Napa Valley, California is mecca for lovers of fine wine for a reason. Visitors from around the world flock to this wonderful place year round. There are hundreds of wineries and vineyards located all within a pretty close proximity. On a visit to the area, you will see a variety of people. Everyone from those that don’t even drink wine to those obsessed with it. Every nationality, age and demographic is represented. Visitors can explore the valley on their own with maps of the vineyards that are readily available. Or, they can visit with a tour group. On my first visit, I did the tour experience. The first winery we visited was V. Satui, one of the oldest vineyards in the valley. It is also the only winery that is grandfathered in to also have a deli. And what a deli it is, fresh cheeses, breads, anti-pasta and deli sandwiches. We ate lunch in the courtyard with a good bottle of wine, it was very relaxing. The other highlight of the tour was Domain Chandon, a sparkling wine (American version of Champagne) winery. This place is amazing, they also have an art institute and a culinary school on the premises. And the sparkling wine was incredible, the best I have tasted in my young wine courtship. If you are ever in the area, do not miss this wonderful slice of heaven.
The photo above was taken in one of the cellars at V. Satui. These aging barrels are a high tech science. They are made from a specific wood that only grows in one region in Europe. Once the barrels are assembled, the inside is charred to different specs for different wines. The wine is aged in these barrels for varying lengths of time to achieve different flavors. I loved the way the light and shadows worked with each other to bring out the natural colors of the wood.
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