My challenge is this: creating a great Napa-area trip to please three pretty different first time visitors... One, a regular (oaky) Chardonay drinker who enjoys reds occasionally and casually; Two, a person with a decent palate who likes trying new and interesting things, but who isn't really a wine person; And myself, a newbie who loves good bold, spicy, high tannin reds.
If I were designing it just for myself, I'd do entirely off-the-beaten-path wineries where you were surrounded by nothing other than a palpable, genuine love for wine and winemaking. Of course there's nothing wrong with a winery that delivers a great experience, so long as its grounded in the celebration of the vine rather than the celebration of the dollar. I'm not terribly interested in the Disneyland for rich people thing, other than to marvel at it from a distance as exactly what it is.
Sermon aside, I think I'd like to find a variety of places (be they big or small) where each of us can experience that kind of love, while also making everyone happy with a variety of wine types and experiences. I even think I should put one of those quintessential tourist spots on the list, if only for juxtaposition. I think in the end we'd all be happy to take in a little bit of Napa from top to bottom.
Anyway, I've been building a list of nominees (we may get around 6 in). Any additions, subtractions, +1's or other guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Castello Di Amorosa
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