Spectacular Wineries of Napa Valley

Spectacular Wineries of the Napa Valley ****

LLC Panache Partners, (Editor)

I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite~ for the written word. . .and food.

 Spectacular Wineries of NV invites you take a journey of 46 world-class wineries within its pages. We visited Napa back in April and I purchased this book as a keepsake. With so LITTLE time & so MUCH wine to sample along with the breathtaking scenery to take in, I would love to visit some of the wineries featured within these pages that we did not have the chance to visit. (I’m keeping my fingers crossed and dreaming of a return trip next spring :-) Whether you are a wine enthusiast or interested in the architecture and stories behind the wine growers’ visions, this book will make you long for a trip to Napa. For now I’ll have to satisfy myself with sipping a glass of wine~ savoring the scenery in these pages.

From the Publisher:

 “You can’t help falling in love with the Napa Valley. It has a personality all its own. The colors are like a painter’s palette—always changing with the season—from the bright yellows of mustard plants in the spring, the greens of summer grape leaves, to the fall harvest colors of burgundy and rust, followed by the quiet shades of brown and black in winter. The morning fog, afternoon sun, moderate temperatures and the talents of vintners and growers combine to produce world-class wines. All share a common goal of respecting the land and nurturing the fruit that each distinct terroir produces.”

“This small slice of heaven on earth is only 30 miles long and five miles wide, enticing the public to view the life of wine making and incredible cuisine all while enjoying the relaxed and laid back lifestyle of small-town living. People are happy here and they show it. A passerby says good morning, cars pause while drivers wave you to cross the street, everything moves at a slow and kind pace. You find that you are smiling for a reason. It is truly a magical setting.”

“Much like the wines of Napa Valley, the valley’s winery architecture is rich and varied– sometimes a reflection of intended wine brand imagery; and other times, a manifestation of the dreams, vision or passions of their respective founders and owners. As such, with every twist and turn through the county’s meandering thoroughfares, the visitor may be greeted by a surprising array of invitations to their senses that may compel them to gaze, wonder, admire, or as many wineries would have it, stop by for wine tasting, tours, casual conversation and shopping.”

Napa Valley has flourished from a fledgling farm county to a world-renowned cultural region~ possessing both a rustic and refined charm~ a blending of agriculture with an appreciation for wine, food and the arts. Of the 46 wineries included in this book, we were fortunate to have visited three of them. I thought I would include some photos of our visit to Beringer Vineyards~ the most memorable of the three, resplendent with its Victorian architecture and the oldest continuously operating winery in the valley.

Beringer Vineyards, the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley was founded by brothers Jacob and Frederick Beringer. Arriving from Germany, they were delighted to find that the well-drained, rocky soils resembled their native Rhine Valley. In 1875~ 215 acres were purchased for $14,500~ the heart of Beringer Vineyards’ Napa Valley Estate.

 

In 1883, Frederick began construction on the 17-room mansion. Restored in 1971, the Rhine House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and is today the focal point of the Beringer Estate.

 

Surviving Prohibition from 1920 to 1933 by selling sacramental wines, the winery became the first to offer public tours & sales.

When building his 17-room mansion, Frederick wanted to create a California villa that was reminiscent of the family’s impressive old German home at Mainz-on-the-Rhine. Built at a cost of about $28,000, with the 40 panels of stained glass accounting for nearly a quarter of total construction costs, the Rhine House is a classic example of ornate Victorian architecture with its many gables, turrets and ornaments.

The reflection of the window in my tasting glass :-)

Lovely grounds on the estate~

 

The ancient valley oak, affectionately named “The Leaning Oak,” well over 200 years old and a touchstone for the natural beauty of the property, sadly fell. The tree was designated a Bicentennial Tree because it was alive at the time of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

In its honor, we are enjoying a 2007 Beringer Zinfandel Leaning Oak Napa Valley  paired with a burger recipe, courtesy of Michael Chiarello.

Caramelized Onion Zin-Burgers with Crispy Cheddar Frico, recipe here.

 My favorite kind of pairing~ Cabernet & Chocolate :-)

  Bouchon Silicone Baking Mold & Chocolate Bouchon Mix from Williams-Sonoma.

Chocolate Bouchons. . .Delicious, Fudgy Goodness~  a perfect brownie-like, moist bite~ named for their shape, which resembles a cork.

Bouchon Bakery, in dangerous proximity to our hotel in Yountville :-)

 

“Celebrate the grape as you enjoy insightful profiles fragrant with the philosophies of the country’s most revered winemakers.”

Be sure to visit Food for Thought and see what everyone is reading & eating (or drinking :-)

I’m also joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday, stop by for mosaic magic~

  21 comments for “Spectacular Wineries of Napa Valley

  1. October 16, 2010 at 3:06 am

    Unbelievably divine post! What a wonderful vinery, a pure elegance as are their wines, beautiful photo’s…and a beautiful keepsake that book. I think this is a fantastic idea: Food for Thought…
    I especially love your creativity of the reflective window in your glass….a beautiful photo!Yvette

  2. October 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

    h wow..jain’s often gone to napa and shared pics also..too bad you 2 didn’t meet up!

    This IS a great post and I covet the bouchons mold..I love wine bottles and corks and vineyard vistas..So yes..this IS a great post:)

  3. October 16, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Yummy! And beautiful! Wish I was there right now!

  4. October 16, 2010 at 11:51 am

    i love coming here! ok i am cracking up as i read the line everyone is happy and they show it… OY, we bitch and moan like crazy at the traffic, but we are not drunk on wine out for a good time! i do love the architecture, i am all about the visual and there is plenty to see :-)

    its fun to see your pics matching the winery. berringer is wonderful, in the heart of town with such pretty grounds and massive tall trees. loving all your shots! how did you get such tourist free fountain pics?!

    that burger looks so delish… your pics are just plain gorgeous… mouthwatering, bite-able!

    omg on those corks!!! fabulous photography, really, its pure art to me when i visit…

    well i am feeling in the need of a day trip now and we have chores to do all weekend instead :-( very inspiring post, loved it all!

  5. October 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

    What fun it is to revisit these spots though the lens of your camera. It’s been many, many years since we were there, but this post brings back a rush of fond memories. Love every “drop” of this post, Mary! Ditto about the corks. Chocolate corks ~ oh, so clever! Between you and Jain, FFT are the most creative posts to be found.
    Thank you for sharing! ~ Sarah

  6. October 17, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Now I want to go and visit the Napa Valley!! The corks! The wine! I love it all!!

  7. October 17, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Love the reflection of the stained glass, what a fabulous shot! Super post, your lunch looks great! Enjoyed your mosaic!

  8. October 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    This gorgeous post made me hungry and thirsty all at the same time, besides wanting to go visit the wine country! Super!

  9. Pondside
    October 17, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    This book looks like a must read. We are planning a trip through the Napa Valley on our way to meet our ship in San Diego – I can’t wait!
    PS I’ll have to find the recipe for that scrumptious looking burger.

  10. October 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Chocolate AND wine? Wow! what a great day! Love the mosaics, and spending some time with you too! Hope you have a wonderful week. Sandi

  11. Pat
    October 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    This is such a delicious post! I will have to order that book about Napa to relive our visits this summer to some of those wineries. Beringer was one of our favorites and we took their deluxe tour in order to do a barrel sampling in their caves. I was excited to see all your photos of the stained glass windows in the visitor center. I only took a photo of the Shakespeare portrait stained glass in what was once the library, as the guide told us that B&W stained glass is very rare. I missed the one with the view of El Captain in Yosemite!
    The chocolate corks look like such a fun dessert to have with a dessert wine
    :) I know I’ll be back to look at your post again ..thanks!

  12. October 17, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    What a beautiful post! The book is lovely, and so worth seeing it all in person. Your pictures are just stunning.

  13. October 17, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Oh what a beautiful spot, and the food looks divine! Thanks so much for sharing at MM. :)

  14. October 17, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    You had me at wine :) We’ve been to California numerous times but never to the Napa Valley, sadly! I have that bouchon mold from WS but I found a recipe online and it wasn’t great. I’ll have to try the WS mix next time. Chocolate and red wine are a perfect combination. Great shots!

  15. October 18, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Wonderful tour!! Grand pictures!!! Well done! Cathy

  16. October 18, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Wonderful tour and photos. The book sounds like a must have for the wine lover.

  17. pam
    October 18, 2010 at 6:16 am

    I love anyone’s post about visits to the Napa Valley. Does it ever amaze you that there can be so many wine makers with such amazing buildings and grounds? It’s hard to imagine that much wine being consumed for the number of vineyards there must be all over the world. Beautiful post.

  18. Ellen
    October 18, 2010 at 11:13 am

    You definitely know how to tempt someone into traveling! Looks like you really had a wonderful adventure!

  19. October 18, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Beringer a favourite – this whole post made me both hungry and thirsty :-)
    Lovely and beautiful too/ Tyra

    Fragrant and Tasty in Tyra’s Garden

  20. October 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Great book you got there on your trip. I love Napa. My bil lives there and every time we visit it is wonderful…The wineries are all so beautiful!

  21. October 21, 2010 at 11:53 am

    This is an absolutely amazing post. The food sna dht pictures are just stunning. Wow!

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