My Bride said let’s go to Napa Valley for our next holiday. To an amateur wine lover, that is close to Nirvana. My brain went into hyper-drive. There is so much to plan, so much to see, but most important…so much to taste. Wineries, restaurants, being a tourist and finding out that we were going to go to a Spa as well, were all crowding my thought process. We were planning on meeting some friends that had moved out of state, in Napa. When should we go? That was easy, let us go when it is the craziest; we will go during harvest season. We can see wine production in process, and fully appreciate all that goes into making a bottle of wine.
Where do we stay, what should we see and where should we eat? All important and great questions that needed an answer, to make this holiday wonderful and memorable. By long distance, burning up the phone lines, we decided to split up some duties. Our friends would work on securing someplace to stay, and find a Spa. The wineries and restaurants fell on my lap, and who in their right mind would consider that work.
There are so many wineries in Napa Valley, that there was no way to see them all, let alone to do wine tasting in just one week. There were wineries that I had to see, and there were some wineries that were important, just to say we went there (because they were tourist attractions that even friends who were not into wines would have heard of). Restaurants had to be chosen for each dinner, not to mention lunches as we would need strength to continue on this quest. I was adamant that we would eat out, all the time, my Bride is an excellent cook, but there was no way that I wanted her to be cooking on this trip, after all she was on holidays as well.
I was burning up the internet checking on wineries and restaurants, and printing maps galore (would I need a separate suit case just for paperwork?). Certain wineries had different classifications for wine tasting. Certain restaurants had different rules for reservations, and everything had to be planned. I felt like a general planning on the largest military maneuver since D-Day.
Slowly, but surely everything started to fall into place. We rented a private home that was owned by a couple from San Francisco and they considered this their cabin on the top of the rise overlooking the whole valley. In the mornings with coffee, out on the porch we could see the hot air balloons from Sonoma. Reservations were being made and then we looked at maps to fill in other side trips between. This was to be a memorable holiday. We decided that the first day would be unpacking, a trip to a Spa (massages and reflexology to prepare us for the rigors of the week) and then dinner. The adventures would begin the next day. The following series of anecdotes may have additional photos beyond just wines, so I beg you to forgive my indulgences ahead of time. Remember also that beyond being an amateur in wines, we are even more an amateur in photography.