Tuesday, September 27, 2011


On my wish list for my trip to Calif was a visit to Napa Valley.  I lived in Napa back in the early 70's and boy has it changed.  Back then there were a few wineries but the industry has exploded and now you can hardly drive a few feet it seems without another winery.  Calif does produce some awesome wines and Ash and I set out to taste a few...
Our first stop was Valley Gate Vineyards
Beautiful grounds as most of the vineyards are and lovely tasting room
This amazing chandelier hung in the tasting room
Wish I could say the wines were good, but they were just OK.  We tasted (and spit out) most of them.  Ash was driving so she did not drink at all, just tasted.  If I found one I liked a lot I would indulge in a few sips.  
I thought this was cute and almost bought one for Tiger, 
but he is not a whiner so passed!

Our next stop was Domain Chandon

Know for their sparkling wines I choose the 
Reserve Tasting
"Explore the diversity of our sparkling wines with this delicious tasting of our toastiest, creamiest, and most complex styles. This palate adventure includes samples of our voluptuous and creamy Chandon Reserve Chardonnay Brut, complex and robust Chandon Reserve Pinot Noir Brut, and elegantly rich étoile Rosé. Take the accompanying logo flute home with you for the next time you pop a cork and enjoy some bubbly."

It was amazing and some of my favorite tastings of the day....I do like my bubbly!
Ash tried the
Varietal Tasting
"If you aren't familiar with our still wines from the acclaimed Carneros & Sonoma appellations, you can try three of our highly regarded wines with this tasting. You’ll sample our delicious, subtly oaked Carneros Chardonnay, crisp and fruity Carneros Pinot Noir Rosé and tantalizing and food-friendly Carneros Pinot Noir. The Burgundy glass is included."
Don't you love the descriptions of the wine!

They had some of the prettiest grounds we visited
These rock mushrooms were so cute!
Our next winery is one of the oldest in the valley
Beringer Vinyards
They offer tours and several venues for wine tasting
We choose Reserve Wine Tasting in the Rhine House
They were extremely busy but we did enjoy our tasting...we were allowed to pick 4 wines from an extensive list.  My favorite here was the desert wine Moscato white that was 25 years old...Amazing!

Our last stop on day one was
V. Sattui Winery
This was my favorite winery of the day!  We did the Classic tasting and choose 5 wines from a very large list.  They had several whites (my favorites) and I really enjoyed most of them.  Ash who is more of a Red wine girl also enjoyed their wines.  Moderate prices for pretty darn good wine.  This was the only place I bought wine since I did not want to try to get it home with me.  I knew I could enjoy this one bottle before leaving Cali
This wine was fabulous and an award winner

2010 Anderson Valley White Riesling

A drier style Riesling, with aromas of jasmine and pear, grapefruit and green apple characteristics, a slight grassiness and crisp natural acidity.

I really enjoyed sipping this wine!  It cost more then I normally pay for a bottle of wine but since it was the only one I was buying I'm glad I splurged.
We were ready for dinner now and decided to visit this place I had heard was good
After tasting wine all day a nice cold ale was perfect with dinner.  I had shrimp fettuccine and it was delicious.  We then headed to our hotel for the night. 

I will tell you that the wine tastings are not free and can get really pricey!  We used online websites to find 2 for 1 tastings and that was a big savings.  We paid as low as $5 and as much as $25.  Some places will give you credit towards a purchase of wine or even waive it, but others will not. 
Today's wineries were on the main Hwy 29 that runs through the Napa Valley.  Day two will find us visiting some wineries on the Silverado Trail.




Marigene said...

Sounds like a fun day...I only like dry, white wines, the reds are too heavy for this old lady!

Chatty Crone said...

I just can't believe we are such great friends and you didn't ask me to come with you! You are having all the fun! sandie

Susan said...

Oh, wow, Linda. That was a great tour! Super photos, too. Thanks so much. That is one day I wouldn't mind "whining" for! Cheers! Susan from writingstraightfromtheheart.blogspot.com

Catherine said...

You sure saw lots of fun things and it sounds like you have a really fun day ~ good for you! A lovely dinner at the end of the day just tops it off ~ wonderful!
xo Catherine

Nancy's Notes said...

Linda, that is what I call a perfect day! Cheers!


Jane said...

I've been catching up on your CA pics...looks like a wonderful time! Enjoy!!

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

You brought back a lot of memories for me with this post, Linda. Stu and I spent a great deal of time in Napa back in 1988....and wineries were an entire weekend.

Your photos are lovely. Don't they make the wineries storybook beautiful? They know how to get someone happy to drink.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Sounds like a fun day Linda! Glad you found a wine that you liked, now you'll be able to enjoy it when you get back home:@)

the cape on the corner said...

oh my gosh, fab.u.lous! i am sure that moscato was amazing, and i love reisling, too! i will definitely have to keep my eye out for that one. i'm totally keeping this post handy for any future trip to california!

devorelebeaumonstre. said...

nice! x


Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Gorgeous scenery! Love those rock mushrooms!

C'est moi Claudette said...

He's not a whiner , lol. CUTE Linda. I needed a little humour tonight.
I'm so happy you and Ash are having a great time. Lucky girl to have such a wonderful mom.
Stay sober ; )

Sue said...

I am extremely jealous that you were in Napa.....me and daughter want to make that trip...actually to all of California from bottom to top....trying to convince the Boss to take care of himself for a week....he's not falling for it....Help...I'm a prisoner in my own home!!!...But the pool is sure nice!

Annesphamily said...

What fun Linda! You are having a terrific trip! I can tell by your cool photos! I keep a few bottles of wine in my wine cooler. I would love to travel to the various California winery's. There are a few here in COlorado. On the western slope there is great "peach" wine! Yum! Hugs Anne

Mom Walds Place said...

What a lovely time you had. We had a Wine Tasting Open House to raise funds to build our new library. In our little community it was a pretty big deal, and was a success.

Love the horse sculpture!

Nezzy said...

Looks like ya'll had the perfect day for such a beautiful tour. I'm thrilled you enjoyed it girl!

God bless and have a terrific Thursday!!! :o)

Kathleen said...

We have lots of wineries here on Long Island, they have grown in number the last 10 years. I have never been to one as I don't drink!

Ours don't have restaurants as the zoning is agricultural and they aren't allowed.
Looks like you had a great trip.

shannon i olson said...

I had no idea they charge for wine tasting, our local winery, which makes only wines from local grown fruits, not grapes gives free tasting as did the one in WA my husband visited. Good to know!! thanks