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Banquet at Carneros Inn's Hilltop

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Banquet at Carneros Inn's Hilltop

Melanie Wong | Apr 8, 2004 05:38 AM

This was quite a day. Prompted by the NYT's mention, emails from far flung friends started arriving from the Pacific Rim shortly after midnight. Following the path of the sun, by the time I arose, Europe and the East Coast had been in touch, followed by Chicago, and then the West Coast.

Fielding a phone call as I drove to a morning appointment in Napa, my friend suggested meeting for a belated birthday dinner. But not just any dinner - this would be the Women for Winesense dinner to be held at the new Carneros Inn. It was sold out, but she proposed just showing up in case there was a cancellation. Since I was curious about this not-open-to-the-public dining venue and would be working less than 15 minutes away, it was a no-brainer to go along.

Arriving around 6pm, I was able to park fairly close-in and walk up to the Hilltop (left photo). Later guests would park further away and be shuttled in on golf carts. I plopped myself into one of the Aidirondack chairs with a flute of the reception wine, 1999 Bisol Brut from Viansa Italia, and took in the view while hoping for no-shows. The terrace faces the pool (right photo) affording a sweeping view of surrounding vineyards.

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