Sept. 21-23: winding roads to Napa’s vineyards

Sept. 20-23The U.S 1 and U.S. 128 are among the most beautiful roads I’ve traveled. As much as I remain in love with la bestia, though, I wish I had a roadster–rather than a three-ton lifted truck–for this stretch of the trip.

IMG_1203This nondescript gate north of St. Helena is the entrance to a special vineyard: the Esser estate. The winery and shop are now located farther south in Monterey, but I ran into the caretaker (who hails from Michoacán) and we had a good chat.

IMG_1202While I’m not a fan of Chardonnay, this one was special. And of course I am also getting hooked to Californian sushi and seafood…

Today we’re enjoying a peek into the public lives of the top one percent populating this valley’s manicured towns. We’ll be off to San Rafael tonight to meet up with my grad school friend Josh and his wife Aura.


6 thoughts on “Sept. 21-23: winding roads to Napa’s vineyards

      • There is a nice flat meandering hike at Andrew Molera State Park, from the parking lot to the beach where the Big Sur River meets the sea.

        At the Big Sur River Inn you can sit in Adirondack chairs in the middle of the river (though it probably has no water these days…)

        One of the most visually stunning beaches is Pfeiffer Beach, at the end of a small windy road through Natl Forest land – see

        The view looking south at the Nepenthe restaurant is wonderful, and right below it on Rt 1 there is an interesting sculpture gallery (they have plenty of parking, on the inland side of Rt 1 before getting to the Henry Miller Library…)

        Enjoy –

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much, Jonathan, for all these great tips. I can report that there’s a bit of water left in Big Sur River and that the view was splendid indeed. I spent the night on Pfeiffer and loved it. Lots of bugs but great vibes. Thanks again!


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