Mountains, Caves, Cars, and GondolasMarch 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C
Woke up at 5:30am local time, and decided that was much too early, so we rolled over and slept another hour. We had a light breakfast delivered to the room, and then Laura headed to a pilates class at the resort. I drank another cup of coffee and then went to the gym to burn off yesterday's calories.
We followed our workout with another one, hiking up the Oat Hill Mine trail. We saw some nice doggies on the way up and back down, which made us happy. Suitably tired, we had a quick lunch at the resort bar -- shared crab cakes, a seared yellowfin tuna burger for Laura, and Sole tacos for me.
The resort has a pretty sweet perk -- three Mercedes-Benz that are free to rent for 4 hours. It was a nice sunny day, so we snagged the convertible and zoomed around.
Next on the agenda was the Schramsberg champagne/cave-cellar tour, which might turn out to be the highlight of the trip. The tour itself was excellent -- the guide was knowledgeable, and the Schramsberg estate history and photos of bottles at presidential events were interesting. The cave cellars were a sight to behold -- thousands upon thousands of bottles stacked and held together by their own weight. The guide talked us through the riddling process (rotating bottles to get settlement into the neck of the bottle so it can be removed) before leading us to the tasting session -- the samples were all hits.
We followed that tour with another, riding the Gondola up to Sterling Vineyards. The drive in to the estate and the ride up we're pretty great. The wines, pretty mediocre.
Laura and I had a good time chuckling at the array of personalities on the tours, including a girl who remarked that the champagne smelled like gym socks (the tour guide graciously remarked that all palates are different and he got notes of fruit), a group of women who took at least 30 selfies in 15 seconds, and another group of middle-aged women drunkenly recounting their sorority days. We were very thankful we didn't have to ride back down in the same gondola with the last group.Read more