Live from Napa Valley
Wineries, Inns, Restaurants are Open and Welcoming
Live from Napa Valley: Some Observations
As I leave Napa Valley, August 2021 several thoughts strike me:
· The wines are delicious as usual. The wineries’ hospitality staffs are extra friendly. The winemakers are ultra conscientious and thoughtful. May I say many staff and owners here in Napa Valley have a little PTSD from the dual calamities of the 2020 Glass Fire and the Covid-19 Pandemic? Don’t we all?
· The inns, hotels, and B&B’s are especially careful about cleaning and social-distancing. Some are not full and many vacancies are obvious. Yet, I have not seen price-cuts…representing optimism for the future.
· The good restaurants have a lively business, but a few famous ones went out of business last year, or burned and are re-building (e.g., Meadowood Resort.)
· The 2020 Vintage white wines are and should be spectacular, but only about ¼ of the red grape harvest was picked in advance of the fires. Much of the red grapes were unpicked and left on the vine or discarded later. You can be sure if Napa Valley is on the label of a 2020 wine, it is untainted and a Napa Valley-great wine.
· Indoor mask mandates started August 4 in Sonoma Country and August 6 in Napa Valley. Everyone was fine about it in the area. I have not met an unvaccinated person in either county working with the public, but I know they do exist. Most winery staff received early vaccines as part of the state vaccination program for agricultural workers. This is one of today’s better travel choices…..”And the wine is Bottled Poetry.”
Napa Valley Series
Stay tuned for my Napa Valley Wine Wandering series: Interviews with winemakers and owners along with restaurant, inn-B&B, and shopping reviews. There is much more to share about this trip that might seem poignant, yet hopefully informative. Stories will include an account of fires going up two sides of a winery perched on a hill near the Silverado Trail; the winery fortunately did not burn. The account came from one of the two people within the winery who were getting ready to turn out the lights when and If Cal Fire gave them the signal. This story makes you feel compassion for the people of Southern Oregon Black Butte and Eastern California Dixie fires being endured right now.
Napa Valley Series 2021-2022 Will Include:
A Video Interview with Jean Charles Boisset, Owner and Provocative Spokesman: Raymond Vineyards, Buena Vista Vineyards, DeLoach and Multiple Burgundy, France Vineyards.
Ritchie Allen, Director of Viticulture and Winemaking, Rombauer Vineyards. Current Releases and 2020 Vintage Projections.
A Wine Club Event: the 50th Anniversary of Summit Lake Vineyards and Winery, Howell Mt. Napa Valley
Alpha Omega: Exclusive Interview with Head Winemaker, Matt Brain
Elizabeth Vianna, Notable Businesswoman, General Manager and Winemaker: Chimney Rock Winery of Stags Leap District, One of America’s Few Latino Winemakers
Exclusive Pritchard Hill Pioneer, Chappellet Winery, An Interview with Dominic Chappellet
Healdsburg: Sonoma County’s Shopping and Tasting Room Mecca
The Surprising Mixologists of Napa Valley Cocktails
Traveling to Napa Valley: Wineries, Sports Activities, Shopping, Where to Eat, Where to Stay
Napa Valley Recovery: What is the Outlook for the 2020 Vintage?
Gary Farrell Winery, Russian River Valley, Sonoma: An Interview with Winemaker Theresa Heredia
The Restaurants of Calistoga, Napa Valley
The Best of Joseph Phelps Vineyards: Tour with a Wine Educator
The Heritage of Hall Winery, Napa Valley: Tour and Tasting
What Constitutes a Great Bed & Breakfast?
Recipes, Service, and Amenities
1881 Museum Napa Valley: A Transformation of the Oakville Grocery
Join me in taking a fresh look at Napa Valley with my recommendations. Tried and true wine brands are always fun. Decide to try one new, emerging winery as part of your travels. Experiment with restaurants in various towns. Every year in Napa Valley can be a completely new travel and wine tasting experience.
Wine Wanderings Editorial Calendar
Napa Valley Wine Series: See Stories Above
The True Cost of a Cocktail with the CEO of BuzzBallz, Marilee Kick
Left Bank vs. Right Bank Bordeaux: Taste the Difference
Wine Castles of Sonoma County
Smashing Summer Cocktails: The Best of Gin and Bourbon
America’s Exceptional Wine Country Adventures: States to Consider
Tour Tuscany Like a Pro
Styles of Corkscrews: Which Should I Use?