Grapes, Grapes, Grapes

Img_0682I had business out in the Bay Area this week so the Gotham Gal flew out and we are in Napa for a couple days before heading back to the east coast to see our kids at visiting day.

Napa is a wonderful place. There are grapes everywhere.  This vista from Silverado Trail in Rutherford shows that Napa is really just a sea of grapes.

This isn’t our first trip to Napa and I surely hope its not the last.

Every time we come up here, we are smitten with the place.  It has a magical quality to it.

Img_0688Everything in Napa revolves around grapes and wine.

We spent the day yesteday driving around enjoying the beautiful scenery and visiting wineries and doing a picnic lunch.

Basically, that’s what you do in Napa.

We learned a little bit more about grapes, wine, and winemaking which is always interesting.
And we drank wine.
Img_0667Our favorite winery on this visit was Del Dotto.

We did their cave tour and tasting which we highly recommend.

Their caves are one of three original hand carved caves in Napa.

And there are barrels and barrels of wine in them to be sampled.

The two things we loved about Del Dotto was the quality of the wine (excellent) and the education we got on the impact that the barrel has on the taste of the wine.

Img_0662Dave Del Dotto, who we bumped into in the caves, likes to experiment with different barrels.  He changes the location of the oak (French vs American and even by the forest), the toasting, various tricks to increase the amount of wood surface, etc.

And its really fun to taste from all these different barrels and see how it impacts the wine.

Dave’s motto (which I am going to bastardize because I can’t remember it exactly) is that "the wine is the reduction sauce and the barrel is the spice rack."

Going on the Del Dotto tour is a great way to experience that.

It’s back to NYC today, but we loved Napa and hope to be back soon.