Napa Valley - Wine Country

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, August 9, 2007

After having lunch in Carmel, we cruised on up to the Napa Valley wine district. If you are interested in wine and Californian wine in particular, rent the Paul Giamatti movie 'Sideways', which takes place in California just to the South of Napa.
The Napa region is a fair bit inland from the Pacific and is consequently hotter than both Carmel and San Francisco, with a long growing season and warm climate for the grapes. While in the valley, we visited a number of vineyards all with their own unique styles and flavours of wine. The Trefethen vineyard is situated at the beginning of the wine district and required us to make a detour and enter in through the back entrance of the winery, as they were redoing the front pathway. Melissa picked out a great bottle of wine, which turned out to be almost twice the size of the bottles we are used to (How are we going to drink it before we head off to Japan?) On the way out of the vineyard, we stopped to take a look at the cork oak tree, which is what they use when creating cork for bottles. This tree is harvested every ten years or so, by scraping the top section of the wood. The cork extracted in this way can then be shaped to fit wine bottles.
Colin picked the vineyard 'Beringer' from a map of the wine district, as it was one of the older wineries in the district. It was hoped it might end up being an old mansion, perhaps run by an elderly couple who have been there for many years. This turned out not to be the case, as the areas which you visit tend to be modernly run with a sales and gift shop, a tasting section, along with a small glimpse into the running of the vineyard, including the barrels where the wine is fermenting (sometimes these are made out of aluminum) .
On the way back to San Francisco, we stopped at a vineyard that Melissa had been to before called 'Darioush'. Her memory of the winery was of a beautiful structure of carved sandstone with a Mediterranean style, which was so unlike the other vineyards in the area. Her sister, niece, and her had visited the winery and performed a tasting of the wine, but although they liked the wine house very much, the wine was not up to par. This time both the building and the wine were excellent and we went away with another bottle of wine from this vineyard. So now we have two bottles - perhaps we will carry one with us on our trip to Japan...
It was starting to get late as we made our way back into San Francisco. All thoughts of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, resplendent in the glow from the setting sun seemed a little unrealistic. By the time we approached the bridge it was starting to get dark and a fog had rolled in from the Pacific. We had been listening to a radio station called 'K-Fog', which all of a sudden began to make sense for this particular area. As the fog grew thicker around us, we began to see portions of the Golden Gate Bridge, wrapped in wisps of fog, however it was now too dark to photograph. The Golden Gate Bridge seen in the tourist shots that we are used to is only available later in the year and that is if the weather is fare and there is no wind at all.
Eventually we made it through the darkening streets to our hotel. We were both exhausted from our navigation and glad to have returned the car in one piece back to the renters.
Our next entry will feature further exploration of San Francisco, including Haight & Ashbury, where the 60's are still alive and well - Peace Out, dude!
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urmisstik on

Groovy Man Cool!!!

Those days weren't that long ago were they.

Bellbottoms, halter tops, souped up cars, albums, serious heavy metal music, platform shoes, earth shoes...

Love Michelle xox :o)

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