Napa Valley Wine: I’ll Drink to That

Grapes, as far as the eye can see

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to food, it’s been my experience that freshness, quality and great taste, are often found closest to the source.

Whether it’s seafood served near the ocean, fruits picked straight from the tree or a freshly baked pie coming straight out of the oven, the closer I am to the source the better!

So when visiting the Napa Valley, a world-renowned wine producing region located just outside of San Francisco California, what is one to do but sample some of the local products.

On our trip last month, we opted for a self-guided tour of the Folie a Deux Winery, sampling some of their

Folie à Deux Winery

latest whites and reds, accompanied by fresh breads and hosted by a very friendly and knowledgeable representative of the winery. Organized tours of many vineyards and wineries are also available in Napa, but you can also just drop in as we did and be received with open arms. We combined this with superb accommodations in Napa Valley, which are plentiful, and most of which provide remarkable landscape views out across the vineyards. A couple days in Napa Valley was a perfect way to take a couple day break from San Francisco, without having to travel more than an hour.

Over 4.5 million people flock to the Napa Valley each year, most of whom could be considered wine tourists, or are at least drawn to exploring some of the 450 wineries that exist in the valley. The area has evolved over the last century as a destination, but has exploded in popularity in recent decades. Napa Valley has been named one of the nine Great Wine Capitals on earth, a list that includes Firenze Italy, Bordeaux France, and Cape Town SA.

Grapes flourish in the region’s Mediterranean climate, making the Napa Valley one of the biggest wine producing regions in North America. (California, in fact, produces 90% of the U.S. wine) The area is very tourist friendly; accepting guests from around the world with superb hospitality, washed down with exceptional foods and a tasty glass of wine.

This was my first “wine tourist” experience, and I’m quite sure it won’t be my last. Here’s to hoping my next wine tour is in South Africa.

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