San Francisco & Napa Valley: Day 3 (Part 2)

January 7, 2013

We had a big night to get ready for, but oysters and champagne with two of my favorite people, who also happen to be amazing bloggers, Andi and Abby, were more important to me than spending time getting all dolled up.  So, while others in our Trafalgar Tours group were refreshening themselves, the three of us headed over to nearby Oxbow Public Market.  It is just a five minute walk away from the River Terrace Inn, which was the charming hotel we were staying at while in Napa Valley.

Founded in 1983, Hog Island Oyster Company was created by three marine biologists who all shared a common vision to raise sustainable, premium grade oysters for the San Francisco area.  From their very first hand-raised bushel, they quickly became a Bay legend.  Now they have expanded into Napa Valley at the Oxbow Public Market, where crustacean lovers like us can taste their sweet and succulent oysters in between wine tastings.

Unfortunately, we had less than an hour there — when we could have easily spent another two or three — although our final stop of the day was equally exciting.  We were going to Nicholson Ranch, where we would be partaking in our Be My Guest Experience of the trip.  Exclusive to Trafalgar Tours, Be My Guest experiences according to them, “capture the true essence of a destination as only an insider can.  As the guest of a local host, you will experience their warm hospitality and enjoy a delicious meal prepared using fresh, local produce.  It is a special opportunity to savor authentic food and regional wines with locals, in ways you never could if traveling on your own.  You will be invited into private homes, working farms, wineries, and family-run restaurants located in picturesque settings unique to the region.”  Trust me on this, Be My Guest experiences are completely unforgettable and would never happen if for not being on a Trafalgar Tours guided vacation.

Nicholson Ranch is a winery nestled in the Sonoma Valley foothills and is known for its prized-grape production.  Before our dinner, we joined the gracious and gregarious owner for a personal tour with a welcoming glass of wine.

Then we sat down to indulge in a meal that can only be described with one word: extraordinary.  It was so good, that I completely forgot about my camera next to me and concentrated solely on the food.  In all fairness, there is no way that a photo would have really captured the deliciousness of each bite.  You will simply have to try it for yourself on the San Francisco & Wine Country Delights Trafalgar Tours guided vacation in the future!

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