I met Arun after 10 years in San Francisco recently. He is working in Bay area and I was there for an official trip. During the weekend, he picked me from Hotel and we headed towards the famous Napa Valley in California. This Photo Journey shares some of the photographs from this visit to Napa Valley and information/expreinces about wineries & wine tasting sessions.
Arun and Shivani have already been to Napa Valley. This time they plan the drive only for me. I was super excited about this visit to the Valley full of famous wineries & grape farms.
Bay area has beautiful landscapes. We had lunch break on our way.
We planned to visit Castello di Amrosa vineyard. It's located on an elevated place. After parking our car, we headed towards the reception and got the entry tickets for 3 of us. The basic ticket (without guided tour) costed us $20 each. This also included wine tasting session.
There were different types of tickets which included guided tours, wherein a guide accompanies you and tells various associated facts about winery. We decided to not take the guided tour and explored whole vineyard on our own.
There were few halls in this vineyard with various sized barrels. Every barrel was marked with the name of wine, time and other relevant details. Some of the barrels were huge !
Napa Valley has various vineyards spread across acres of land. Most of the them are huge. February was not right time to visit Napa Valley. There were no grapes in the vineyards.
Above photograph shows the old machinery for making wine.
We had fun roaming around the vineyard, before heading towards the wine tasting session.
This vineyard looks like a castle with huge compound, a restaurant and wine tasting alleys in the basement.
Finally we hit the wine tasting counter, where we were given a list of wines available at this winery. He asked us to mark 5 wines we want to taste. With little knowledge and references from past experiences, we ticked 5 wines in the list. After first serving we asked for next recommendations and after doing some random calculations and knowing about our nationality, he served us few wines. To be honest, we didn't like any of those. Not sure if it was about our bad taste or something else :)
Napa Valley is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world. Records of commercial wine production in the region date back to the nineteenth century, but premium wine production dates back only to the 1960s. The combination of Mediterranean climate, geography and geology of the region are conducive to growing quality wine grapes. John Patchett the Napa Valley's first commercial vineyard in 1858. In 1861 Charles Krug established another of Napa Valley's first commercial wineries in St. Helena Viticulture in Napa suffered several setbacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including an outbreak of the vine disease phylloxera, the institution of Prohibition, and the Great Depression. The wine industry in Napa Valley recovered, and helped by the results of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, came to be seen as capable of producing the best quality wine – equal to that of Old World wine regions. Napa Valley is now a major enotourism destination. Check more at - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napa_Valley_AVA
It was fun to explore Napa valley with Arun and Shivani. They made my visit to California very special.
Most of the vineyards in Napa Valley also sell wines, so one can choose to buy wine from these wineries. Apart from Wines, they had also kept various kinds of souvenirs. Since, lot of tourists visit this place, these wineries also earn a lot by selling different stuff which is not even related to wines.
Many of my friends highly recommended a visit to Napa Valley and somehow I was disappointed. Probably I had very high expectations and visited the place in wrong time of the year. I am again planning to visit the place during Spet/Oct which is considered as the best time because you get to see lot of action in these vineyards.
It seems that lot of folks also visit Napa Valley during summers, but one needs to be ready to queue up for entry and wine tasting sessions.
We spent quality time at this winery and now it was time to leave for Fremont. Arun stays in Fremont. So idea was to visit his place, have dinner and come back to my hotel in San Francisco. After dinner Arun dropped me at the hotel. It seems that BART station in San Francisco is not a very safe place during late evenings, so Arun didn't want me to go alone after 9pm.