A once-in-a-lifetime wine cave sneak peek

Buoncristini Napa WineriesOne of my favorite parts about visiting wine country is getting to hear how important the art of winemaking is to some very special families, including some of my recent intros to Robert Mondavi, Benziger, and Trinchero. In fact, Napa and Sonoma are some of the only places in the world where I’ve gotten to visit one family business after another. And they are often of Italian lineage like mine to boot. The Buoncristiani brothers were the grand finale to my most recent trip, one final stop on my way to the airport. Matt, Jay, Aaron and Nate are several generations into winemaking, but they decided that the family actually needed a (not-just-a-hobby) winery — and so the young whippersnappers created one. Their next step? Build wine caves like Napa has never seen.

They invited us for a sneak peak.

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Daydream of the Week: Water, Water, Everywhere

WaterI can’t wait to live near the ocean again, when I move to San Francisco this fall. A water baby Pisces who grew up mostly in Florida and moved to Vegas from Coco Beach, Costa Rica, I have always craved the ocean. Now, after three wonderful years in the desert of Las Vegas, the water fairies are calling me back. After an amazing trip to Seattle and a quick weekend in San Francisco, I am now up in Victoria. My favorite part of the island so far? Right… The water… My camera died right after taking my one obvious shot of nothing but water while traveling with my friend Ethan on the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. Today, my friend Simone and I are headed back to the harbor for a day of sightseeing. I am so excited to spend the day on the water and want to scream from the rooftops that I will again be near the ocean.

 

I am moving to California!!

Acting Silly at Biale Winery

Biale WIneries in NapaTiffany and I packed a lot into this last trip to California wine country,  from Robert Mondavi and Trinchero, to Benziger and a food tour through my favorite restaurants in Napa. So by the time we arrived at Biale, one of the most fun wineries in Napa, we were a little loopy. Tiff and I had by now joined a larger group of mostly Las Vegans, which created an entirely different vibe. We went from studious wine connoisseurs-in-training to acting completely silly with our hometown gang. Biale was the perfect place for us — it is serious about its wine and family history, but they definitely get a kick out of themselves, which makes me swoon. Family lore includes a teenage Biale family member using the code word “Black Chicken” to sell his jugs of wine on Napa party telephone lines so he wouldn’t get in trouble. So old-fashioned “Watch out for Black Chicken” signs adorn the place, and even some of the wine labels.

We were in the right place.

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Daydream of the Week: Coco Beach

Coco Beach Costa RIcaNot sure why I was drawn to this picture today, as it was never one of my favorites. It was taken a year or so ago, on the far south side of the main beach in Coco, Costa Rica, where I used to live. I never much liked how brown the beach looked there, even though all of the boats, many of which I knew and had been on, were so peaceful. But today, it is my favorite picture. The warmth of the brown sand makes me think of the desert surrounding Las Vegas, my favorite city, the place I’ve lived longer than anywhere else my entire life. Yet, I am going to move on, and have just collapsed on my couch after my last day at a job I loved so much. I’ve decided I need to live near the water again and am off to San Francisco. After staring at this photo a bit, I think it represents two very important facets of my life: the career opportunity that has always greeted me in Vegas, and the refreshing ocean air that makes me feel alive. Today, I am on the verge of leaving the former for the latter, a tough decision months in the making, and one I’ve made before.

Desert, beach: When my family moved from Orlando to Albuquerque, my dad always joked that “both had a lot of sand.” I hope they also both hold happiness for me!

 

 

Off the Beaten Path in Napa

Tiffany Carey Abby Tegnelia Napa vineyardsAfter spending a lot of time in Napa, like in any other tourist destination, sometimes the most special experiences happen when you get off the proverbial “beaten path.” I could spend weeks in wine country and never become tired of the planned tours and tastings (such as Trinchero, and Robert Mondavi)  — you learn so much and become enthralled by the local personalities. Still, on my most recent trip, I was dragged against my will (haha) to a private lunch at the home of Garrett Ahnfeldt, one of the most gorgeous private Napa vineyards. Upon arrival, local ingredients were being pounded into the most delicious of dishes. As everything was being prepared, we were served wine (when isn’t there wine being served in that neck of the woods?) and took in the views.

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Daydream of the Week: Istanbul

Istanbul TurkeyI’ve always wanted to go back to Turkey — the few days I spent in Istanbul just barely scratched the service. I stopped in the diverse, impressively spread out city on my way to spending a few weeks in Bulgaria. There was so much to do and see — and one of my favorite parts was the shopping. Everywhere you turned, there were cheap tchotchkes, colorful candies, bright corn and other street food, and of course its famous markets… plus rugs like these that I passed every morning leaving my hotel. I just loved this stray white cat seemed to admire the rugs as much as I did! This was such a special time for me, too. Istanbul Turkey and (three towns in) Bulgaria was my “good-bye to Costa Rica” trip, before I left the good and the bad that comes from checking out for a year to live in paradise — and then leaping back into a whirlwind of long days and fancy parties that make up living in Las Vegas.

I haven’t been on a lengthy plane ride in too long of a time. I’m overdue!

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