I have been meaning to visit Napa Valley each time I’ve come to California. Finally, this time I went there with a bunch of friends. My gang from engineering college, and their spouses.. Some are local, some were visiting. As always, it was great fun to catch up.
The drive through the Napa Valley is very scenic. Vineyards on both sides of the roads beckoned invitingly. Our first stop was the famous Robert Mondavi Winery. The winery’s estate includes the To Kalon vineyard- one of the first vineyards of Napa Valley. We opted to take the shorter, the 45 min tour of the winery. This included 3 tastings.
Once the tour began, we followed our guide around, listened attentively to what she said, answered a few questions and asked a few of our own. Sometimes we got busy taking pictures or just plain distracted and missed what she said. On one such occasion, one of us asked a question. Oddly, what we got was not -” Like I just explained…” or ” As I was saying…”. It was ” I just told you….”.How rude!
I was a little disappointed, as no information was given about the flavours of the wines of the wines offered for tasting. This was quite contrary to my experience at the Sula Winery in Nashik, India. There the sommelier took special effort to acquaint his charges with the qualities of each wine. He thoughtfully explained each wine, prior to offering it for tasting, so you knew what you were looking for. Nevermind that I could never find it!
The second winery we visited was the V.Sattui winery. We picked this one, because it had a deli and a little picnic ground attached. The deli offered cheese sampling, and a whole host of cheeses for purchase. At the wine shop, the sommelier seemed to have guaged that we would not buy anything and was quite disinterested in us. He would pour us a wine and then then just disappear for the the next 10 mins or so. The couple next to us, however was being assisted by another sommelier, who was explaining the nuances of each wine they tasted as well as advising them on the best pairings.
We bought our lunch at the deli, which had a few decent vegetarian options and settled down on one of the lovely picnic benches. Once done with lunch, and photo ops, we headed out of the picturesque Napa valley.
It was a day well spent.
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread – and good friends
Besides me singing in the Vineyards……….
(Omar Khayyam reinterpreted)