California Wine Country

So I wouldn’t consider myself “well-traveled.” I’m still making my way around the globe. But there is something special about California Wine Country. Is there any other place like it? I’m not sure.

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The set up inside Jordan private tasting
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The entrance to Jordan

This post is a little over due, but two weekends ago my family came out to visit and we spent a couple days up in wine country, having a grand old time. If there is one thing my family knows how to do, it is have fun. There is nothing like driving through acres of grape vines with your best friends since birth, in the beautiful California sunshine, pulling up to magnificently beautiful estates and sampling their different concoctions.

Living just a short trip away from wine country has really given me an appreciation and a fascination for the complexity of the wine making process. Developing my palate has always been an ongoing journey for me. Food and drink is so important in culture, to evoke certain memories and to be the cornerstone of new, extraordinary experiences. Being out in San Francisco has also given my family an excuse to come out and explore wine country and I think it is going to be a new family tradition.

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Ledson Estate

Last weekend was my fourth time to Napa, so I am still a novice, but the only way to develop your palate is to keep trying, sniffing, swishing, savoring.

Our first stop was Jordan, we were a little early for our reservation, so we actually stopped at Simi down the block for a tasting. The wines were delicious, and because it was Sonoma, we were allowed to get some hummus, some cheese, and a baguette and sit outside and have a bite. Thank goodness for carbs in wine country.

Jordan was also nice. It started off in their library, with a chardonnay and a food pairing by their chef, a cold soba noodle dish. Then we were led to another room to try their 2008, 2010, and 2012 Cabs. The 2012 Cab was wild, a favorite among all. I would go into flavor details, but I don’t feel that experienced. I’d trust the professionals on that, haha.

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Outside Ledson, we bought a bottle of wine to have at their picnic tables and climb some trees overlooking the vineyards.

Next for the day was Ledson. These wines were some of my favorite, but our host for the private tasting was also so, so very incredible. That will make the experience in my mind. Wine is to be associated with good memories. If your host is not warm and friendly, it just doesn’t get that A+ in my book.

Our second day brought us to Caymus, a second visit for me, with absolutely beautiful outdoor seating and very fruit forward wine. Then we headed over to Stags’ Leap (different the Stag’s Leap apparently. This was not the one to win bottle shock) for an estate tour and tasting. Another of my favorite wines, and the estate was beautiful and our tour guide very knowledgeable.

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Sitting outside at Caymus
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Inside Stags Leap

Our last day we headed over to St Supéry, where my aunt and uncle were already wine club members and my mother would soon become. It was my favorite tasting out of all, definitely a recommendation on my part. They pair their wines with specific cheeses, and actually explain to you why they made the pairing. You sip each, and then go back to sip again, savor, take a nibble, and then sip once more to see how the wine transforms! There results where unbelievable!!!! Their Malbec tasted like blueberries!!!

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The tasting at St. Supéry

There is so much you can say about a trip to Napa: Where to go for wine, where to stay, where to eat. Honestly its all about the company you are holding and how you make the best of it!

So here are the wineries I have been to in my four short visits. The list will keep expanding? If you have a favorite please share! I would love suggestions for next time.

Trefethen
Domaine Carneros
Artesa
Jarvis
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
Stags’ Leap
Plumpjack
Opus One
Ingelnook
St Supéry
David Arthur
Caymus
Silver Oak
Frog’s Leap
Clif Family
Pride
Jordan
Ledson
Simi
Merryvale

 

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