Notes from Napa

Yes I know I’m late in uploading this *Feels Naoko’s cold glare*.  However, it’s amazing how much running around wine country and the Bay Area can tire you out.  So I finally have a night where I don’t feel like I’m going to collapse on the bed, so here’s a brief summary of my Napa day.

So one thing I did not count on when booking the trip, was that there was going to be a major multi-day concert in the region called Bottle Rock.  So I started off the day with trepidation on traffic and crowd size.  The first stop was the Napa Visitor Center.  For those of you planning your own Napa Trip (looking at you anna) it should be your first stop too.  Besides the usual maps, brochures, and booklets; they also have wine tasting coupons.   The best thing was when the guy there said because of Bottle Rock, we would have the whole valley to ourselves.  The first winery was Beaulieu Vineyards.  This was a new discovery for me, but it was highly rated.  Sure enough, the tasting room was not crowded at all.  The most interesting thing I tasted there was the 2011 Maestro Sauvignon Blanc.  With a white you expect crisp, maybe creamy, maybe sweet.  But this tasted nothing like a white wine, it tasted alot more like a red.  It was peppery, a bit sour, but had a herbal flavor.

Bottles of wine at BV

Bottles of wine at BV

Next was a place I had been a few time before and always enjoyed, V. Sattui Winery.  Not only do you have to go for the wines, but they have an excellent deli as well.  But lets start with the wines.

V. Sattui logo

V. Sattui logo

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Bought two bottles there; the 2011 Gamay Rouge and the 2012 Muscat.  The Gamay Rouge was probably my favorite.  Very fruity with a strong peach flavor.  The sales person called it “a party in a bottle” because it was good with any kind of food or even by itself.  A nice thing about V. Sattui is that after you’re one with your wine tasting, you just hop over to their deli and grab yourself some lunch.  They even have a BBQ area outside that serves wonderful hot food.  Oh, and if you get the side of potato salad, DEFINITELY add bacon to it.

The fountain in front of V. Sattui

The fountain in front of V. Sattui

One of the buildings of the winery.

One of the buildings of the winery.

Napa wine train

Napa wine train

The next stop was Sterling Vineyards, a world class facility with probably the best view in Napa.  Sitting at the top of a hill, you have to take a gondola to the top of the winery.  Once there, it’s a self paced walking tour with several tastings at different locations.  From the patio, you get a wonderful view of the vineyard and the valley.

Rows of grape vines at Sterling

Rows of grape vines at Sterling

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Lots of barrels

Lots of barrels

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What a view!

What a view!

The 2012 Malvasia Bianca was probably my favorite.  Had a nice taste of passion fruit and pear.  Since I should probably mention a red too, the 2009 Napa Merlot is not bad; smooth with a hint of cherry.

Finally we hit Sutter Home as the last winery of the day.  Yes it’s technically table wine, but the tastings are free.

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Since Yountville is on the way back down, the Bouchon Bakery is a MUST!  It’s housed in a small building on Washington St and almost easy to miss.  Be warned tough, prepare to wait in line.  Ever try to go to Voodoo doughnuts in Portland OR?  Yeah, line is out the door and halfway down the block.  But it’s totally worth it.  If anything, you must get their macaroons.  I also tried one of their croissants, never had one so light and buttery ever.

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Oh, be sure to try the Pacific Blues Cafe just down the street.

That’s all for now, I’ll have to catch up with notes on my San Francisco and Sonoma outing after I get back home since I’m flying back today.

 

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One Response to Notes from Napa

  1. Naoko Smith says:

    Well worth the wait; thanks for the great tips on wines to look out for 🙂

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