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Napa Harvest Season 2013

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Harvest has descended upon Napa Valley once again. Join the excitement through tweets, pictures, upcoming harvest events (grape stomps, grape picking, wine dinners, etc) and general reports from wineries all over Napa Valley and their thoughts on this year's vintage and 2013 season.







Napa and Carneros Appellation Wineries Near American Canyon

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On your next trip to the Napa Valley or Sonoma Wine Country, consider booking your stay in American Canyon situated just outside the town of Napa and closer than you think to Sonoma County! Visit Napa and Carneros region wineries, play some golf, go hiking or birding in nearby wetlands and trails, spend quality time with the family at year-round, fun events and then stay at top-rated American Canyon hotels.

See our recommendations of nearby wineries in Napa and the Carneros Wine Appellation (situated in both Napa and Sonoma Counties and well-known for producing cooler climate varietals Pinot Noir and Chardonnay):

Jamieson Ranch (Napa, CA)
Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, formerly known as Reata, is the southernmost winery in Napa Valley reminiscent of a majestic western mountain lodge. Sip a Pinot Noir in front of a cozy fire or relax with a glass of Chardonnay on the spectacular wraparound veranda that affords sweeping views of the Napa Valley and San Pablo Bay. Tastings begin at $15/person.

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Bourassa Vineyards (Napa, CA)
This winery, also located in Southern Napa, is a hidden gem; don't be fooled by the exterior! The charming warehouse exterior belies the gorgeous interior of a working winery and tasting room. Upon entering, escape to luxurious private lounge where friendly, expert staff will guide you through their portfolio of wines. Much more than just a tasting, it's also a wine education experience. Tastings begin at $20/person.

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Acacia Vineyard (Carneros AVA)
Situated in the heart of the Carneros appellation , Acacia Vineyard has beautiful views of the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Tucked away and off the beaten path, discover this tasting room with friendly staff, and a great place to learn about Acacia's special history, as well as taste delicious Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.

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VIDEO: Learn About Harvest & Crush at St. Supery Winery

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Learn about the harvest season and what crush is like in Napa Valley from St. Supery's Assistant Winemaker Brooke Langelius and Winemaker Micheal Scholz.


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Napa Valley Grape Harvest Begins!

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Napa Vintners


Harvest Season is a wonderful time of year to visit Napa Valley! Looking to get an inside look into "crush"? Check out our list of upcoming harvest events around Napa Valley

CLICK HERE for list of activities!

William Hill Estate Winery

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grapes.jpgNAPA, CA - Come rain or shine, William Hill Estate Winery is one of the most gorgeous properties to visit in Napa Valley. The winery is surrounded by 140-acres of their Estate owned vineyards in the rolling hills of the Silverado Bench and the views are breath-taking all year round. Whether you arrive at the end of summer with grapes ripe and ready to harvest, in fall with the leaves a sea of burnt-orange on the vine or later in the year when you can appreciate the stark beauty of their winter dormancy, each season offers you a new perspective on Napa Valley.

Napa Itinerary: Napa Adjacent

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domainetat.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

When staying in Napa, consider visiting these nearby wineries that are easily accessible to day-trippers.  Whether located within city limits or in the hills and winding canyons just further afield, they make great options for those looking to remain down-valley during their Wine Country stay.  

Napa Itinerary: Silverado Trail South

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blackstallion.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

When staying in Napa proper - an excellent jumping-off point for exploring the valley, not to mention a city booming with activity thanks to a host of recent improvements - it's easy to explore nearby wineries on the Silverado Trail.   Four of our fav Trail producers located just outside the city are detailed below - so you can quickly plan your trip and make the most of your Wine Country time.  

Sequoia Grove

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Sequoia-Grove-front-1_0.jpgWho Said Napans Are Snobby?
By Deirdre Bourdet

Whoever said Napa wineries aren't as friendly or down to earth as those in other places has clearly not been to the right places in Napa.  Even before I moved here, I always found Napan tasting rooms welcoming and friendly to everyone with a genuine interest in the wines and the region.  

Sequoia Grove is a perfect example, and one of my latest sleeper discoveries even though it's been around since 1978, and housed in a barn on Highway 29 that's 150 years old and surrounded by giant sequoia trees.  How I never managed to find my way there before is a complete mystery to me, but I'm very glad I finally made it. 

WineCountry.com Personality - Kathy Glass

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wcPersonalityPlatypusKathyGlass.jpgA Northern California Favorite with a Southern Accent

When you think of all the best things about the South, gentle conversation, gracious living, and good food come to mind. Nothing is hurried and everything is savored.

That southern tradition adds an extra element to Wine County exploration when you meet Kathy Glass, of Platypus Tours. She imbues the California past time of wine tasting and winery tours with a little southern accent. When you hear the soft lilt of her Alabama upbringing; you know that hospitality and home cooking will be as much a part of your experience as will talking about terroir and grape varietals.

Kathy's first big career was in the financial sector in New York. While Kathy loved her life in the city, 18 years later she traded in her panty hose and pumps for jeans with a taint of vineyard dust and sneakers. She met and married her husband Don and together they started Platypus Tours, a wine tours company, in 2004. Don, who was always in the food and wine industry, found a bus on eBay that was located in St. Louis. He purchased that bus and drove it back to Napa to begin offering specialized tours to meet growing demand. 

Easter Sunday Openings in The Napa Valley

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Each holiday season The Council produces a list of "Businesses Open" ... and this Easter is no exception.
 
Click Here for this helpful summary of Easter Sunday openings for wineries, restaurants, and spas.
 
Happy Holidays from
The Napa Valley Destination Council!
ccwithchanel.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

It's tough for a gal not to get all gushy about Chanel, and for this gal, an auction item including some Chanel, a private jet to Paris and accommodations at the über luxe Hotel Plaza Athénée is about as good as it gets.  Add to all this fabulousness a vertical of double magnums from one of Napa's most sought-after new wines and special perks in Par-ee (think fashion show tix and a tour of Coco Chanel's private apartments), and you've got the stuff of wine-loving fashionista fantasy. 

Auction Napa Valley Report: Lights, Camera, Oprah!

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EV_NapaAuction060908_200.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Known variously as The American Wine Classic and "the granddaddy of all wine auctions," Auction Napa Valley 2008 went down on June 9th at the lavish Meadowood resort, though the vibe was decidedly more subdued than in previous years.  Whether you blame the scaled back fanfare on the tough economic climate, the heat (though it's typically scorching in Napa every year around Auction time) or the recent passing of Napa scion Robert Mondavi, the auction was without a doubt more mellow than usual.  

Napa Valley Wine Tasting Itinerary

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napaItinerary.jpgHave friends visiting and need a tried and true Napa Valley wine tasting itinerary?  Don't spend hours researching online or connecting dots on the map. Download the trip below and let the fun begin!

Stop 1 - Alpha Omega
It's fitting that this is the first wine tasting stop on the itinerary given its name.  Alpha Omega makes some really good wines. Of particular note is the Proprietary Red which has the smooth yet complexity of a slightly aged Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay is light and refreshing for any white's fans. Their Late Harvest is just plain delicious, but they are currently out of stock!  After tasting, go around back (or front depending on your internal gps) and revel in the gorgeous view of their pool with sprawling vineyards as backdrop.
Tasting Room: 1155 Mee Ln St Helena Hwy; Open daily 11 am - 6pm
Tasting Fees: $10/person

Ceja Vineyards Wine Tasting Salon

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By Robert Farmer

cejafamily.jpgIn the ongoing development of downtown Napa into a thriving, walkable destination district befitting the valley that bears its name, many wineries have lately been angling to have a presence among the charming, historic streets - an extension, if you will, of their vineyard experience for the downtown set. One recent example could be found earlier this month when Ceja Vineyards opened the doors to its new Tasting Salon in the heart of town at 1248 First Street (www.cejavineyards.com; 707-226-6445).

Ceja (pronounced SAY-ha), is an excellent local story to begin with -  a Latino family-owned winery founded by Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja, who are first generation Mexican-American winegrowers in the Napa and Sonoma valleys. Today, the winery produces more than 10,000 cases of premium-quality wines that include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, as well as such individual specialties as Vino de Casa Blanco, Vino de Casa Tinto, Dulce Beso Late Harvest White Wine, and a soon-to-be-released Bella Rosa dry Rosé .

The Ceja family of wines can now be enjoyed with the familiar Ceja Family hospitality at their new downtown tasting room, which places guests within arm's reach of their great library of wines, and within an easy walk to the growing list of area attractions that already includes Copia, the beautifully restored Opera House, the River Walk, and the recently opened Oxbow Public Market. There are also several great restaurants and hotels downtown, making Ceja's decision to open a tasting room here as close to a sure bet for success as one can get.

High Hopes for Harvest

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By Robert Farmer

Wineries throughout Napa Valley have got that happy feeling--not just because it's harvest time, which always brings a smile, but because the harvest this season is looking particularly good--as good, in fact, as it's looked in a long long time.

The official (and unofficial) word among vintners is that the 2007 harvest season, which got under way about three weeks ahead of schedule, is shaping up to be the strongest harvest for Napa in at least a decade. This according to early reports in the industry and according to a panel of growers convened by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers.
SteveReynolds_winemaker.jpgFor generations around the world, families made their own wines, sometimes tending small vineyards behind their homes or just checking on a ceramic crock of fermenting juice hiding in a closet. It was a tradition for everyone--from mom and dad, to the smallest children--to be involved in everything from growing the grapes, to crushing and bottling (or jug-ing, perhaps) these rustic wines. Today, many small-production, boutique wineries continue that tradition in Napa.

Though technology has made the process easier, and many hire some of the valley's most prestigious winemakers to help craft exceptional, rather than rustic wines, the homegrown feeling is much the same. Walking into tiny tasting rooms, often run by the family themselves, the air is less of a corporate machine, and more of an extended living room where visitors can casually sip a glass of wine while chatting with the folks who know the wine from the inside, out.

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