Friday, May 3, 2013

Napa Valley Wineries

Today I'm sharing the first day of my visit to Napa Valley in October 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.



I'm sharing this post at The Tablescaper 
Oh The Places I've Been


The Decorative Dreamer said...

Oh Linda, I am trying very hard not to be so jealous. This is one of my dream tours. Those wines look devine and the grounds...OMG! Love it! The shirt for Tigger is just adorable. Thanks for sharing your tour with us as well!

Sarah said...

Linda, it's been years since I've been to Napa, but have fond memories of visiting. The CA wine country is some of the prettiest. Thanks for sharing your photos.

20 North Ora said...

Linda - What beautiful grounds those wineries have! Sounds like a good trip.


The Quintessential Magpie said...

This looks like a very fun time, Linda!

I will have to remember the wines you liked and look for them or order them. I would love to do this at some point. I'm picky about wine because I don't often drink it, so being able to taste and pick a variety would work well for me.

Glad you had fun with your daughter!



Jane and Chris said...

We used to enjoy the wine tours in the Niagara region when the wineries were in their infancy.Now, it has all grown so much with huge buildings etc,the tours have lost the personal touch we used to like so much.
Jane x

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love Sonoma and Napa Valleys, Linda! Your chose some good wineries to visit. My husband and I have visited twice, and I know we will go back again. We took the Wine Train on our last visit and had lunch on it as we rolled passed the vineyards--it was wonderful!

Melanie said...

You brought back lovely memories from when my hubby and I were there for our 25th anniversary 3-1/2 years ago. We flew into SF and mainly spent our time there, but one day we rented a car and spent the day in Napa. I can't remember which wineries we went to, but there were 3 of them, and the tastings were free! We looked up free wine tastings online ahead of time. ;-) We also spent the night at a B&B in Napa, which was lovely.

Chatty Crone said...

Gorgeous - I bet it sure has changed from the 70's. My son and DIL have been there and they loved it too.
This is going to be the setting of my second book!

Vicky Hunt said...

I have never done a wine tasting before, but my daughter has and enjoyed it. Someday I will get the opportunity! I prefer whites as well and the dessert moscato sounds yummy! Sounds like a perfect day with your daughter and such beautiful grounds and memories! Love the mushrooms!

Blessings, Vicky
Life On Willie Mae Lane

Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

I wouldn't mind visiting a winery myself. I am not a very adventurous wine drinker and pretty much stick to a few favorites.

Donna said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Linda! It brings back memories, I visited V. Sattui (sp?) twice and agree with you, it is wonderful! I also visited Domaine Chandon and loved their bubbly. Cheers:)

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

I want to go! Thanks for sharing your wine country adventure Linda. Domain Chandon was always our first stop when our "girls only" group used to go. It was such a treat to sit out on their patio area and talk about the weekend ahead.

Susan said...

That looked like a great trip, Linda. Mmmmm. I'd like a glass of wine right now. (But don't have any. ha haha) Thanks for sharing. Susan

Annesphamily said...

Hi Linda! I have always wanted to visit the wineries. My niece Mary lives in California and she and her hubby love going to wine country on the weekends. I would love to know all those favorites you selected. I worked with a doctor many years ago who gave me a good start in selecting wines. I am enjoying this with all the lovely photos. Have a great weekend

ImSoVintage said...

I lived near Napa Valley for three years. What a gorgeous place. Thanks so much for sharing your tour with us, Linda.

Jemma said...

Such an informative, interesting and lovely tour-wish I was there today!
Happy Weekend-

Susan said...

When we lived in Southern California, we got up to the wine country at least once a year. You've reminded me that it maybe time for another trip! XOXO

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. We so enjoy touring wineries, here there and everywhere. Beautiful!

Never been to Napa...would love to go.

The Tablescaper said...

Amazing to look at and wonderful to taste!

Great to have you be a part of "Oh, the PLACES I have been!"

- The Tablescaper