Adventures in California Wine Country: Napa Valley – Part One

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The Vineyard Garden Terrace at V. Sattui Winery

Continued from
Adventures in California Wine Country: Sonoma County – Part Three

 

According to The Wine Institute — which recently sent me and my friend Jen Miner to the Northern California wine country on a research mission to find great adventures for couples and friends — September is California Wine Month

And while September is a gorgeous time to visit the Napa Valley, home to hundreds of wineries and the towns of St. Helena and Rutherford…it’s now over. Fortunately, Napa should also be pretty darn stunning in October and November. 

For a little travel-planning inspiration, here are some of the adventures that Jen and I enjoyed in the Napa Valley, from a tour of the granddaddy of Napa wineries to an elegant lunch on a garden terrace to a wine cave atop a famous hill.

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A Weekend of Wine in Paso Robles

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The grapevines at Jada, a winery in Paso Robles, California

We hadn’t been to our favorite California wine region, Paso Robles, in over a year…and so it was time.

In the past year, there’s been an explosion of new wineries in this valley (a climate similar to France’s Cotes du Rhône), with more on the way.

We just spent a blissful weekend trying some of what’s new in the area, as well as what’s simply new to us.

 

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Tasting the Anderson Valley

Northern California’s Anderson Valley wine region, a 2 1/2 hour drive north of San Francisco, runs 18 miles along State 128 through a quiet, cozy wedge of woodland countryside.  It’s less traveled than Napa or Sonoma, but offers friendly people, rustic architecture, and some darn good wines.

It’s perfect for getting away from any city you can think of, and hearing yourself think.  Especially if you want to think about wine. [Read more…]