Maybe I should have realized things were going to go south.
It all started innocently enough. We had planned a trip to Northern California, meticulously researching wineries, hotels and restaurants in Sonoma County, San Francisco and the Monterey Peninsula that we wanted to write about for Eve’s Wine 101 readers.
Things got thrown a little askew initially when something good happened – we got invited to attend a tasting party at the Napa home of one of our favorite winemakers – Abe Schoener of The Scholium Project, whose 4-part story you had the pleasure of reading on our site just recently.
As the party was the day before our planned trip, it was an easy decision to head up to Nor Cal a day early.
At some point, we realized we had missed the email that the party had been canceled due to harvest considerations. No problem, we were still in Nor Cal a day early, specifically in Napa.
The only problem was it was a busy Sunday evening and we did not have dinner reservations anywhere. After driving through downtown Napa and seeing lines outside of every restaurant we had an interest in, we decided our best approach would be to head over to the Oxbow Public Market, which is home to a variety of eating and drinking places. It was also busy there and by that point, we were really looking for somewhere to sit down and be taken care of.
Sharing the parking lot with Oxbow is the CIA at Copia.
The Copia property has an interesting history. Founded in 2001 as a wine and food educational project between Robert and Margrit Mondavi and other notables such as Julia Child, it closed in 2008. The Culinary Institute of America acquired the property in 2015 as a home for its Food Business School. They also offer classes, winetasting and other experiences, as well as having a restaurant.
We’ve dined at the CIA at Greystone before and have had marvelous meals there. Assuming that this place was similar, we weren’t sure we wanted something that upscale, nor were we particularly dressed for it. I said: “Let’s just check it out. We don’t have to stay.”
I was glad we did. The dining room was comfortably casual and the menu was reasonably priced. The food was delicious and service was excellent. My hanger steak was cooked perfectly [rare, just as I like it]. The restaurant wasn’t very busy and I think it doesn’t get nearly enough attention.
We had a wonderful dinner and I thought that the week was starting off great.
The next day we headed to Santa Rosa to begin the main part of the trip we had planned. Since we had essentially arrived a day earlier than planned for our winery appointments, Karen suggested visiting the Armstrong Redwoods for some enjoyment of nature. Well, some tangled roots and a day in the ER left Karen with the diagnosis of a fractured knee and that was pretty much “all she wrote”.
To be continued…
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com