Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Napa Valley, Part I

Danelle and I took a long weekend and flew out to Napa. Neither of us are wine aficionados, but we still thought it would be a nice romantic getaway. And it definitely was. We visited nine wineries in three days, and they all had beautiful gardens on the grounds.

A bee at Bartholomew Park Winery. The guy who served us here had a sense of humor even drier than their whites. Ha -- wine joke!

Flowers at Gundlach Bundschu, which Danelle preferred to call "Goldschlager" and I called "Gisele Bundchen."

Wineries are all about the grapes, right? Most were still on the vine -- only a few varieties had been picked yet.

The grapes looked more like blueberries -- small and deeply colored.

From the gardens at Hagafen Cellars. We came here with a tour group on Sunday, and our driver put a cheese and cracker plate in a separate room for us. But other folks had no idea it wasn't for public consumption and were only too happy to follow us in and help themselves. None of us had the heart (or guts) to tell them it was private cheese.

Grapes are pretty photogenic, which is nice when you like to take pictures.

Yup. Photogenic.

Judd's Hill Winery won the most creative way to display corks.

Probably not a bad view anywhere you looked from this villa. Rundown shacks here still sold for a fortune.

From the gardens outside Judd's Hill.

Andretti Winery had transformed a rundown farm into an idyllic Tuscan scene.

The prettiest grounds were oddly at the one winery where we didn't even bother tasting anything -- Mumm Napa. Just too big and busy for us. It was like a Disneyland for wines, especially after all the small family places we'd been to.

We even had time on the drive back to the airport to stop for a little while at the Golden Gate Bridge.

It was nice to see the work they were doing to restore an area that had once been an old military landfill at the south end of the bridge.

Click here for Part II.

No comments: