Valentine’s Day in Napa Valley
I arrived in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon super tired after a 14 hour flight and during dinner we decided to wake early and drive all the way to Napa to spend Valentine’s Day there with my boyfriend’s parents. I thought we were just going to one vineyard but it turned out that we spent all day there. All the vineyards we visited had special deals for Valentine’s day so it was a good day to visit it.
I am not a wine expert but I love drinking it, the first vineyard we wanted to visit was Silver Oak which is my boyfriend’s mom favourite vineyard. However we got lost and ended up on a different vineyard, but I am glad that happened.
The Trefethen Vineyard
The Trefethen Vineyard is small and is run by family members, the staff is very friendly. Inside, the tasting area is calming and as we went there early, we were the only ones there so it was very nice. The wine tasting was very different from what we had in other places, the guy that was serving us explained everything about the wines and the grapes during the tasting, and it felt very intimate.
The walls are decorated with winery memorabilia, and large windows allow a glimpse of the sprawling barrel room. Although their wine wasn’t the best one we had that day I still enjoyed the experience.
Silver Oak Cellars
As Silver Oak is one of the top selling wines at restaurants we expected it would be very busy. I wish we went to Silver Oak at the end of the day, because after drinking their wine it was hard to like any other wine at other vineyards. The service there doesn’t even compare to what we had at the Trefethen however their wine is definitely the best we had that day.
So, what is it that makes Silver Oak so delicious and so special? Well, they only have two batches a year and they are very selective about their grapes. Silver Oak produces only Cabernet Sauvignon and use exclusively American oak barrels which tend to impart less tannin than French oak, promoting Silver Oak’s goal to release wines with softer, more approachable tannins on release. The wine ages sufficiently in oak and then age again in the bottle for another few months after its release.
Back to the trip. We enjoyed the wine so much that we left Silver Oak’s vineyard with many bottles of wine including a 6 little bottle.
After Silver Oak we went to KFC for lunch, I’m not a KFC fan but in the US they have corn on the cob and I love it ;). Continuing with our wine tasting experience, we decided to visit Sterling Vineyards to try their wine. The reason we went there is because my boyfriend’s mom bought a bottle of Sterling the week before and she really enjoyed it.
Well, we all regretted going there. There were a lot of tourists in there, and it was definitely the more commercial wine-tasting experience our whole group have ever had, the best thing about Sterling that they have an aerial tram which offers a stunning view of the valley. The ride costs around $25 and includes wine tasting, leads to a self-guided tour of the wine making process and a panoramic tasting room offering samples of five varietals. I guess most people go there mainly for the view. At least their desert wine and chocolate was okay.
Castello di Amorosa
Towards the end of the day, we decided to visit Castello di Amorosa. We were told to go there as it is very beautiful and they have great wine. Unfortunately we got there after 4pm so we couldn’t have the tour which would take us around the Castle.
Castello di Amorosa looks like a medieval castle, complete with drawbridge and moat, chapel, stables, and secret passageways. It has 107 rooms and some of them contain replicas of 13th-century frescoes, and the dungeon has an actual iron maiden from Nuremberg, Germany.
The guy serving us was Italian, very funny with a very strong accent. We had a lot of fun there and their wine is actually good. Some of their wine is only sold at the vineyard so it was our only chance to try it. We left the vineyard with two cases of two different wines and we managed to get 20% discount on them.
We left Napa Valley very drunk, my boyfriend and I slept all the way back to San Francisco. We woke up with my boyfriend’s mom asking us to get out of the car to eat noodles. I loved the experience it was a very nice day. Napa Valley is very beautiful.
- Castello di Amorosa: Not Just Any Old Pile of Stones (biggerthanyourhead.net)
- A Long Weekend in California Wine Country: Getting a Taste for Napa and Sonoma Wines (Part 1) (triciaannemitchell.com)
- Things to do in San Francisco (JustWandering.me)