“Wine Improves With Age. The older I get, the better I like it.” — Anonymous
But it is pretty close to how I felt after the wife and I spent a nice 4 days in the Napa Valley!
I don’t want you to think all I did was down bottle after bottle of fine California wines. But you re not far off. I will tell you about the rest of the trip after I share some unique facts about wine growing and Napa:
- One barrel of wine equals roughly 20 cases, which equals roughly 1200 glasses (guess that means we consumed about a half-a-barrel!)
- Each bottle of wine contains about 2.8 pounds of grapes, Therefore each of the 600 glasses we drank had over half a pound of grapes in it.
- One vine annually produces between four and six bottles of wine, or between 20 to 30 glasses.
- Napa Valley name is derived form the Wappo Indians and means “land of plenty”( which translates in my language to the land of many drunk people at the tasting rooms.)
- The first vineyard was established in 1836 by George Calvert Yount, for who Yountville is named. God bless you, George.
Ok, enough of this uninspiring data. Let’s talk about my trip. Firstly, you need to know that I am a clean freak. I cannot stand bed and breakfast places and old beautiful hotels. I like brand new and modern. No buggers on the headboard and foreign hairs in the sink. That led us to “bardessono”. It has to be at the top of my global travels. Not only did it completely pass my white glove, sharp lines test, it is Leed Platinum Certified for all you peeps with an eco conscience.
And of course we must talk about the wine. As much as I love it, I have to confess that I am not the least bit educated on what’s good and what’s not. I do have my own crude system for finding some of the world’s best wines though. It is called a “hunch”! When I am sitting at a bar, or flipping through a magazine, or looking at a wine list, I get a hunch. Nothin’ to do with price or reputation, just a dang hunch! Oh, by the way……I can’t stand the big commercial wineries. Small, off the beaten path for me. So for this particular trip I picked three, “Brown“, “Scribe“, and “Cade“.
Brown Estate is definitely one of the most beautiful wineries I have visited. Family owned and operated, it is a small, quaint property with a beautiful home and a luxurious barn that houses the tasting room and access to the cellars. Zinfandel is their claim to fame and they do not disappoint.
I am not 100% sure how to describe Scribe Winery except you cannot travel to the Napa/Sonoma area without visiting this eclectic hipster winery. Chefs from all over San Francisco flock there to showcase their menus for some of the coolest people in the Bay area. This is not a tourist attraction! The wines are delightful and the setting a one-of-a-kind. The tasting room is located in a dilapidated old barn with just one tiny little table. Otherwise you can hang out and drink outside over looking the vineyard. This by far is the most “Bohemian” winery I have ever visited.
Cade Winery is located on a breath taking hilltop on Howell Mountain. Oh, by the way, you will never find this place or the other two listed above so call them and get very specific directions. Otherwise you will end up in Nevada and still be sober! Not a good thought, huh? Cade is the sister of renowned winery, Plumpjack. So you already know now that the wine is something you will not forget. They have a great private tasting room and seating around 8 people and the cheese they serve is very unique. This is definitely a winery for you Fancy Pants people.
Let’s take a break now and open up a good bottle of Pinot. Dining out ramblings tomorrow.
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