Napa Valley 190SL Gathering 
May 3, 2003     Napa Valley, CA
(click on the picture to enlarge)

Saturday, May 3, 2003, Joe and Angie Amaro hosted the SF Bay Area members to a gathering amongst the vineyards of Napa Valley.  Members/guests attending were Joe and Angie Amaro, Tom and Jeanne Buckingham, Johannes and Franziska Raedeker with 4 month old daughter Clara, Elizabeth Houck, Ray and Kathy Wischhover, Charles Osterofe, Linda Ayscue, Marcella Schlegel and Ron and Jan Rubin. 

The morning started with a unique private tour and tasting direct from wine barrels at the Del Dotto Wine Caves located just east of the town of Napa. The winery features one of six original caves hand dug during the late 1800s still in use in Napa Valley. The highlight of the visit was a tasting of the same vintage wine aged in different types of oak barrels. One could clearly taste the significant differences between wine aged in French Oak, American Oak, etc. It was almost as if we were tasting completely different wines.

Members then rallied their cars, tops down, along the picturesque Silverado Trail to a catered lunch served at Silver Oak Cellars. Our tables were arranged among stacks of oak barrels in an "ageing" room

Our next private tasting was held mid-afternoon at the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery, located in Rutherford and owned by Academy Award-winning director Francis Ford Coppola. Here everyone was able to tour the historic Inglenook Chateau and Centennial Museum that contains film memorabilia, such as Vito Corleone's desk from The Godfather and a 1948 Tucker Torpedo automobile from Tucker-The Man and His Dream.

The day finally ended with an outstanding Italian dinner at Don Giovanni's Bistro back in Napa and ...... more wine.

Ray Wischhover reviews member's cars prior to wine tasting at the Del Dotto Wine Caves.
Tom Buckingham examines his white '63, while wife Jeanne chats with Charles Ostrofe and Linda Ayscue in front of Charles' silver '60.
Joe White and Suzanne Berkley compare the trunks of John Van Noord's blue '57 and Charles Ostrofe's silver '60 at Del Dotto.
Wine art at Del Dotto.

Members sip wine while listening to the history of Del Dotto Wine Caves.
Del Dotto staff in the wine caves extracting Cabernet Sauvignon directly from oak barrels for members to taste.
Marcella and Mike Schlegel (left) join other members sampling various Del Dotto wines after the private cave tour.
Clara Raedeker, with mom Franziska, checks out an oak barrel.

Elizabeth Houck watches as the Buckingham's, Amaro's, Ostrofe and Van Noord's rev up their cars for the next winery.
Members at Silver Oak Winery gather around  Johannes and Franziska Raedeker's silver '61.
Members sharing tips in front of Silver Oak Winery.
Silver Oak provided a grand setting for a 190SL lineup.

Tom and Jeanne Buckingham's '63 at Silver Oak.
Clara Raedeker enjoys a bit of quite time.
Silver Oak's Bob Little explains the winery's historical background to members during our lunch.
190SLs on display at Silver Oak (from left, Van Noord's '57, Ostrofe's '60, Buckingham's '63, Amaro's '57).

The infamous Tucker Torpedo, sporting its center headlight, inside the Centennial Museum at the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery.
Elizabeth Houck catches a ride with Johannes Raedeker departing Niebaum-Coppola.
The Churchill Manor Bed & Breakfast in Napa where some members spent the night after a long day of wine tasting.
Joe and Angie Amaro's '57 at the Churchill Manor B&B.

Ray and Kathy Wischhover, with Angie Amaro, relax with a morning cup of coffee at Churchill Manor.
Angie and Joe Amaro getting ready for a country drive.
Angie Amaro enjoying a drive along a Napa Valley country road.