New Year’s Eve Day in the Napa Valley

ciaWhen I read on Open Table about a four-course meal for $39 at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, I thought it was too good to be true. But I was reassured by phone that $39 was indeed the price for their special holiday season menu. Housed in a beautiful old stone building once owned by the Christian Brothers just north of Saint Helena, this restaurant is run by the Culinary Institute of America, and the food is always excellent. So I made a reservation for us, our children, and grandchildren for lunch on New Year’s Eve day. As always, when the wine country is mentioned, my husband started planning a bicycle ride. We decided to do our usual Yountville to Oakville Crossroad, to the Silverado Trail, and back on Yountville Crossroad route. Since we felt this route was a bit more dangerous than usual on New Year’s Eve day, we didn’t ask any other family members to join us. Although the air was on the nippy side when we started, it was pleasant to be out in the sunshine and riding through this wonderful rural area. IMG00160-20131231-1017 IMG00162-20131231-1110 However, as the pictures show, we here in this area of California have a major worry this year. Mother nature has not sent us enough rain  to turn the fields from brown to green. The grapevines were awfully brown on the 31st too, perhaps just due to being dormant which is natural this time of year. Anyway, people here in the San Francisco Bay Area are getting nervous about the lack of rain, and those of us who remember the drought in the late 70s dread that phrase “water rationing.” After our thirteen mile bike ride, it was a pleasure to meet our family and relax over a carefully cooked and served lunch in beautiful surroundings. It was a perfect New Year’s Eve day!