Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Life is too short ...



We had the delightful pleasure this past week of joining some friends for "a little" wine tasting out in beautiful Napa Valley. (Actually, that's not right.  There was 'A LOT' of wine tasting done!)

I have been in California numerous times but never ONCE visited a winery while there.  
Silly me!!  This girl really enjoys her wine.


Although the vineyards were just beginning to fill in with their spring growth, 
the  hills and valleys were lush and the mustard flowers were in full bloom.


Our friends, who know wines much better than us, put together an awesome itinerary.  We stayed in Yountville, a few miles up the road from Napa.  It was a great choice being central for most of our travels and much quieter than Napa itself.   I'd like to say that the villa above was where we stayed, but alas, it was not.  That was the Patland Estate Vineyards, high up in the hills with a beautiful Tuscan landscape.  It felt like we were in Italy.


 
Each day we visited three wineries, all scheduled private appointments. 

For the winies, who know their wines, here are some of the vineyards we visited: 
Joseph Phelps, O'Shaughessey, Jarvis, Lava One, Chappellet, Chateau Montelena, and Patland.


We got to see some incredible wine cellars
in all shapes and sizes.






Our visit included the famous Chateau Montelena who won the white wine section of the historic 'Judgement of Paris' wine competition in 1976.  They surprisingly beat out the French and other California wines and a bottle of the 1973 Chardonnay vintage resides in the Smithsonian.

(Oh my ...  serious stuff out here in Napa!)

The chateau was quite fun to photograph 
as well as the reflecting pond surrounding it.

 Our last tasting was unlike all the others.  
Our guide at Chappellet walked us among the vineyards 
as we tasted the wines while he shared the history of the place.


It was fascinating to see the different variety of vines
and the whys and ways of
their vining.

 Growing a vineyard really is an art.
I always had the romantic vision of owning a vineyard some day
and making wine.
But that notion has been put to bed after
seeing all that goes into making a bottle of wine.

Best I just keep drinking it.


It was a wonderful time with friends,
made even better with 
some great wines!


But ....
now I really understand what
they mean by 
'life is too short to drink bad wine'!
Oy!  
I need a larger wine budget.


36 comments:

Roan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roan said...

Beautiful series. Looks like a fun trip...and tasty!

Linda R said...

I you have captured some beautiful photos of Napa! Love it there! Cheers,

Hugs~

Patricia said...

Beautiful. We lived in Napa before moving home here in Northern Ca., three hours north. It is a wonderful valley to live in. I miss the climate and my garden there with it's fabulous soil. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit. I loved being there during crush season. The vineyards were beautiful with the purple and green fringes of grapes hanging beneath the vines. It smelled earthy and wonderful to me when they crushed the grapes. The whole valley smelled a bit fermented. Your photos are beautiful and ha e sent me down the path of memories from our time spent there.

Brian Miller said...

what a vibrant place and so full of color...love the perspective shots on the rows in the fields...and down the cellar....very cool....

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, what a wonderful place Napa Valley is!! I've been there a couple of times but never had the private sessions like you had. That must have been fabulous. Sure wish they weren't 3,000 miles away. Never seen it in spring, either. You lucky girl. So, share your finds with us, okay?

That Tuscan style villa is to die for. The colors and your treatment of the photo are perfect.

Sylvia K said...

I'll repeat everything Brian has written!! A vibrant place indeed, terrific captures/perspective!! All that and great wine, too!! Can't beat it! Thanks for sharing the fun, Reena, as always! Hope your week is going well!!

Out on the prairie said...

Been there twice. Like to have a sip or two when outdoors best.

Gillian Olson said...

Yes definitely worth a visit or two, some fine dining in the valley too,

Daryl said...

you definitely need to change the title of your blog to NOT Missing Any Moments!

Country Girl said...

This series of photos is just incredible, Reena. Wonderful! So glad you are having such a great time.

Tabor said...

I am just thrilled that we have so many choices in wines in the U.S. and some can be very good and still reasonable in price. Love those photos!!

bailey-road.com said...

That looks like a fabulous experience. Beautiful landscape.

Lisa Gordon said...

The vineyards in CA are definitely not to be missed.
Glad you had a wonderful time, Reena!

Rose L said...

I Love the reflecting pond photo! Wonderful!! I am not much for wine (or any alcohol for that matter) but think many wineries are very scenic! I do love the grapes!!!

Kamana said...

love how you take me travelling all over the world through your pictures.

Mark said...

I agree, life is too short, so last night my wife and I opened a nice Sicilian chardonnay, and pretended we were in Napa. ( didn't have a calif. chard on hand.)
Your photos are awesome, what a beautiful area.

Catherine said...

When it comes to the good things in life, is a little is 'good' then a lot must be 'better'. :)
Have a good one!
xo Catherine

ladyfi said...

Gorgeous shots. I like the HDR effect.

Evelyn S. said...

You travel to more places than anyone I think I've ever heard of! What fabulous captures of the vineyards and wineries...amazing perspectives. So nice to see you and your friends together, too! (The editing....wonderful as always)

Ross said...

Wow! Looks like a great time. I've wanted to visit the Napa Valley but have just never had the chance. It sounds like you didn't miss out on anything and that it was a great time from start to finish!

Michael Manning said...

Beautiful photos! I've heard many nice things about Napa Valley.

Pat Tillett said...

Beautiful properties! I've never been on a personalized wine tasting trip like this one. I usually do the poor man's version at the grocery store. As usual, your photographs are spectacular...

Suldog said...

I'm not a big wine drinker, but I think a tour of a vineyard would be fascinating. Glad you enjoyed yours!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Beautiful photos! A trip this is on my bucket list for sure! So glad you enjoyed your trip!

Kerri Farley said...

You captured it wonderfully!!

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