We decided to take a Redwoods/Wine Country/Wine Tasting day tour by Best Bay Tours. The tour started with a hotel pick up at 7:50 a.m. and first took us to get a view of the Golden Gate Bridge early enough so we beat the crowds for some awesome photos. One of the benefits of going on a tour is that you always have someone who is willing to take photos of you so you don’t have to rely on selfies.
After enjoying the bridge views, we headed to Muir Woods National Monument where we saw an old-growth Redwood forest that contains some of the tallest trees on the planet. Some of the trees are 1500 years old! I loved spending time here. It’s so hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that these trees were around for so long before I was born and that I hope will be here well after I’m gone from this world.
After spending an hour in the woods, we drove to Sonoma and during this ride, Phil shared interesting history and trivia about SF and wine. Our first winery stop was to Peter Cellars where they specialize in red wine and produce only 300 cases a year. You won’t find these award-winning wine in Hilo and have to get your wine straight from this winery. We loved meeting the friendly winery dogs! Our next stop was at Sonoma Plaza where we tried going to Girl and the Fig but they didn’t have any openings so we went across the street to El Dorado and had yummy burgers, an heirloom tomato salad, and truffle fries. Dessert was at Sweet Scoops where we had four different flavors of ice cream for dessert. Our second winery stop was at Deerfield Ranch for a wine tasting and private tasting in a cave room. Our wine educator Hutch Gibbs had Hilo connections too! His grandparents were from the Amauulu area! It is always fun to hear the connections to Hawaii from people we meet.
Before dinner, we stopped at the Golden Gate Tap Room for some beers and tater tots and then headed to an upscale izakaya restaurant called PABU where we tasted sake from a brewery in Japan where Stuart Morris, the sake sommelier works during brewing season. We even got to meet, chat, and take a photo with the chef/owner Ken Tominaga and some new friends. The maitake tempura and the kimpira with lots of renkon were my favorite dishes this night. I would go back again just for the sake and to talk with and learn more from Stu and of course eat more of Chef Ken’s dishes! Living Hilo Style in San Francisco.