Sunday, September 19, 2010

Napa Valley ~ Beringer Winery


After spending two days in some of the wine regions in Sonoma, California that I described in my prior blog posts, we drove to nearby Napa Valley.  You can view an interesting video created in 2002 by the Napa Valley Vintners called "Bottling Poetry,"  on this link which takes you through some of the fascinating highlights and history of the Napa Valley. (All photos will enlarge if clicked on once and then again when they open in a new window)



Napa Valley features more than 400 wineries that grow many grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, and other popular varietals. From north to south the major towns to visit are Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville, and Napa.  Bounded on both sides by mountains, the Napa Valley stretches approximately 30 miles in a northwesterly direction, its width ranging from five miles at the widest point near the city of Napa to just a mile where the valley narrows near the town of Calistoga.


My husband and I felt fortunate to be able to take the Vintage Heritage Tour of the Beringer Winery located at 2000 Main Street in St. Helena in Napa valley.   Beringer is the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley since its establishment in 1876. From their beautiful and historic Rhine House seen in the first photo upper left, to their wine aging caves which were dug into the hillside of Spring Mountain from the late 1870's, in the last photo lower right, the tour highlighted all the special features of Beringer's wine making.  It also included a barrel tasting of a pre-release wine, and a sit-down tasting in their Cellar Room of 2 current-release wines. 

Walking through the vineyards while sipping tastings of their famous wines was a delightful way to spend a few hours in Napa, and we learned quite a bit about the process of wine making.


Come back for my next post where we'll take a ride on the Napa Wine Train that includes a gourmet lunch and a visit to another historic winery! I'll also be visiting Food Network chef Michael Chiarello's Restaurant "Bottega" in Napa Valley.

I'm adding this post to Mary's blog The Little Red House for her "Mosaic Monday" event.  Please visit Mary today to see her beautiful photo mosaic and links to all the blogs participating in her event.



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39 comments:

Vee said...

Wonderful photos of you and Vinny amidst the barrels. Vinny looks so darned patient waiting for his wine to be poured, too. Beautiful, lush country Napa Valley. Now is Vinny going to be making his own wine?

Snap said...

What a fun post! I'm taking notes! I want to go to Napa now. Looks like ya'll had a wonderful time.

Dishesdone said...

Love the Beringer Winery pics, beautiful, Pat! but now you mentioned Michael Chiarello and I am really looking forward to hearing about Bottega, I just got his book on pre-order. It sounds amazing!

Cheryl D. said...

I'm so jealous! I love the food and wine in Napa Valley! It sounds like you had a blast there!

gnee @ Singing With Birds said...

What beautiful country! I'm so glad you had a memorable time and you took some amazing pictures.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Vee, my husband's father made his own wine all his life. The large barrel was in the basement and this time every year "the crush" was in progress. Contrary to popular belief there was no feet stomping - he had a machine that crushed the grapes. After my father-in-law passed away my husband and his brother tried to make wine but did not have the success their father did. It is much easier to buy it! :)

steviewren said...

You saw some beautiful sights. I would have loved to tour the house in your mosaic. I'm looking forward to hearing about the train trip and the gourmet meal too.

Elettra said...

The wineries you visit are full of history and tradition, certainly you are doing an unforgettable experience

Claudia said...

This is a very sweet post, Pat. I loved the photo of you and your husband at the winery. There's something special about taking a trip with your husband after the kids have left the nest and you have time to rediscover each other. And I cannot imagine better together time than at Napa.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, With ever post about the wine country out there, I get more and more impressed... It has just grown and grown... Glad you learned some of the history also... FABULOUS pictures, Pat.

Can't wait to hear about the train ride.
Hugs,
Betsy

Ginny said...

So that picture of you in the ageing cave is actually cut into the mountain? I love the train photo, and can't wait to see those pictures, I used to watch that show on T.V.!! I will love seeing pics of the restaraunt and food!

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Your photos and story are making me want to go on a wine tour -- and I don't even drink wine!

A Garden of Threads said...

Lovely mosaic, great photos. Take care:)

Lily Hydrangea said...

this looks & sounds wonderful!
I can't wait to see the pics from your train trip too.

Missy said...

What wonderfulphotos. I'm SO jealous.

Pondside said...

I'll be back for the train ride - what fun!
Gorgeous photos - I can feel the warmth of that sun.

Old Kitty said...

My goodness them Napa Valley Vinters Association people are well organised! LOL!! I love that "Bottling Poetry" clip - I couldn't help but get drawn to the lush surroundings of the various interviewees. There were some stunning gardens, ponds, a flowing river... I so want to move there and have a little vineyard of my own now!! Of course what the vinters were saying were very important too! LOL!

And I will definitely look out for the Napa Valley signature label next time I go wine hunting!! What an amazing history!!

And is that hubby with you?!?!?! Awwwww!!! It's lovely to see him - hello Mr Mille Fiori Favoriti!

Take care
x

RNSANE said...

I just love Napa - my favorite wineries are in this area. Beringer is one of them but there are so many other special wineries here that I like. I cannot tell you how much the area has grown in the 33 years since I moved here.

-Check out the link for info on my blogaversary giveaway:
http://rnsane.blogspot.com/2010/09/flash-55-friday-happy-anniversary-to-me.html#links

My name is PJ. said...

You have the best photos of this CA trip, Pat! I'm really enjoying the posts about it!

GrandmaK said...

I'm certainly enjoying your trip!!!! You have taken me back to a wonderful time for me! Thanks!! Cathy

Mary said...

Thanks so much for my trip to Napa...we visited in April & also went to Beringer. Your post makes me want to return. I'm looking forward to your train trip :-)

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

I am enjoying your trip through wine country. It looks quite beautiful.

Debbie said...

Napa Valley looks amazing. Your pictures look like they could be post cards. Looks like you had another great day!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

This area of the country is soooo beautiful!! I love winery's and of course tasting the wine.It was at this time of the year that we were in the Alsace region of France and spent some quality time tasting wines along the Rue de vin. Your tour of Napa is reminding me of such good times.Your pictures are ...as always....wonderful.
♥, Susan

Tracy said...

A glass of Beringer is a bit like poetry in a glass... So wonderful you were there to see it all, Pat. Somehow I can imagine you & your hubby with a winery/restaurant! Idea for retirement, maybe?! ;o) Thanks for sharing... I feel so hungry & thirsty now... LOL! Happy Week, my friend ((HUGS))

Catherine said...

I`ve read most of your wine posts and learned a lot. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures too. What a fantastic trip!

Rettabug said...

Oh Gosh, does this bring back some wonderful memories for me!! I sooo wish we had done the train ride. You're making me want to plan a Napa trip this very minute.

Thanks SO much for sharing your wonderful adventure!

Hugs,
Rett

nanny said...

Beautiful country and winery....

Can't wait for the train ride....

EG Wow said...

WOW! What a fabulous experience!

Farmchick said...

This looks like such a fantastic trip. I want to go to Napa!!

Vagabonde said...

It was a pleasure to look at all your posts that I missed while away. Your tour of Napa Valley brought back many memories. When we lived in San Francisco in the 60’s my husband used to go sky diving in the valley. I would go and get a tasting in one or two wineries (often Beringer) so I would not be so nervous waiting for him to jump back to the ground. At the time the wineries were not so developed for tourists though, so I’d like to go back now.
Your beautiful pictures showing many 9/11 memorials were very touching. In our company we lost a co-worker and his wife on 9/11 – they were going on vacation and were in one of the ill-fated planes that day. After living almost 10 years in San Francisco in the 60’s to 70’s I have never been back. It must have changed. It made me nostalgic looking at your pictures of Muir Woods, Sausalito and Fisherman’s Wharf. I used to take the cable cars to go to evening school, and we were married in SF too. I am almost afraid to go back - I miss the Chinese restaurants. Next month we are going to NYC – maybe you can give me the name of a couple good Chinese restaurants ?

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful photos of youu trip to Napa. The winery tour looks like fun, especially the tasting part. I will look forward to the Chef Michael Chiarello post. He is one of my favorites.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I would love to do a Napa Valley trip one day! Beautiful photos of wine country!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

It looks like you really made the most of your time in wine country! Such a beautiful place.

diane said...

This is my kind of holiday. Great photos too.

Sheila said...

I really like the variety of photos in your mosaic. It's nice to see your husband too. You certainly made the most of your time in the Napa Valley.

Sara said...

Mmmmm, their White Zinfandel has been a favorite of mine for years, though now I've discovered Moscato by Barefoot and like it slightly better. Visiting wine country has been on my list for the longest time, so I am very pleased to get a little taste of it here on your blog. I am eager to see how your Wine Train trip progresses!

Sarah said...

Pat, I've enjoyed reading all your posts on the wine country visit. You two had such an amazing trip! We've spent time in both Sonoma and Napa. I don't have a favorite. They are both wonderful. I'm eager to see the post on the Wine Train. Haven't done that!
Thanks for always sharing your beautiful photos and comentary. You are the best! ~ Sarah

Kathleen said...

Beautiful pics, Pat. I was in wine country today, on the North Fork passed at least 6 of them. I bought corn, sweet potatoes, broccoli .
Took the gkids apple picking Sun on this fork. Fun!