Wine Country Travel

Jun 052011

My second day in Napa Valley was an easy going one. This is in contrast to most days, as you will see in later posts are filled with scheduled appointments, tastings and winemaker meetings. I know, you are already filled with sympathy for this strenuous job of glass tipping, jaw boning and writing.

Calistoga Roastery

We left our hotel in Calistoga and headed the 8 miles south to St. Helena for a peach muffin (the best) and a latte at Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company (The tip jar reads “Livin’ la Vida Mocha”). As we drove past Calistoga Roastery (which later becomes my new favorite breakfast hang out) who  should  jog across the street in front of us, but Bo and Heidi Barrett ( Bo of Chateau Montelena and the movie Bottle Shock fame and his wife Heidi, a very highly respected cult winemaker, Screaming Eagle & Dalla Valle to name a few).  When Conch was considering studying winemaking, it was the movie’s portrayal of Napa Valley and Bo, however inaccurate, that sealed the deal. So this can be considered a true Napa Valley star sighting. Continue reading »

May 262011

I thought it might be interesting, if not self-indulgent, to share some personal experiences, insights and emotions  over the next few posts. We’re friends, right? That’s what friends do…we share…among other things. In addition, writing in this context gives you a peek, assuming you want a peek, into a week of wine blogging travel and first impressions of winery visits. Continue reading »

May 092011

Spring is upon us and nature has provided another excuse to spend a day or a weekend in Wine Country. Napa Valley is so beautiful in the spring and summer that often we’d rather taste outdoors immersed in the vineyards and terrior while we enjoy a glass or two from the winery. There are any number of wineries offering outdoor wine tasting or drinking opportunities so I thought I’d share with a few of our favorites, V. Sattui, Mumm Napa and Alpha Omega Winery. So sit back and imagine an 85 degree cloudless day in Napa Valley and we’ll head out to spend a leisurely afternoon at three of our favorite spots. Continue reading »

Mar 262011

The Cameo Cinema on main street St. Helena, the heart of Napa Valley, originally opened its doors in 1915 as the Golden Gate Theatre. Today it serves not only as a local movie house but a hub for Napa Valley arts. Programs over the last year have included the St. Helena Family Film Festival where 31 shorts by young local filmmakers made their debut and a panel of Animation Professionals shared their “tricks of the trade.” Fund raisers at the Cameo helped out local teen centers and soccer fans cheered their favorite teams during the World Cup.

Other events throughout the year included a pre-release screening of Waiting for Superman with screen writer Billy Kimball, a pre-release screening of The Tillman Story with director Amir Bar Lev, LunaFest showcased women filmmakers and much more.

Sounds good for Napa Valley, right? So what’s in it for me, you ask…well plenty! As they say the “Cameo exists to entertain, inspire, educate and connect the community through the “art of storytelling”. Our vision is to be a window to the ever expanding world of creativity.”

The Cameo Cinema is hosting “The Art of Storytelling” auction (bidding closes Thursday April 7th at 12PM EDT) with items that are the stuff of wine filled dreams.  And YOU can go online and WIN any of these amazing wine fantasies. Continue reading »

Mar 252011

At some point in your wine-life every Wineaux (sorry I mean wine enthusiast) should experience Napa Valley. Unfortunately, so many Napa Valley visitors only experience the sometimes crowded tasting rooms combined with a tour or two. That is barely scratching the surface. Take the time to pull back the curtain. There are so many amazing wine experiences in Napa Valley that will both increase your wine acumen and send you away with a satisfied smile. One such experience is the Salon Tasting at Swanson Vineyards. Continue reading »