Sea Spray and Golden Gateways…(Part 2 In the Valley of Grapes)

I was asked not long ago what my favorite part of my trip to San Fransisco was…and I couldn’t answer.

There is so much about that area of the world that you can see, hear, smell, experience that how could one person possibly choose one thing to be their favorite?

On our second day we had planned to take a drive. Being in the wine industry myself, I couldn’t give up the opportunity on visiting one of the largest wine production regions in the country! We set our compass North and took off from the busy city interstates and found our way to the quieter lifestyle and single lane roads of Napa Valley.

There are hundreds of vineyards and wineries in the Napa Valley, it would be impossible to hit all of these wineries in a single day so we decided to hit three. Basically at random in choosing but we chose some winners!

The first location we visited was amazing. Saintbury Winery, this winery, of the few I visited, was one of my favorites. The atmosphere of the winery was light and open, the tasting room was designed to be outdoors and surrounded by gardens under a natural canopy of tree branches. You sit outdoors and yet the entire time you still feel like you are totally alone. The service was outstanding! I loved how the entire winery was very calm and laid back, with dogs running around, the wind blowing through the leaves above you.

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The second winery we visited was Starmont Winery. This winery was a little less great but they make really tasty wine and the location was beautiful but I didn’t get the kind of connection that I did at Saintbury.

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I love everything about wineries. I love the heat pushing from the ground, sun gleaming through the vines, the grapes plumping on the vines, walking between the rows. I love all of it. I was so new to the wine industry just over a year ago but I have come to appreciate it, more so I have come to love it. PAH_8727

Last winery we went to visit was the Castello di Amorosa, or the “Castle”. This is the closest some people will get to an Italian Renaissance Castle without actually going to Europe. This winery was made in perfect reflection to a 13th century Italian Castle, hand made, stones cut by hand, the wood protruding from the walls, a medieval wooden door with a draw bridge and a moat! PAH_8751

Just breathe, take it all in. Between the blue sky and the rich earth, everything in between is peace. The road back was quiet but you have to think about a tiny string of towns that is established around the world of wine.

 

Traveling Photographer Out…

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