Napa Valley

Published: April 5th 2011
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Wine Tour

Today was another very fun day in S.F, well. . Napa valley is where we spent most of the day, but it started in San Fran.
It started with Mom getting the times confused and waking me up at 6 a.m, which was hour before I was set to get up. A little groggily I woke up and then realized what was going on, but I enjoyed being up well before I had to because it gave me time to try and figure out if I could upload my videos from the day before onto the blog via my phone, but sadly it won't let me so I have to wait until I am around a computer to do so. 
After a quick breakfast we set off to catch up with our Napa Valley tour. As we headed out on the  hour and a half drive into the country I caught up on some of the sleep I had missed out on in the mixup this morning 😊 
We were drinking sparkling wine before 10:30 (I don't think Mom has ever had alcohol this early in the morning and was quite abashed that she was about to partake!).  The first winery was Domaine Chandon and it is known for it's sparkling wines.  Our guide for the tasting was Georgia, a lovely girl from England with about as bubbly personality as the wine she was pouring for us. We tried 4 very good different types of the stuff in a beautiful outdoor tasting area complete with a small waterfall into a pond and a blooming cherry tree with the perfect amount of shade. After getting nice and tipsy from the amount of wine Georgia was pouring for us to "taste" we were on our way to our next winery, V.Sattui.
V.Sattui was our favorite by far; this was only winery where we tasted on our own and were given a choice of what we wanted to taste. This is also where were having lunch (thank goodness since Mom was starting to have a little too much fun 😉 ).  Since we had a limited amount of time we decided to taste first then eat lunch.
Our tasting advisor and entertainment was Gabriel, (and at the time I though he could be my future husband) he was a wonderful compliment to our wine.  He gave so much information and many Italian words about the wines we were choosing (we were allowed 5 choices of the 12) and he even threw in some extra tastings of wines that were on the page of wines we decided not to choose from but that he thought we would like, and he was right! Overall we chose to try their Savgion Blanc, White Reisling, Merlot,  Zinfandel, and Port.  Gabriel let us try one of their Cabernet Savigon's and another type of Port wine.  All were great and our favorites were the off-dry Reisling and the Port wines.
We then bought a sandwich and some sides from the deli at V.Sattui and had a lovely picnic lunch outside on the tables the winery provides for people to come and taste and have a wonderful lunch. 
The last two wineries had good wine but not our favorites compared to the first two. But both did give us a more in depth knowledge into how wine is made and how the different grapes are grown.  
Whitehall winery was our 3rd stop and they took us through the process of making the wine and the subtle yet strong unwritten rules of the trade.  For example white wines should be in bottles with a sloping neck and reds should be in ones with more of an angled neck.  This is all because of how the grapes like to be grown, white wine grapes like it not very hot and need to be "coddled" as our guide said so it should be in a more feminine bottle, while reds are commanding and need a more masculine bottle.  Interesting considering the gay male population in San Francisco. 
Our last winery, Franciscan, was very interesting because we got to drink a Cabernet that was made from grapes that were grown in the exact spot where we were tasting it outside!  Plus the guide said I had pretty eyes (I think he was tasting along with us!).
We then headed back and I am pretty sure everyone on the bus passed out! (me being one of them, and if everyone else wasn't  sleeping then they were being awfully quiet and still) So I can't tell you too much about the drive there and back since I ended up sleeping through both, but we did get to take the ferry back across to S.F and I stayed awake for that!
Overall it was wonderful and I recommend anyone who visits California to do a tour to wine country because it's fun and you don't have to drive! (just avoid the hangovers)

Additional photos below
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Mom nursing her hangoverMom nursing her hangover
Mom nursing her hangover

She hasn't had that much alcohol since the 70's!

5th April 2011

Spit or Swallow
I believe when wine tasting you are suppose to spit.
5th April 2011

Sounds like fun! Always best to take a tour rather than driving yourself.
5th April 2011

Wine Tasting
Never spit when tasting wine, it takes away all the fun! Besides how else are you supposed to savor the different flavors that linger once you swallow? I would love to visit Napa Valley one day! Drink an extra glass for me!

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