By Paul and Theresa Lowe
SIP and PLAY
If you travel frequently you’ve likely heard other traveling folks say that adventure is paramount to good living. Keeping with the sentiment wine tasting is why most visitors venture to Napa. Locals suggest that you park your car and take the walk or ride a bicycle (motorized bikes available) through downtown and enjoy the many many tasting rooms shops and cafes and bars.
Visitors get to sample blended varieties of wine and straight out of the barrel tastings. What’s cool about Uncorked is opportunity to enjoy a couple of complimentary wine pours upon arrival. While you sip and sample the wines you’re treated to live entertainment from local musicians. Something else that’ unique about a visit here are classes teaching guests about fly fishing. Price ($$-$$$)
Wine tasting can be a terrific experience. Wine tasting also can be a rather confusing outing if you’re unsure of what you’re tasting. How do you know what’s good and what’s just OK tasting wine? Why do people swirl the wine in a glass? Visitors to downtown Napa can get an education about wine physics and wine tasting at the Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant shop. Sommelier Peter Granoff will walk you through the reasons for swirling the wine, how to sniff wine and how to know what you’re tasting and how to pair a particular wine with cheese, bread or meat. This is a really popular course and Napa locals suggest tourist give it a go so that know how to buy the many wines for sale in and around town. Price ($$-$$$)
If you’re a wine connoisseur or think you know you wines a great test of your pallet can be experienced during a blind taste test at the Napa General Store. Operators say many guests think they can distinguish the taste of $20 dollar bottle of wine versus a bottle costing $200 dollars. But atlas many guest fail the blind taste test. At the Napa General Store you can also learn how to detect the variety of wine types and blends. Price ($$-$$$)
Armed with a new education about wines visitors of Napa are invited to take tours of local wine cellars for a better understanding of how wines are aged and how to know when a wine is ready for tasting. The Del Dotto Winery walks guests through its cave cellars teaching about the delicate artistry and craft of making quality wine.
The resurgence of downtown Napa has primarily been led by the city’s mayor. After a recession, a devastating earthquake and declining tourism, Honorable May Jill Techel has made it her mission to breath new vitality into this beautify city by the Napa River. Locals say she and chamber of commerce general Craig Smith are leading the community’s comeback-saying “we live in a new Napa. “ You can often see Craig riding his bicycle through downtown. Wearing a big smile, he absolutely loves sharing the history and new highlights of this historic community. Their message to travelers; enjoy the smiles, laughter and new friendships you encounter.