I love wine and I love wine tasting and I was so excited to finally get to Napa Valley to enjoy all that wine goodness. I have also tasted wine from some of the best wine regions in the world from South Africa to Italy to the Pacific Northwest.  That being said, I’m certainly not a wine snob by any stretch but I’m probably in the minority here as I could not have been more disappointed and was not a fan of Napa Valley at all.  We only had a couple of days and decided to hit the ground running on Highway 29…..big mistake to start there.  Nothing more than a perpetual traffic jam of very expensive and very commercial Costco sized tasting rooms overfilled with tipsy tourists who have overpayed for a taste of wine that they could have basically bought at the local grocery store.  Not our cup of tea so we asked during our dinner if there were any boutique type wineries off the beaten path.  Our waitress told us to head off to the Silverado Trail.  So the next day that’s what we did and we did end up finding some great privately owned wineries and we did taste some great wine but I don’t think I’d head back to Napa any time soon.  I am told that Sonoma is a much better experience and I wish we had had time to go there as well.  We did, however, make one really great and noteable stop on the advice of a freind – Del Dotto Caves and Vineyard (there are two locations…we went to the original one on Atlas Peak Road and I heard from many that this location is the better of the two).  Let me say that this is not a cheap tasting but you get what you pay for.  We had an excellent knowledgeable guide who took us into the candlelit caves where we tasted some of the best wines of the entire trip right out the barrel.  The pours were heavy and many.  Afterward we were served some cheese, salami and crackers and it was a nice surprise and overall just a  great experience.  I also have to say that I really only disliked the winery experience in Napa.  The scenery in and around the valley was stunning and I probably should have spent more time just driving around.

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CA - Napa Valley Wine Trail

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