United States: Napa Valley: Wine Immersion
North of San Francisco, California’s Napa Valley has maintained a rural agricultural environment, known especially for its wine industry. Bounded on both sides by mountains and bisected by the Napa River, the Napa Valley is one large lush garden, where a wide variety of fruits and vegetables thrive.
Upon your Thursday arrival at Oakland Airport, you will be met and transferred to the Napa Valley, where you will stop at a casual winery for your first taste of Napa wine while enjoying your scenic surroundings.
After the tasting, continue on to your accommodation in the heart of Napa Wine Country. Settle in, after which you will have the remainder of the afternoon to spend at your leisure, visiting different tasting rooms in the area.
We suggest dinner tonight at one of Napa’s top restaurants.
After a fresh, local breakfast this morning, you will be met by your guide before heading out for a full-day wine tour, during which you will visit a variety of wineries.
At your first stop, visit an historic Victorian Winery estate with beautiful gardens. Enjoy your wine tasting in the Sun Room. Next visit a small hillside winery where you will enjoy a picnic lunch and spend time with the owner/winemaker, tasting and learning about the process of how the wine is made.
Receive a warm welcome at an historic 1800’s stone winery where you will be guided through a barrel room tour and barrel tasting to see the process of winemaking. Finally, an easy and comfortable, modern architecture patio tasting to wind down the day with some wonderful, well rated wines.
Head back to your hotel before dinner, for which we will provide you with a list of local recommendations.
Following breakfast, treat yourself to an optional spa treatment before heading out for the day.
In the late morning, you will be met by your guide at the hotel for another wine tour and a special lunch at a winery owner’s home. You’ll spend time with the owner and his family, tasting their wine and wandering through the organic produce garden. Continue the tasting during lunch, learning about the property’s history and how it has come to be one of the most highly respected wineries in the Valley.
Later, view a showcase of the various “appellation” areas of Napa Valley and learn about the effect that soil, weather, and location have on the grapes and wine. Then participate in the experience of barrel tasting, and blending your own wine.
The morning is yours to walk, hike, and bike the areas surrounding your accommodation.
This afternoon, collect your rental car and take a short drive to a small olive mill, where you will be shown the difference between varietals of olive trees. You’ll see how olive oil is pressed with high tech French equipment and a multi-ton granite pressing wheel, after which you’ll taste different oils over a light lunch.
Continue your drive up the scenic road of the Valley to Napa’s premier sparkling wine estate. Next to the 1800’s Victorian home you will enter and tour the caves where the champagne is made, as you learn about riddling and all other aspects of sparkling wine production and aging.
The remainder of the afternoon will be spent at your leisure. You may wish to drive through the charming town of St. Helena and its short four block Main Street for some shopping.
Dinner tonight is suggested at a nearby restaurant serving delicious local fare.
Enjoy a relaxing morning with breakfast at the hotel, taking a walk around the property before your private transfer to the airport.
This is just the beginning.
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