Once again we sat outside, this time overlooking Clear Lake watching the birds frolic in the water. This morning was much more leisurely than the past two mornings. We took our time with breakfast. Then we decided to walk around on the property and see if it is an gorgeous as the photos and what we projected in our minds last night.
True enough, it is a delight for all the senses. We walked back down to the pier that hangs over Clear Lake. Lots of birds, ducks and other aquatic creatures were hanging around. We strolled through their biodynamic and organic garden, full of aloe, lavender, olive trees, figs, herbs, vegetables, flowers and so much more.
There are plenty of animals roaming the land too…sheep, chickens, wild turkeys, raccoons, birds, butterflies and native bees. These all contribute in their own way to the variety of Ceago’s air and soil and part of what gets them their biodynamic status.
We wandered a very small portion of the impressive 163-acre estate and eventually found ourselves wandering towards the buildings and towards some hustle and bustle. Ceago is having a release party today for their latest Chardonnay, Ella’s Vineyard, named after Jim Fetzer’s granddaughter.
Jim was kind enough to give us the rest of the tour himself. Walking us through the different buildings and showcasing plans for the future of Ceago. It is truly an elegant estate. Napa has nothing on the simple and peaceful beauty here. Jim and his team really went/is going the extra mile here. They have a luxurious vision that they are going to see through. Everything from the gates to the doorknobs have been thought through.
Enough dilly-dallying. I would like to try some of the Ceago wine now. Jim was nice enough to walk us over and taste our first wine with us. But he had to get moving, lots of people are coming his way today, so off he went to help out with preparations for the party.
Tasting suggestions: 2011 Syrah Rosé, 2010 Muscat Canelli, 2010 Syrah (my personal favorite here), 2009 Merlot, and the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (give this one another year or two to age).
Next Dan and I needed to get cleaned up and get ready for the pre-party. The team at Ceago had been preparing food all day yesterday to get ready for this party. They stewed fresh lamb meat for 24 hours for their unique lamb tacos. Delicious! I think I ate three! That combined with homemade tortillas and guacamole.. heaven. This mildly spicy food paired with their Muscat Canelli was really refreshing.
We couldn’t stay too long, sadly. We had to leave the party just as it was getting started. We said our goodbyes to everyone there and headed back to our casita to get ready for the final part of our Lake County adventure…hiking to the top of Mt. Konocti (now you can see why I was eager to hang back and just drink wine at Ceago…way easier than hiking up a mountain!).
Our tour guide had arranged for us to have a guided tour up to the top of Mt. Konocti. Our tour guide used to give tours all the time, but she doesn’t really give them anymore, so sadly I can’t give you her info to get a tour of your own. She and her husband own a lot of the property on Mt. Konocti, so the trails we took were very unique to this tour. There are plenty of public trails you can take to the top though.
I’ve hiked a lot living in the Bay Area. Mt. Tam is always an adventure to the top. Konocti is the same if not more steep. I think round trip it took us about 4 or 5 hours. Up up up we went. Stopping in the shade every now and then to catch our breath and take a drink of water. Man am I glad I didn’t drink more wine. It would be killing me right about then if I had.
We came across this open field (still part of our tour guide’s property) and in the corner of the field sat a rustic, busted and very used tiny cabin, or at least what remained of it. She told us that the gal that used to live there, think late 1800s, used to signal her family/neighbors down the mountain using a mirror. Upon closer inspection of the shack, there was barely room for a child, let alone an adult or two. Different times back then. Different indeed.
We continued on our journey and eventually found our way to the top of Konocti. Breathtaking views. It was so great to get the perspective of Lake County and around Clear Lake up there. We could see everywhere that we’ve been the past two days. We lingered at the top for about 15 minutes, then started our decent back down the mountain.
Our tour guide, about half way down, peeled off and took her own path back down to her house. We stayed on the public paths all the way back down. Eventually getting down to the bottom and ending our Lake County adventure.