A couple of days in Napa Valley

We spent the past 2 days in Napa Valley seeing the awesome landscapes and visiting the wineries.  Anyone that knows me knows that I like wine but I am not a sophisticated wine drinker.  But I did learn more about wine during this trip.

We made it to Napa!

We made it to Napa!

First of all, I learned that when you go to dinner and order wine and they allow you to taste it before pouring a full glass that it has a reason.  I always thought it was to determine if the wine tasted good.  Nope.  Wine that has a cork can actually have a fouled cork which causes the wine to go bad.  If that happens, it tastes like wet cardboard or wet dog.  Yep, I said wet dog.  So the small pour is to allow you to detect if the cork was fouled and if so, you can send it back.

Robert Mondavi Winery

Our first tour was the Robert Mondavi Winery.  Here we learned how making red wines are vastly different than white wines.  With red wines, they ferment with the grape skins which gives them the red color.  They normally ferment twice in oak barrels for a time span of about 18 months.  With white wines, they press the juice out of the skins and they are also fermented twice, once in oak barrels and again in steel canisters.

Mandovi Winery

Mondavi Winery

Red wines fermenting

Red wines fermenting

After visiting Mondavi, we were famished. We had lunch at the iconic Mustards, the food was incredible.

Mustards

Mustards

Inglenook Winery

Our next stop was the Inglenook Winery.  It is owned by Francis Ford Coppola, the creator of the movie “The Godfather”.  The winery has a museum that is free to visit but the wine tasting was spendy — $50 per person.  We decided to just visit the museum, but the grounds were incredible.

Inglenook Winery

Inglenook Winery

Inglenook Winery

Inglenook Winery

Sterling Winery

We were told that Sterling was the Disney World winery because it sits atop a mountain and you must take a gondola to visit.  It met that criteria and also had incredible architecture.  It has a very Mediterranean look, you feel as if you are in Greece. Their tour is self guided and really well done.  Because it is audio/video, it puts images to the stories told by other tours.

Sterling Winery

Sterling Winery

Sterling Winery

Sterling Winery

Sterling Winery

Sterling Winery – shot from the gondola

Beaulieu Vineyard

This was probably our favorite winery in terms of taste, their reds really have a nice flavor.

BV Winery

BV Winery

BV Winery

BV Winery

Domaine Chandon

We started day 2 with a champagne tasting.  This was our first taste of bubbly and was a good place to start.

xx

Domaine Chandon – The Bubbly

Rutherford Hill Winery

Our next stop was at Rutherford Hill.  They store their wine in a cave for fermenting so it was really fun to visit.  They also have a link with the show The TopChef, so it was interesting to hear that they shot some episodes there.

Rutherford Hill Winery

Rutherford Hill Winery

Rutherford Hill Winery

Rutherford Hill Winery – The Caves

Rutherford Hill Winery

Rutherford Hill Winery – The Caves

They had a special class of wine called Episodes.  The cost is $200 a bottle, but you could taste it for $10.

Rutherford Hill Winery

Rutherford Hill Winery

Frogs Leap

Our final wine tasting for the day was Frogs Leap.  It had the best tour, as it is an organic winery where they don’t use pesticides or irrigation.  Everything is done naturally and very methodically.

Frogs Leap Winery

Frogs Leap Winery

The grounds were incredible, they keep their fermenting barrels in a barn.

Frogs Leap Winery

Frogs Leap Winery

Frogs Leap Winery

Frogs Leap Winery

Frogs Leap Winery

Frogs Leap Winery

Frogs Leap Winery

Frogs Leap Winery

The wine maker’s dog went along with the tour, she was very sweet!

Castello di Amorosa

Our final stop for the day (no wine tasting) was at a castle. It was really beautiful, we just visited the grounds.

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

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5 thoughts on “A couple of days in Napa Valley

  1. Pingback: 2013 in the Rear View Mirror | WeBeTripping Blog

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