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 Filed as : Featured WinemakersRegional SpotlightWinemakersCalifornia

Napa Need-To-Know

Aug 12, 2011
Napa Need-To-Know
Tips for a one-day getaway in Napa

napa_sign_01In the season of almost U.S. debt-defaults, "stay-cations" versus overseas junkets will likely prevail. So when planning one more North American adventure this summer or fall, why not venture to or return to Napa Valley? At Bottlenotes, we are often asked to recommend wineries to visit while heading up or down Napa's Highway 29. Below you'll find some of our go-to depots for treasured views and terrific wines.

Start off at Spring Mountain Vineyard, the largest, contiguous property in Napa at over 800 acres. It has breathtaking views that are best taken in on an ATV ride in and around the property, vineyards, and surrounding forests. And the fabulous Bordeaux-style wines will please just about any palate.

Once you've restyled your hair after the ATV ride, visit Corison Winery, which sits smack dab in the middle of Napa's Highway 29. You'll feel right at home in this small, unpretentious place, where you can take a tour through Cathy Corison's "old vine" Kronos vineyards, taste Cathy's superbly feminine cabernets right on the crush pad or, if you're lucky, take in the views of western Napa Valley from the upstairs balcony. And along with the pure, elegant Corison cabernets, be sure to taste the gewurtztraminer--a bright, fresh, spicy wine that's completely unique to Napa and mostly only available at the winery.

There are also myriad options for eating in Napa. For a hearty and fresh lunch, try Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. For dinner, you can get your "Thomas Keller" fix without breaking the bank at Ad Hoc, or--if you can get the reservation--The French Laundry by Thomas Keller. For breakfast or coffee it's a little easier to get a taste of Keller down the street at Bouchon Bakery.

To get your head straight before a full day of tasting, take some time in the morning to go for a morning walk, run or jog along the country roads or in the vineyards themselves. There's no better way to immerse yourself in wine country. As sophisticated as wine seems, spending time along or in the vineyards is the best way to remind you that great wine starts with great farming.

Have a tip to share on your own memorable day in Napa? Share it below.

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