I’ve become completely dependent on my GPS, a sort of British chauffeur I’ve dubbed “Nigel,” who directs me to “the motorway” and tells me precisely when to turn left and right. But I’ve never gone “offroad” with Nigel.
But there is a whole developing sport that has developed around Global Positioning Devices. It’s called Geocaching, a high tech-driven treasure hunt in which participants use their GPS to find containers called “geocaches” or “caches.” They typically are a small waterproof container with a logbook where you can enter the date you found it, and sign it with an established code name.
If this intrigues you, Benessere Vineyards in St. Helena is throwing an adventure in geocaching to celebrate the release of its 2010 Pinot Grigio. Teams armed with GPS’s, will comb the estate, prettied up with flowers, in search of cache.
Wineries continue to add attractions from tram tours and gardens to bocce ball and special events, all aimed to establishing an identity and draw tasters. Benessere claims to be the first to offer geocaching, however.
The coordinates will all be programmed into devices provided by the winery. Once you find a cache you remove an item and replace it with another, supplied by Benessere. The first team to finish in correct order wins prizes.
Refreshment stations dotted along the pretty 32-acre estate will offer not only water, but wine — of course. Lunch will be catered by Michael Chiarello’s NapaStyle Paninoteca.
Benessere specializes in Italian varietals as well as Zinfandel, which is really experiencing a Renaissance.
Cost to join the hunt is $65, $55 for wine club members. You can reserve a spot by contacting Jo Dayoan at email@example.com or 963-5853, ext. 107. To learn more about geocaching visit geocaching.com.