Mary Ann Issac
4 best experiences in Napa Valley
Have you ever walked through a vineyard when it is in full bloom? The deep purple of the most succulent grapes just call out to you, making you want to stuff a couple in your mouth before the guide shows up! Even from a distance, the purple of the ripe grapes pop against the lush green of the vineyard.
Napa Valley’s vineyards and wineries are world class, so a day spent sipping and swirling wine wont be a day wasted when you are here.
1. Wine and Dine at V. Sattui Winery
A beautiful day in Napa calls for a picnic with some scrumptious food and great wine to go with it. V. Sattui Winery has an amazing deli where you can get great food, and a large variety of cheeses to go with your wine. The picnic area outside is perfect for lunch with your friends on a warm sunny day.
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2. Take a crash course in wine making
During Harvest season, you can observe and learn more about grape sorting, de-stemming and the whole wine making process from their very well-informed staff.
3. Visit Andretti Winery
The Spanish Villa that is Andretti Winery, is gorgeous, and just invites you in, even without the lure of their delicious wines. A stroll around the vineyard behind the winery is a great way to take in the beauty of this property, and to understand the tedious wine making process.
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4. Stomp grapes at the Napa Valley Harvest Festival
Do you remember the sheer joy you felt as a child when you jumped up and down in muddy puddles? When you were so carefree, when the dirt on your new shoes, stains on your new dress, or the stares from strangers went unnoticed? Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days, but I still am not brave enough to dirty myself in a muddy puddle.
Then, one day, I got wind of the Harvest festival at vineyards around the world, and from that day on I’ve been waiting to jump in the grown up version of my muddy puddles. I see men and women, have the time of their lives getting messy, knowing that the stains aren’t coming off. I see them embrace their inner child.
Napa Valley’s wineries harvest their grapes from early August to early November. So if you are in the area around this time, be sure to go, get yourself dirty.
Grgich Winery in Napa offers this experience everyday from end of August till end of October. The experience will cost $35/adult, & $25/minor. You also get to print your grape stained feet on a T-shirt that says ‘I stomped at Grgich Hills’! For more details, check : www.grgich.com
What do vineyards do with stomped grapes?
The grapes from their vineyards that don’t meet their quality standards are used for the stomping experience, so not to worry, you wont be drinking the feet flavoured grapes in your wine! The stomped grapes and its juice are used as compost for their vineyards.
Some practical tips before you book a Napa Valley Wine tour
-Make sure the tour you book includes the wine tasting fees at the different wineries. If it doesn’t explicitly say that, you probably have to pay extra for every glass of wine at every winery they take you to! ( which works out to be really expensive!)
-If you have a designated driver, the best & cost effective way to experience Napa would be to drive there yourself. Do some research, choose the wineries you would like to visit, and enjoy the day at your own pace.
-There’s always a lot going on in Napa, so don’t restrict yourself to just a wine tour. Before you go, check out the events calendar at www.visitnapavalley.com https://www.visitnapavalley.com/events/?
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