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It’s been months since our trip to Tanzania, and we still talk about it just about every day. I can’t say enough what an amazing place it was, and if you would like to read the rest of my Tanzania posts, please visit my Travel Blog page.

One of our stops on our trip was at the Cultural Heritage Centre in Arusha. The Centre is a really cool space full of art and information on Tanzanian culture. We toured the property on our own, taking in arts and crafts, animal sculptures, dishes, jewelry, antiques, and beautiful grounds. We also had the opportunity to do some shopping for arts and crafts as well as the rare gem Tanzanite, something I regret not buying as it will soon be gone.

It wasn’t quite as exciting as camping in the Serengeti, but this was still a really worthwhile stop and one I enjoyed. Tanzania is full of beauty, in its landscape, its people, and its arts and culture. and the Centre is a wonderful glimpse into that.

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Tags: Africa, Arusha, culture, safari, Tanzania, Travel, travel blogger, Travel Tuesday, vacation

Happy Travel Tuesday! How is everyone? I have missed this space as it has has definitely taken a back seat to work life and summer fun these days. I have so much catching up to do, but most days after a 12 hour work day, marathon training run, gardening, and attempting to eat healthy, I just want to curl up on the patio with a good book. Weekends have been full of seeing friends, and beach, boat, and pool time and little else, meaning our poor house is a mess as it tends to be every summer. I am definitely still traumatized by winter; I had  nightmare about it last night. I want to squeeze out every drop of sunshine.

Still I have so much I want to write about, and I have missed this space! I am still mapping out posts from my recent work trip to Sonoma County, and today’s features a new favorite winery that you must visit if you head to Sonoma or Napa.

Ram’s Gate Winery is an architectural and natural masterpiece, set at the gateway of Napa and Sonoma amongst gorgeous hills and vineyards, capped off by perfect blue sky. 

Ram's Gate Winery

Every inch of the winery has been designed with incredible attention to detail and taking into account the views and the light that this location is bathed in. I loved how, upon arrival, we could see right through to the other side of the building and out to the hills. The photo doesn’t capture even 10% of how amazing it was.

 

Ram's Gate Winery

As we took our tour, each room brought more ooh’s and aah’s. From the barrel room to the various tasting areas to the chef’s kitchen, each space is meant for entertaining and education. I loved how each corner brought a new seating area or something different; this place is perfect for group get togethers or small tastings as a result.

Ram's Gate Winery    

 Ram's Gate Winery As we traveled through the winery to the outside, the beauty just kept coming. Nestled above the vines, the property really boasts some pretty views.

Ram's Gate vineyards

 

Carneros Chardonnay

And just as the property delights with details and finesse, so does the wine. It was a hot and sunny summer morning when we visited, and a cold splash of bright, tropical Carneros Chardonnay was a welcome treat for our walk around. Ram’s Gate’s wines reflect their unique sense of place, and Carneros Chardonnay is beautiful.

Carneros Chardonnay

Our tour concluded with a tasting of three Chardonnays and three Pinot Noirs, grapes the Carneros area specializes in. As always, it was fun to taste through the same grape grown in different places to note the differences created by the conditions in each location. Ram’s Gate makes Pinot Noir in a range, from the cool climate Carneros region to Northern Russian River, and they really pride themselves on the knowledge and craft of those wines, highlighting the characteristics driven by terroir. As their website says, they like to get specific about where the grapes come from; they can pin it down to the actual row the grapes came from.

wine tasting

Ram’s Gate is a true experience not to be missed. It is open by appointment only, so be sure to check their website and call before your travels. I can’t wait to bring my husband there when we visit later this summer.

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Tags: Carneros, chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Travel, wine, wine tasting

There are certain glasses of wine you just can’t keep your nose out of, and this is definitely one of those. On my most recent trip to Sonoma County, I had the pleasure of dining with people who were true local experts, and they did an excellent job of choosing wine. As much as I like to be handed the wine list, in cases like this, it is so much more fun to try what the locals recommend.

girl and the fig wine and avocado toast This Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah from Bennett Valley was everything I love about Syrah from Sonoma County, elegant yet bold, with deep, dark fruity notes and a bit of spice, and a nose that just smells like Sonoma to me. As the sun went down around us on that beautiful patio at The Girl & The Fig and the day went from dry and hot to cool and breezy in that classic Sonoma style, I couldn’t help but breathe deep in that glass. . . wines like this are definitely for savoring with as many senses as possible.

Let’s also talk about what’s in front of that bottle of wine, shall we? That’s The Girl & The Fig avocado toast, topped with smoked trout, egg, olives, tomatoes, and sunflower sprouts, in addition to all of that avocado deliciousness under there. Could there be a more heavenly meal? I think this wins for the best avocado toast I have ever encountered.

Happy Wine Wednesday, friends! What wines have you been loving lately?

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Tags: California wine, Food, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Syrah, Travel, wine of the week

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