Wine Country Inn and Cottages Journal
Adventures In Napa Valley, California
A visit to the Napa Valley can be as simple as finding a great hotel (Wine Country Inn) and a close-by restaurant (Brasswood Estate) and then allowing the sunny days and deep wines to melt away life’s problems. After a few days of recuperation, it is time to stretch out and begin to explore the wonders of the Napa Valley. The first time visitor to the valley may initially see just the big tasting rooms and hills of grapes, but the experienced visitor understands that behind the surface of Napa is an entire world to explore. The Napa Valley holds a fascinating history of exploration, wine, food, architecture and a fascinating story of historic characters.
The Napa Valley has a reputation for being the perfect summer destination with warm evenings, outdoor dining, and fantastic bottles of wine served under a romantic summer sky. As much as summer pulls on the heart, the experienced visitor to the Napa Valley knows that mid-winter temperatures are mild, the weather is often dry and sunny, and the days can be shockingly clear. In mid-winter the roads are rarely crowded, tasting rooms are not busy, and an array of restaurants are anxious to book your reservation.
Most visitors to the Napa Valley come by car across highway 37 and then up highway 121 or highway 29. On all sides of the road are stunning wetlands composed of a diversity of sloughs, wildlife, grasses, and reeds. Perhaps the allure of fabulous wines and foods quickly mask over the wonder of the Napa Sonoma Marsh, but on occasion curiosity sets in and after a quick phone call, a wetlands tour is setup with Wombat Charters.
The town of St. Helena was first settled in the mid-1800s by farmers and ranchers from the Napa Valley. The perfect sunny climate of the valley quickly attracted wine producers from other countries and by 1876 the city of Saint Helena saw its first winery begin operations. These early pioneers of the Napa wine movement include larger than life figures like Jacob and Frederick Beringer and Tiburcio Parrott from Spring Mountain.
Located slightly to the west of Saint Helena, the Spring Mountain Appellation rises up from the valley floor to about 2,600 feet. The appellation contains a wild diversity of elevations, sun exposure, and soil which contributes to its reputation as the source of consistent, powerful, and distinctive red wines. Spring Mountain Vineyard is an 845 acre estate on the eastern slopes and lower half of Spring Mountain.
The following blog appeared in TripAdvisor’s “The Wine Lovers Guide to Vineyard Hotels”
There’s something romantic and special about wine country, and every wine region has its own flair – from Napa’s Mediterranean vibe to chateaus in France and fairy tale castles in Germany. While you can always make a day of wine tasting, there’s nothing like immersing yourself in all that wine country has to offer. Take a break from the tourist hubs of the cities and sleep under the stars and among the vines in some of the world’s top wine destinations. Plus, the longer you stay, the more wine you can enjoy! Here are some great lodging options for a full wine country vacation.
The history of the Napa Valley is complex and intertwined with farmers, vignerons, and at times the lives and stories of the wealthy. It is easy to imagine the area surrounding Saint Helena as the definition of a perfect Eden, with springs bubbling out of the ground and an ideal pattern of seasons for agriculture. Add to this picture its proximity to the culture of San Francisco. Throughout the eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds, this perfect corner of heaven attracted the wealth of San Francisco and on the Napa hillsides they built mansions, vineyards, and wineries.