Make your own wine in Napa Valley
One of the world’s most prolific producers of wine is the region of Napa Valley in California. Located around 50 miles north of San Francisco, the area welcomes over five million visitors from around the world every year. The area’s gently rolling hills, temperate climate and year-round sunshine make it ideal for the growing of grapes.
Napa Valley is home to over two hundred wineries, stunning stretches of vineyards and some of America’s best restaurants. Despite the region’s huge wine industry, it is only 35 miles long, and it still retains the ambience of sedate Californian life. A trip to the vineyards of Napa Valley is always filled with excitement and discovery for lovers of wine, and the region’s rich wine-producing history is replete with examples of innovation and expertise.
Napa Valley is the most productive wine-growing regions in America, and it is home to some of the most respected vintners in the world. The likes of Robert Mondavi and Sterling have large wine-producing facilities in the region; however, no visit to the Napa Valley should pass without paying a visit to the valley’s oldest operating winery. Beringer has been producing some of the most respected wines in the world for decades, and their famous white zinfandel is almost legendary. There are dozens of wines produced in Napa Valley; from Chardonnay to Pinot Grigio, they are just waiting to be discovered.
The Napa Valley is a hugely significant region for wine production in California, but it is also a great place to tour vineyards, wineries and processing facilities. Several of the major producers hold regular wine tasting events that will sometimes include a tour of the main production areas. A great place to visit – that requires no reservation – is Castello di Amorosa. Although the wines produced there are stunning, many people visit just to get a closer look at the beautiful mock Italian Castle that forms the centre-piece of the facility. All of their great wines are available for tasting, and the castle’s dungeon provides a fun activity that will keep children entertained. Wineries such as the Jarvis winery and Schramsberg operate a reservation system for tours and wine tasting, but taking the time to book a place will be well worth it. The Jarvis winery in particular is spectacular, as the entire facility is built inside a cave!
Thousands of hardcore wine enthusiasts visit the Napa Valley in order to learn how to make their very own wine. While many of these classes are meant to be a little bit if fun, some of them are serious workshops that teach the fundamental principles of wine production. District 4’s Build a Blend is a hugely popular attraction where visitors can blend their own wine, bottle it and then design and print their very own label. The Michael Mondavi Winemaker for a Day Programme delves a little deeper into the science of wine production, and it is very popular with aspiring vineyard owners.
Napa Valley wine is amongst the finest in the world. The region is ideal for growing high quality grapes, and the wealth of local knowledge and experience available is the envy of the world. There surely is no better place on earth for people who want to discover the age-old art of wine production.
Article written by Kirsty Schofield.