Napa Valley is considered one of the top wine growing regions in the world. The combination of Mediterranean climate, geography, and geology of the valley are conducive to growing quality wine grapes.
The Napa Valley is located in Northern California, about 50 miles northeast of the San Francisco Bay Area and about 60 miles west of Sacramento. The Napa Valley is 30 miles long and 5 miles across at its widest point.
In 1968, Napa Valley vintners and others in the community had the foresight to preserve open space and prevent future over-development by enacting the nation’s first Agriculture Preserve.
I live in South California and Napa Valley is just 2 hrs drive away. Whenever there is good whether which is very frequent in California we rush to our favorite picnic spot..Napa
Amazing wines, beautiful vineyards, interesting wineries, variety of cheeses and breathtaking landscapes are the main characteristics of Napa Valley.
Each season is a secret waiting to be discovered in the Napa Valley.
Fall is the time of harvest when the workers are in the fields in the wee hours of the morning. Grapes are harvested while they are still cool so there is less damage to the grape clusters. The grape leaves take on fall colors and the whole valley seems to range from yellow to orange. The daytime temperatures remain high, even in the 90’s Fahrenheit in September though gradually cooling in October and November. This is the high season for tourism, so make your reservations early.
During winter, the grape vines lose their leaves and the young grasses spring up, encouraged by the inevitable January rains turning the valley green once again. Temperatures are low for California, in the 40’s and 50’s most of the time. This is the low season when you can get the best hotel room, the best seats in restaurants and you can most easily pass for a local.
The springtime weather is variable and can range from a low of 40 degrees to a high of 80 degrees. It is the season when pink and white blossoms sprinkle the valley and fields of yellow mustard flowers grow between the dormant grape vines. This is a low season for tourism and hotels rooms are usually less expensive and restaurants are not as crowded.
Summer daytime temperatures are usually in the 70’s and 80’s but can spike to 100 on occasion. The leaves have returned to the grape vines and the whole valley is green. If you look closely, you will see small grape clusters on the vines that will become fully mature in late summer or fall depending on the varietal.
Couple of my favourite wineries are mentioned below:
V. Sattui Winery
Visitors to this winery will not only taste wine but also samples of pate and full deli-style offerings.
The main selling point of this winery, and one of the reasons it is so popular, is their delicious Italian deli and picnic area. (Side note – Only their food is allowed!) The deli has plenty of tasty cold and hot options, as well as an extensive cheese area. We were offered multiple free samples of products such as dips, all of which were delicious. The deli food is a tad pricey, but it’s Napa, so that’s essentially the case wherever you go. We split a caprese salad, a pesto penne salad, and a large cheese and sausage-stuffed portabello mushroom cap.
As far as the wine, the tasting room is very large, but can be quite crowded at peak times. They have an extremely large wine selection, some may say it’s too large. I’ll admit I wasn’t blown away by some of the wines I tasted – I had better elsewhere for a number of varieties – but I liked a few of them quite a bit, enough to buy a bottle
Bottom line – Great service from the tasting bar, tasty food options, and a very nice place to stop and spend some time.
The Silverado Vineyards is located on top of a hill overlooking the Napa Valley along the Silverado Trail. It’s worth a visit just for the view, but don’t stop there. The staff is friendly and knows their wines. Their premier offering is a cabernet sauvignon called Solo, an estate wine from grapes grown along the northern vineyard from the hill. This is a beautiful wine. We discussed wines with the staff and sat on the outdoor patio to take full advantage of the view. This is a great winery stop.
Hope you enjoyed the post. I have to explore much more wineries in Napa..will definitely keep on adding to this post.