Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Napa Valley, California - Robert Mondavi - 2004 Trip

Vineyards stretching out in the distance, olive trees lining the parking lot rows, an orange tree near the wide breezeway entrance invite visitors to enter.  After meeting under the breezeway, the tour begins in a small room with maps of the California wine country and an explanation of how the soil, temperature, and climate play into the quality of the grapes grown and therefore the wine produced.  Next a walk down a couple of rows in the vineyards for a first hand look at the vines in mid-February leads one to imagine the brown vines cut back to mere stumps stretching out covered with green leaves and dripping with grapes.  Comfortable shoes are a must for this part of the walk as a few ladies in our tour soon realized!  A walk across a courtyard brings the group past rows of grape vines with large rocks with the names of various types of wine grapes on them indicating the type of grape grown in that row and a small rose garden which is probably quite beautiful when in bloom during the summer months.
 
Moving inside the distillery, the eye travels over rows of huge containers used in processing the wine.  A walk down a ramp leads from the tops of the huge barrels to the bottoms.  Next comes an underground, temperature controlled warehouse size room filled with smaller barrels of aging wine.  The guide explains parts of the process throughout the tour beginning with why the land is chosen for various types of grapes, how the grapes are crushed for different wines, how the wine is processed and aged, and finally bottled and sold.  The $10.00 per person tour ends with a tasting in another cozy room with a tasting table.  Our tasting included Fume Blanc 2001, Carneros Chardonnay 2001, Cabernet Savignon and Familia de Moscato Blanco 2001.  All the wines were delicious.  We came home with a bottle of the Chardonnay and 2 bottles of the Moscato Blanco. This was a tour and tasting well worth the time and money!  Make the Robert Mondavi Winery a stop on your next visit to Napa Valley, and you won’t be disappointed.


To learn more visit Robert Mondavi.

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