Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wine Country

Napa Valley

As we move southward, we thought it would be fun to re-visit California wine country. Back when we lived in California, we spent time up in the Napa area whenever we could...whatever excuse! Then we moved to Colorado...1300 miles is a bit far for a weekend in Napa. Back in the 1970's we came across a small winery that had just recently re-opened - V. Sattui. It became a favorite place, as they have a cheese/deli as part of their facility, and their wine is so good! Our kids often accompanied us there, and now as adults they go there whenever they can.

So here we are, back in wine country, in a small RV park in the heart of Napa. Today, we decided to try a new place. We headed to the north side of the valley, and took in Sterling Vineyards. Sterling has a bit different tour - you ride a gondola up to the facility, then take a self-guided tour, with several tasting stops. We liked the wines, but they let you taste the expensive stuff. Stuff we don't normally drink.

Back to Sattui, where things have also changed. No more "free" wine tasting, it now costs. Wine prices have also escalated. Ah, well, times have changed. We did purchase a couple of bottles to enjoy.

Castille di Amorosa Winery

A real Iron Maiden in the torture room

We also toured the winery Castello di Amorosa, which is showcased by an authentic Tuscan castle that took 15 years to build. Darryl (or Dario as he is now known) Sattui spent 15 years and $38 million to build this castle. It is truly remarkable. If you get the chance, take a tour of this place!

BR Cohn Winery

Odd sculptures outside the winery
The following day, we headed over to Sonoma. Many years ago, we had toured a cheese factory called Sonoma Cheese. It was still there, but they no longer make cheese on site. Progress, I guess. On to the next winery! We went out to the BR Cohn winery. I had read in a brochure that they also had olive trees, and made and sold olive oil and vinegars. The owner, Bruce Cohn, was and is the manager of the rock group The Doobie Brothers. Every summer, the Doobies perform at the vineyard for a charity event. We missed it by a couple of weeks. Since we were "wined" out, we sampled only the olive oils, vinegars, and dipping sauces. Yum!! A couple more bottles were purchased. With cupboard space at a premium, we'll just have to consume!!

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