Previously on The Blog About Nothing... in London!

  • stamaria Santa Maria
    Best Pizza in London
  • tapcoffee Tap Coffee
    Coffee time in Warren St
  • exmouthespresso Bean Review
    Exmouth Espresso Blend
  • kurobuta Kurobuta
    Japanese Tapas
  • oddonos Oddono's
    Gelato in Chiswick
  • smokehouse Smokehouse
    Mouthwatering Burgers and BBQ
  • firehouse No 197 Fire Station
    Complete disaster
  • irisandjune Iris & June
    Independent Coffee Shop in Victoria
  • coffeeguide The Not Official London Coffee Guide
    Humble take on the independent scene
  • dumdum Dum Dum Donutterie
    They don't have Cronuts but they do Cros
  • bonanza Bean Review
    Bonanza's Espresso Blend
  • moo Moo Cantina
    Lomito Time
  • chorbizarre Chor Bizarre
    Restaurant with personality
  • squaremilebelen Bean Review
    Square Mile's Belen Espresso
  • ottolenghi Ottolenghi
    Not as good as usual!
  • quantus Quantus
    European cuisine in Chiswick
  • pearlliang Pearl Liang
    About Time for a Chinese

Let’s go Wine Tasting [On The Road: Napa]

In my life I have travelled a lot, I can proudly say I have been in 6 of the 7 continents missing only Antarctica, and I'm completely confident that the coolest, fun, and probably most enjoyable trip I have ever done so far was to Napa Valley with the gang. We got together 6 friends including significant others, living in 4 different countries for a two days trip to the wine region. 

The Gang © Lili DuBois
Lovely Heather was in charge of the logistics, and she was brilliant, the itinerary couldn't be better, perfect for a chaotic and disorganised group as we are. Napa vineyards date back to the nineteenth century, some of them are still operating, but in the 60s was when they raised as a first rank wine region. 

Ze Ladies!
We started our trip with some bubbles, yes let’s get fizz at Domaine Chandon, we browse around a bit, but let’s face it, this was our first place, so we were desperate to get some tasting going on, or should I say drinking going in some cases. The varietals they grow are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two of the three traditional French Champagne varietals. 

Domaine Chandon
We went straight to etoile restaurant in the winery, award winning restaurant, only fine dining within a winery in Napa, and chef Perry Hoffman was awarded best new chef by Food & Wine. We got bottles of the etoile Brut, Rose, and the Tete de Cuve. A great start, all were brilliant, my favourite definitely the Tete de Cuve which is a winery exclusive.

bye bye Chandon
Domaine Chandon and etoile Restaurant 
T: +1 888 242 6366 
Winery / French Cuisine 
Approx Damage: $190 per the 3 bottles 
Area: Napa Valley 
Twitter: Chandon 

Our second stop was in Robert Mondavi winery, the first major winery built in Napa post prohibition era, he opened his winery after he was fired from the family winery Krug over a fight with his little brother. We did the proper tour of the winery, 75 minutes following the path of the grave from the vineyard, to the cellar, to the finished wine. We had to wait for our tour but free of charge we were able to try most of their wines, including the original Fume Blanc Robert created in 1966.

Robert Mondavi Winery
Waiting for our tour © Lili DuBois
Wine barrels
I have a bad feeling about this! © Lili DuBois
Robert Mondavi Winery 
T: +1 888 766 6328 
Approx Damage: $25 for the tour 
Area: Napa Valley 
Twitter: RobertMondavi

Our third stop a last for the first day was Castello di Amorosa, 121 thousand square foot 13th century Tuscan castle/winery that opened in 2007. Having visited castles around Europe Amorosa looks a bit tacky, we didn't take the tour as the general entry gives you access to most of the areas and you can try some wines as well, at that point half of the group didn’t know even their names, having said that we continue with the wine tasting mission, the entry gives you to try 5 wines but our friendly bartender in the main tasting bar gave us a couple more so we could try a bit more of the set of wines they commercialise. 

Reuter making friends © Lili DuBois
Tasting Bar
Does anybody knows where we are? © Lili DuBois
Castello di Amorosa 
T: +1 707 967 6272 
Approx Damage: $18 for the general admission (includes 5 wines to taste) 
Area: Napa Valley 
Twitter: TheCastello 

Next day, new batteries, and ready for more wine, we got to Reynolds Family Winery, Heather reserved a private tasting there, the more family style winery we visited, less commercial than the other ones, we got the reserve flight tasting, went through their wines, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Persistence (Bordeaux blend) and Reserve Cabernet. 

The winery
Love the labels
Reynolds Family Winerty 
T: +1 707 258 2258 
Approx Damage: $20 for the wine tasting 
Area: Napa Valley 
Twitter: ReynoldsFamWine 

Our next stop was Clos Du Val, founded by two French wine businessman who travelled the world for two years looking for land to produce Bordeaux style wine, finally they settled in Stags Leap District. For this one what instead of paying for the taste each, we put the money together and bought the bottles that were in the tasting. Great day, we went to the yard, sat in a table, got some cheese and charcuterie and enjoyed the wine while relaxing contemplating the vineyards. 

Clos Du Val
Wine time
Al fresco tasting
Clos Du Val 
T: +1 800 993 9463 
Approx Damage: $15 
Area: Napa Valley 
Twitter: ClosDuValNapa 

Our final stop was Sterling Vineyards, the winery has a cable car, in order to get to the top of the hill where it’s located. Greek inspired architecture, outstanding views of the valley, a self-guided tour so you go at your own pace, and you taste 5 different wines, for $5 more you can have additional tasting of their reserve wines, and $10 more you can have single vineyards and limited release wines a great ending for our trip. 

Cable car © Lili DuBois
Enjoying the view  © Lili DuBois
Last tasting  © Lili DuBois
Looking forward the next trip  © Lili DuBois
Sterling Winery 
T: +1 800 726 6136 
Approx Damage: $35 for the Silver experience wine tasting 
Area: Napa Valley 
Twitter: sterlingwines

All these wines remind me the Seinfeld episode “The Soup” 

George: I did it! It's all done! 
Jerry: Hey 
George: I did it. Hun, we're going out as soon as she gets off of work and it'll still be daytime. You know I, I'm much better in the daytime than I am at night, it's less pressure 
Jerry: I love the day date. No wine, No shower 
George: Yeah


Jim Sullivan said...

What a great blog. Thank you for the great photos and story of your travels. We'll be ready to put some great wine in your glass during your next visit!


Warm regards,
Jim Sullivan, VP

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails