Last year, for my fortieth birthday, the man and I traveled to Northern California to hike and partake in the splendid offerings of wine country. The highlight of the wine stops was Schramsberg. Founded in 1862 and run by the Davies family, it is nestled into a gorgeous mountain. From hand picked caves to a rich family history, as well as a guided tour of the caves and bottling methods, Schramsberg didn't let us down. The best surprise of the day was learning that Schramsberg's sparkling wine was served when Nixon opened China. As a Tricky Dick obsessive, it was a real treat! The differences between méthode champenoise (not applicable to the Schramsberg bubbles) and the traditional method were explained on the tour - this post could be four miles longer just trying to explain the specific proprietary methods and terms the French have for making wine with bubbles in it. It's crazy and worth the google. I have to give props to a fellow widow, Veuve Cliquot, that's credited with a major shift in champagne/sparkling wine's history. Yassss, girl, yasss. After getting appropriately schooled, we finished off with a tasting which included Davies red and white varieties. Not a bad way to usher in a new decade.