burr was just up the very windy, very narrow (one car width in places), bicyclist filled road.  It was a beautiful drive and more than once we wondered if we had passed it!

Walking into the tasting room was like walking into the past.  It was tiny, and felt like an old trailer.  It was filled with Raymond Burr memorabilia, including his awards!

This little kitty was so cute!  She really liked us.  I'm not sure why cats love me so much when I am so terribly allergic to them.  I had a hard time not petting this one!

The grounds, like just about everywhere here were beautiful.

Cindy thought we might like the cabernet franc at Raymond Burr but it was the plain old cabernet that we loved.

By now it was after 3pm and we were getting hungry.  We asked for suggestions in the Raymond Burr tasting room and decided that The Wurst Restaurant in Healdsburg sounded good.

They had a "Greenbay Brat" which was spelled just like that, one word, and a Sheboygan brat which they actually pronounced correctly!  I wonder if one of the owners was from Wisconsin?

I couldn't pass up the Greenbay Brat.  Dave had a burger.  Both were delicious no matter how they were spelled.

We spent some time wandering around the Healdsburg square then stopped at Seghesio for a split of zinfandel for this evening.

Back at the hotel we got packed up and ready to head to San Francisco for the day tomorrow.  We relaxed and watched a couple of movies.  A nice ending to a great week.

Tomorrow... Alcatraz!

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