Opus One. I made it to my mental halfway point. I was still behind my optimal schedule, so I had to make it quick.
I sprinted into the main reception area and was greeted by a friendly employee. She asked if I was here for a tour, and in a slightly winded response, I said, "Actually, I'm here to swing by just to pick up one bottle of Overture."
She smiled and said, "Well, that' just fine by us, too," handing me a pass to the tasting room.
I continued my sprint and squeezed through a group of people enjoying a tasting. As the sommelier rang up my purchase, one of the tasters asked, "Just in for that bottle? Any good?"
I replied, "I've had Overture in previous years and haven't been disappointed. It'll go great with dinner tonight."
"Cool," he said, "so you're a local?
"Nope," I said wryly,"I drove up from L.A," as I collected my bottle hand headed for the door.
He looked like he was trying to process that information, but I was probably halfway to the Focus before it finally hit him.
I then dashed across the way and stopped at the Mondavi vineyard to pick up a couple bottles of another favorite: the Unoaked Chardonnay. These are for safe keeping until I cook up another meal.
At this point I've been on the road for over nine hours and I needed something more than beef jerky and salami to satisfy my hunger. I headed for Taylor' Refresher, a crazy-good burger stand that I've frequented before. I was dreaming of a bleu cheese burger with a six-dollar strawberry shake. I showed up and the place was now called Gott' Roadside and there was a line around the place. I realized it was a Saturday afternoon and the place was packed with tourists and locals alike.
Plan B was across the street, another favorite called Tra Vigne. One risotto and roasted duck leg later, I was ready to hit the road again. By this time it was 2:52 pm and the trip computer was telling me I'd make it back to CasaHashi at 9:30 pm. Dinner' going to be late.
Next update: 9:35 pm
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 623 miles