Thursday, June 2, 2011

California Day 3, Napa Valley

V. Sattui Winery
wine aging barrels

Sutter Home Winery
Castillo De Amorosa
Sam loved the drawbridge and moat :)
Favorite vineyard views in all of Napa!

The wine tasting room
The castle was very neat

Beringer Winery

Orange trees!

Underground wine caves
The original Beringer family wine cellar

Day 3 in California was awesome! We drove to Napa Valley where my mouth hung agape most of the day in awe at the gorgeous rolling hills of grape vines. It was everything I imagined Napa would be. We started at the V. Sattui Winery grabbing a picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds. They did not have vineyards available for public viewing, so this being our first winery, I was a little worried that all were going to be like that. We didn't sample any wines here because it was quite crowded. I know some about wines and I like drinking wine, but being surrounded by international wine connoisseurs was a bit intimidating, so we stuck to just looking around the winery. I was amazed at each winery people spending hundreds of dollars on sometimes just a couple bottles!

From there we went to the Sutter Home winery, which was mainly a tasting room and store, so we only stayed a couple minutes before moving on to our favorite one of the day - Castillo De Amorosa. It's a real castle and the quintessential vineyard atmosphere. You enter off the road through magnificent, iron gates before proceeding up a winding driveway lined on both sides with fields and fields of grapes, poppy flowers, and tall arborvitae trees. Then the castle comes into view right before your eyes and that is when my jaw hit the steering wheel! I'm pretty sure I squealed a couple times in the car from excitement :) We did a self-guided tour of the castle and tasted 5 different wines in the underground tasting room. For anyone traveling to Napa Valley, this is definitely a vineyard to put on your list!

After the castle, we went to our final winery of the day, Beringer. We decided to take a guided tour of the wine caves with 3 tastings. I don't like red wines for the most part, so I didn't care for any of the wines we tasted. The other people in our group liked them, so I'm sure they were good wines, but much too dry for my taste. It was cool to learn about how wine was made and stored back during the time of prohibition.

A wonderful day in Napa and I'm looking forward to more vineyards tomorrow!

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