In just over a week I will once again be basking in the grandeur of California wine country. My brother Cody will be joining me on the trek to the wine regions of Napa Valley, Sonoma and Paso Robles. It is sure to be an epic journey ripe with culinary delights, beautiful landscapes and of course…copious amounts of Vino.
My last trip to California, which was also my first, was nothing short of mind blowing. At the time I wasn’t sure what to expect and in my mind I still wasn’t convinced that all of the hype surrounding Napa Valley in-particular was warranted. Let me tell you…I saw the light. That trip further cemented my growing love for wine and I have dreamed of returning ever since. My firsts tastes of premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were an epiphany. I can still close my eyes and re-live my first encounters with fine Napa Valley Cabernet. The sun shining on my face. The aroma’s of cassis, berry, licorice, tobacco, cedar and vanilla wafting from the glass. The feel of pure, plush, supple liquid velvet gliding over my tongue. It was if the notes of aroma’s and flavours running through my head were being narrated by Morgan Freeman himself. Added to those luxurious Cabernet’s were powerful Zinfandels, rich and fat Chardonnays, mouth watering sparkling wines, light and lively Sauvignon Blanc’s and more.
The other beauty of the area is it’s diversity. The settings for tastings ranged from flashy multi-million dollar tasting room’s to simple barn-like structures. There were times where we were wading through crowds and times we were alone save for the winemaker excitingly displaying his wines. We tasted a range of wines from high production “find them anywhere” wines to ultra-premium “cult” wines to small production wines distributed almost solely at the winery.
Well as nice as those memories are I can’t wait to get back to the real thing again. Are we ready for California? Or is California ready for us…we shall soon see.