Top | While my sautoir gently sweats — Blog
(post, John Dryzga)
There are few, if any, places that come to mind where it is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to start drinking wine at 10 in the morning. But, when in Napa, do as Napa does. If you have not been to Napa, then you are missing out. It is basically a 30 mile long Disney world for the wine and food crowd. You can taste wine to your heart, and wallets, content. Big mass producer wineries will gladly pour you their wares, as will small bouti que makers. Wine not your thing? Check out the sake producer. Really more into food? How about three Thomas Keller restaurants in about 4 blocks. Our trip this year started with the wonderful Cakebread Cellars. Really great wines and a great tasting experience. Instead of bellying up to a bar and having the wines in rapid sucession, a guide takes you around the property with stops along the way to taste. It was a wonderful way to start this years wineathon. We next made our way to Castello di Amarossa. The owner spent 14 years and who know s how many million dollars to create an authentic Italian castle in Napa Valley. He even had a blacksmith make the nails by hand! The wines were not that memorable, but the tour of the castle was a must do. Our next stop brought us to the great sparkling wine producer Schramsberg. You have to call ahead to for reservations for the tour and tasting, but it is well worth it. A quick history lesson of the property and the products lead into a tour through the cellars. If you are a wine geek, then this is pretty damn close to Nirvana! They still riddle most of their wines by hand. Riddling is the quick turning of sparkling wine bottles to get the sediment to rest in the neck of the bottle so it can be removed. Watching the guide do a few bottles knowing that someone does thousands of bottles a day certainly makes one appreciate their bubbly more. The day ended with a wonderful meal at Tre Vingne. We had the fresh mozzerella for an appetizer and it was superb. Coated in olive oil and herbs it tasted so good on the garlic toast. The risotto and pastas we had as mains were equally worthy of praise. More about this trip will follow in future posts. Cheers!