For my 40th Birthday, Christine treated me to a spectacular weekend in Napa Valley during harvest season -a perfect confluence of wine and history.
We stayed at the Wine Country Inn and Cottages in St. Helena. Specifically we stayed in a cottage with a balcony that opened into and overlooked a vineyard. The sight was amazing, however the smell of the grapes and the wine in the air was breathtaking.
Vineyards and wineries we visited included: Castello di Amorosa, Sterling Vineyards, Charles Krug, Chatteau Montelena, Hess Winery, V. Satuii Winery, Caymus Vineyard, and Round Pond Estate.
Lunches and Dinner included: a picnic at V. Satuii and a spectacular dinner overlooking Napa at Auberge de Soleil.
Each of the vineyards and wineries represented something tangibly unique, from its architecture to its culture. The Castello di Amorosa embodied a perfect mixture of both. The vineyard was lively, the docents enthusiastic, the wine tasting took place in a cellar, and the tour was fun -the torture chamber full of original antiques was particularly interesting.
However, it was at Round Pond Estate, as part of the Gravel Series Tasting that Napa and its wines shone. The site itself is beautifully simple and includes a vineyard, olive orchard, and flower and vegetable garden. The tasting overlooked the estate via an open 2nd floor that let in the allure of the wine via a soft breeze. The gravel series are 100% Cabernet -whereas I cannot do justice to these wines, I can say simply: try it!
Between tastings and lunches / dinners, Christine and I stopped by the Veteran’s Home of California (a historical landmark) and spent an hour walking up and down its Veteran’s Cemetery. I highly recommend that you do the same, if for no other reason than the magnitude of history -having found one marker from the Seminole Wars.
It was the most fantastic way to have spent celebrating turning 40 and we both look forward to our next visit.