I had Dr. Seuss in my head tonight. Not sure why. :-)
We finally made it to Napa Valley (by car and not by a train, bus, or plane).
It was a rainy day in Napa but we made the best of it and luckily it didn’t turn out to be a downpour but more of a drizzle. When there is wine involved it is always a good time.
We were clueless of where to go in Napa so we headed to the Visitor’s Center in downtown Napa. They recommended about four wineries to visit. So we went for it.
Just as my personal opinion, I think Sonoma is more picturesque view to drive through. As we were driving through Sonoma I found myself imaging a picture of the scenery for our house. This is a rare thought considering I couldn’t find any art that I loved enough to purchase for our home. But I can see in my future buying a painting of Sonoma County in the Fall to remind us of our trip to the area.
Here are the wineries we visited in Napa:
1.) Beringer – The employee at the Visitor’s Center raved about this place and how we must do the tour of the place and that we could spend all day here. We we finally go there, it was the biggest disappointment ever. Although it was very pretty, the tour was outrageous and wasn’t anything special to write home about. And when we asked about tastings they wanted $25 for 4 wines that you can find in the grocery store for about $8 a pop or the reserve tasting which was more money and not much better. This was the only place where we walked in and immediately walked back out. They rubbed me the wrong way and given that there are tons of other wineries, we opted for a different scene.
2.) V.Sattui – This was one of the oldest wineries. They just celebrated 125 years a couple years ago. It’s a small winery but very beautiful architecture. They also have a deli / cheese market and it was amazing. We ended up getting lunch here and ate inside their cellar due to the weather. It was the best meatball sub I have ever had, paired with a portabello mushroom stuffed with parmesian cheese, asiago cheese, and sausage. To die for. We ended up buying a $50 bottle of wine here. It was a Madeira with flavors of almonds, caramel, toffee and orange zest. We were blown away. I’m now searching for a recipe to turn it into a syrup for ice cream and other deserts. Complete heaven.
3.) St. Clement - This was a unique one. Very small. The tasting room was in an old house on the top of a hill. It had a gorgeous view and the wine wasn’t so bad either. They are apparently owned by the same group as Beringer as well. Here I learned that 10% of wineries in Napa are owned by the same wine company (or whatever it is). But still over 90% of vineyards in Napa are small wineries that only distribute locally or directly through their winery and websites. Pretty cool.
4.) Castello Di Amorosa – Saving the best for last. Oh. My. Goodness. This place was breathtaking and completely random. It literally is a castle that costed the owner over 42 million dollars and took several years to build. It’s your modern day castle but it’s made to look authentic and honor the history of castles of our past. We took the tour here along with the tasting where we ended up trying 13 wines between the two of us. Definitely worth the money and worth the visit. This was our favorite by far in Napa. It’s definitely a place we will never forget and will probably visit again if we make it back out there.
All in all it was a fabulous trip in Wine Country. I hope that we get to go back again soon and maybe bring some friends as well. Wine is more fun in groups.
Now we are off to San Francisco…