You're in Napa...my good man!


    Ah....Napa! Wine snob haven! Well, not really. Napa has that unfortunate stigma, but it's not Napa, it's the people that try to live up to that reputation. But there are some really fantastic wineries and wines, and in many cases very affordable. Myself, I believe that Napa produces’ the best Cabs in the world. That's not to say that other areas produce bad juice. Quite the contrary, as a great tasting wine is one that the taster likes. Some may prefer Cabs from other areas. That's a decision that you and your palate has to make. When visiting Napa, you should really plan out your trip. Know the wineries you want to visit, where you want to have lunch or dinner, and where you want to start and finish your trip. You might consider starting in the north end of the valley if you plan on ending in the south, and visa verse. Consider that some of the wineries have tasting fees, as do other areas. In Napa, the tasting fees can range from free to upwards of $75 dollars. I would call ahead and ask what the tasting fees are so you just don't walk in, and then walk out disappointed. Also, many wineries are by appointment only, so check closely when planning your trip. Some of the outstanding wineries that provide both great wine as well as a great visual experience are Inglenook (Rubicon), V. Sattui, Beringer, Sterling (ride the aerial tram!), and last but not least, a real castle, complete with torture chamber...Castella di Amorosa. This is definitely a winery to take your out of town guest, relatives or friends to. There are several places to get some great eats in the Napa valley. One of my favorites is Dean & Delucla's. Grab a great sandwich, snacks, drinks or just stroll around the huge food and cooking facility and wine store. Right across the street is V. Sattui which also has a fantastic deli and picnic grounds. So, does that sound snobbish? I didn't think so!