A trip to Los Angeles isn’t complete without a visit to at least one of the Hollywood neighborhoods to see homes of the stars. “Look–Lucille Ball’s former home! Wow, Jack Benny was right next door!” You get the idea. . . .
A trip to Napa Valley is much the same to wine lovers. Drive up California highway 29 and you’ll be calling out the names of the Napa stars: Mondavi, Coppola, Inglenook, Beaulieu, Sutter Home–the list goes on and on. In fact, there are 450 wineries just in Napa Valley, alone.
The vineyards are everywhere, all in perfect order, with geometric precision, up hillsides, down valleys, cradled within mountains. The huge eucalyptus trees tower over the vineyards, adding their amazing fragrance to the already fresh air. The tasting rooms are restored villas, or in the case of the Sattui family’s Castello di Amorosa winery, a 13th century Tuscan castle.
The gardens are gorgeous–roses grow prolifically under these conditions and the geraniums trail down the large terra cotta urns. Bougainvillea climbs up the stone walls, covering them in shades of pink. The tasting rooms and cellars are humming with happy tourists.
Most of the wineries offer tours and tastings, and some require reservations. With so many wineries, you may want to do research beforehand, so you find the right wineries for your style. Prices vary and there are sometimes coupons and Internet specials to be found.
My husband and I had just a short visit, THIS time, but will be back as often as possible. If you haven’t been to this Heaven on Earth, be sure to add it to your bucket list–it’s a visit to the stars!
More on Napa to come….