Join HuffPost Plus. Tour the mill, learn about cultivation, harvest and production methods followed by a tasting. In a rush? Elsewhere, charming spots like Long Meadow Ranch's historic Logan-Ives House, with a general store vibe, includes tastings of their silky critically hailed Prato Lungo Extra Virgin Olive Oil try some drizzled on burrata at their farm-to-table restaurant Farmstead.
Later, visit the wildly popular St. Helena gourmet Olivier and St. Helena Oils shops. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Land Trust of Napa County Founded in , the Land Trust of Napa , protecting close to 55, acres, is an ideal spot for nature lovers and hiking, biking, and kayaking enthusiasts. Depending on the season, guided tours range from a mile hike across the magnificent Dunn-Wildlake and Dunn Ranches with excellent birds-eye views of both Calistoga and St.
Helena to an easy 3-mile trip to a waterfall near Conn Creek. Bicycle enthusiasts can chose eight local routes including the moderate mile Lake Hennessey ride, passing through grape vines and rural roads, while more leisurely riders will enjoy pedaling around Calistoga along the scenic mile Old Toll Road. Pack good footwear and athletic gear. Located in a historic stone winery, the renowned Culinary Institute of America CIA at Greystone gives food enthusiasts a front row seat of chefs-in-action demonstrations. Afterwards, shop at the on-site culinary store with unique tools like an avocado slicer and yeast thermometer.
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Enjoy the spacious, local 40,square-foot Oxbow Public Market , packed with 24 artisan vendors like Napastak selling teas and jams and Whole Spice with a bevy of rare, exotic spices. Need something for the sweet tooth? Native Wappo Indians first unearthed the mud practice known for its detoxifying benefits. Experience a local bath, a mix of hot spring water and natural minerals infused with rich volcanic ash and peat.
The venerable Indian Springs , settled on acres of palm trees, roses, and lavender is perfect for unwinding—there are four on-site thermal geysers and hot mud soaks clothing optional. The modest should consider the gloriously private Calistoga Ranch Spa. Consider an early morning, open-air alfresco yoga class on the grand grounds of the Taittinger-affiliated Domaine Carneros. After savasana, snack on smoked salmon bruschetta and nurse a flute of organic bubbles.
Near St. Elsewhere, Ladera Vineyards offers cycling tours including a bike, helmet, and hearty picnic lunch. Also treat yourself to the delicious, approachable Archetype. Start with The Doctor Ann, bergamot tea infused with local No. Highlights include the delicious Half Moon Bay sand dabs paired with grilled rapini and crisp hushpuppies.
The mod space is perfect sipping sake as you feast on the fabled toro tartare, spicy king crab, and sticky ribs with a tamarind glaze. Afterwards, head to Domaine Charbay Distillery , which churns out flavored vodkas think blood orange , rum, and whisky. The 50 earthy, yellow-toned rooms project a European vibe, with cottage-style wooden beans, slanted ceilings, and mod fireplaces.
Equally desirable, the secluded acre Calistoga Ranch , a rarified eco-retreat with stunning landscape and private cottages, will have you transformed into a zen, woodland spirit. Real Life. I rendezvoused with Malbec one rainy Napa day and we headed over to the tasting room. Once there, he asked specifically for their winery-only Marston Vineyard Syrah.
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Winery staff happily poured us each a glass and we swirled and sipped away the balance of the afternoon, enjoying the wine and extolling its many virtues. This was a great wine and my conceptions big winery wine was smashed to pieces. The Marston Vineyard Syrah, which is not available outside of the winery until today and only today , is a beautiful wine that drinks way above its price. When I inquired about the relative low price of the wine, a senior winery staffer informed me that since the wine is so limited and so exclusive that they could charge what they wanted for the wine.
That, and they wanted to give visitors to their winery a special chance to bring home a special wine at a very special price.
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Pretty special, eh? While this wine is usually only available directly from the winery, through special negotiations — and with the help of Malbec — The Wine Spies were able to secure a small quantity of this superb wine for you for today only! This is a rich, elegant, robust but balanced Syrah that hits all of the right spots with us here at Wine spies H. The location of the Beringer Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
Lots from a cross section of prime Napa Valley vineyards are vinified separately and aged in French oak barrels for just over twenty months to integrate the extracted fruit and tannins. A classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas and flavors of black cherry, cedar, cassis, mint and cocoa that finish long and rich. The Vineyards: For the blend, a third of the fruit comes from the St.
Helena Home Vineyard right next to the winery in St. Helena round out the blend, adding layers of fruit flavors. Winemaking: As has become tradition with Beringer Cabernets, Ed and Laurie kept each lot separate through fermentation and aging to retain the individual expressions of the vineyards, giving them a broader array of aromatic, flavor and structural components to consider at blending time.
The winemakers tasted the lots regularly to monitor their development and get an idea of which wines would fit together best in the final blend. Dark, fruit flavors fill the mouth and transition into a structured and long finish with sweet vanilla and complemented by hints of Thai coffee and sarsaparilla.
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Jacob Beringer left his home in Mainz, Germany, in to start a new life in the U. New York did not appeal to Jacob, however. He had enjoyed working in wine cellars in Germany when he was younger and had heard that the warm, sunny climate of California was ideal for growing wine grapes. To his delight, he discovered rocky, well-drained soils similar to those in his native Rhine Valley.
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Best of all, the hills could be dug out to provide storage and aging tunnels that would maintain the constant temperature needed to produce fine wines. Jacob and Frederick together bought land in and set about making wines that compared to the best in Europe. In , they founded the Beringer Winery. The tough task of hand-chiseling the tunnels in the mountainside behind the winery fell to Chinese workers who had returned to the Bay Area after helping build the Trans-Continental Railroad.
The tunnels took several years to complete but were the perfect place to age and store fine wine. In , Frederick permanently moved to the Napa Valley and began construction of a room mansion that was to be his home—a re-creation of the Beringer family home located on the Rhine River in Germany. It is a place where guests can enjoy a glass of wine while relaxing in the old library or on the same porch that Frederick once sat, overlooking the expansive lawns, lush gardens, and out across the Napa Valley. Beringer Vineyards is the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley.
Also, I loved history, science and agriculture, and the idea of doing something that connected you to the earth. And when I started tasting and reading about wine in college, I realized that winemaking brings all three disciplines together.
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Laurie transferred to the winemaking program at the University of California at Davis , training ground for noted winemakers in California and around the world.