Experiencing Napa Valley

My first time ever visiting a winery or vineyard was during a recent trip to Napa Valley, a most beautiful place. Anywhere you go in Napa, you are surrounded by grapevines and wineries, and I love how the fog rolls through the vineyards and over the mountains.

I had the pleasure of visiting five different wineries: Kenwood, Rodney Strong, Markham, Chandon and Ladera. If I had to choose a favorite winery, it would be Kenwood–the staff was very pleasant and knowledgeable. While touring the Kenwood winery we saw the big wooden barrels and the fermentation tanks, where we had the opportunity to sample wine fresh from the tank–a really cool experience and the wine tasted great! In the vineyard we ate grapes right from the vine, a taste of the other end of the process.

After touring and tasting, we went to the Jack London State Historic Park for lunch. Jack London was a pioneer of sustainable farming in Sonoma County many years ago and the Jack London vineyard is still run by the same family. Driving up the mountain to have lunch, we were surrounded by trees and hills and vineyards–I was breathless.We enjoyed a delicious lunch while we talked and enjoyed the gorgeous view.

The staff at Kenwood were engaging and quick to respond to our questions. They exceeded my expectations, and I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to visit and experience such a beautiful place.

Amandia Thurston, Wine & Spirits Specialist – Gainesville

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