Napa Valley: Articles on California's Napa Valley Wine Region

Napa Valley: Best Restaurants For Your Wine Country Day Trip

Planning a trip to wine country takes some doing. There are decisions to make about what day to go, which valley to visit, which wineries to see and where to make your appointments, not to mention the wrangling required to figure out who’s going to drive and whose car gets donated for the occasion. On top of all this, one can easily overlook perhaps the day’s second most important decision: where to eat.

Wine Grapes Won't Wait: The Crush Is On In Napa Valley

Living in Napa Valley these past six months has brought with it an ever-changing array of challenges and rewards. This month, amidst a monumental heat wave -- temperatures soaring emphatically and relentlessly into the 90s and 100s -- the air conditioning in my car went out. In this land of high-cost-of-living-induced microbudgets I found myself faced with the choice of either cocooning myself in clean, cool air or being able to afford the next couple thousand dollars' worth of certification courses.

Terroir in Napa Valley Wine: Fantasy vs Reality

By nature, my mind has always rebelled against being force-fed facts like a goose whose ultimate destiny is foie gras.  But comes a time.....Comes a time when you need to prove you know the difference between your Charmat, Crémant and Charente...your Brouilly, Rully and brouillis...your Guyot, Grolleau and Grillo.  And evidently, for me, the time was now.

Putting Wine Tasting Notes to the Test

Tasting notes are a great way to get a sense of a wine’s personality before investing in a bottle you’ve never before tried. But how meaningful are they to the Average Joe? On a recent trip to Napa, we decided to put tasting notes to the test by comparing them with our own impressions.

Robert Mondavi & the Mondavi Family: American Wine Royalty

When talk turns to Napa Valley royalty, Robert Mondavi and the Mondavi family indisputably qualify as the ruling monarchy of the Napa Valley –and frankly the US- wine industry. With an almost biblical or Shakespearean flair, the Mondavi family story of the last 100 years is one of passion, pettiness, family squabbling, wild success, dramatic failure, and of course, wine. In her new book, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, author Julia Flynn delivers a masterful narrative on the Mondavi clan. recently had the privilege of chatting with Julia about the book and the evolution of the Mondavi family story.

Gossip Flows as Freely as Wine in Napa Valley

Month four, job two since I moved to Napa Valley and things have changed a lot. I've found a wonderful new job that I really enjoy and I'm learning tremendously much. I've recovered from Napa Valley Sticker Shock Syndrome and blithely shell out fifteen bucks for a burger. And though chances were iffy at first at best I can honestly say I'm now happy.

Planning Your Napa Trip: The Art of Winery Hopping

In the Art of Travel, Alain de Botton reflects on how the idea of travel to an exotic locale is often more romantic and enchanting than the actual trip. His point is a good one – how many vacations have you taken where the arduous car ride, the bumpy flight, the long line at the museum, the map juggling in the street, or the prices in the gift shops left you frazzled and perhaps wondering if it was all worth it.

Cabernet Franc: Talking with John Skupny of Lang & Reed

These days, whenever I mention that I picked up a bottle of Cabernet Franc during one of my tasting trips, I always get a knowing nod of approval from my fellow wine enthusiasts. Cabernet Franc is definitely gaining attention among American consumers, and it has slowly begun to emerge as more than just a mere blending grape for Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve pondered Cabernet Franc’s recent rise in popularity, and have developed a theory regarding the varietal’s growing niche within the American market: Over the past 30 years, U.S. consumers have come to accept Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as two of the standards among fine red wine.

Napa Valley's Dark Underbelly

Three months now since I moved to Napa Valley. Where does the time go! An alarming amount of it seems to have been spent spraying Wine Away on red wine spilled on my white carpet and then blotting it up with paper towels. Any landlord who rents an apartment with white carpeting to a wine professional is placing their property in grave danger.

Paloma, the Little Winery that Could: A Visit with Barbara Richards

The drive to the Spring Mountain district from downtown St. Helena is not for the faint of heart. Climbing ever higher through narrow winding roads, my backseat driver averts her eyes from the unfenced drop-offs, while I apologize silently to the locals in the rear-view mirror. They are clearly irritated to be stuck behind a visitor abiding by the posted speed limits.

It is hard to fathom that such a challenging vertical natural piece of land has been developed into one of the most respected Californian appellations.

Upon arriving at the inconspicuous entrance to Paloma, there is a precipitous climb to a series of three gates

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