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Weekend Sherpa: Hiking Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Try a different kind of liquid refreshment in Napa Valley: a year-round burbling stream flowing through a shaded redwood forest. Ritchey Creek is the centerpiece of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park just north of St. Helena. Miles of hiking trails can be found in the park, including a leisurely 4-mile loop that ambles alongside the creek, far from the traffic noise of Highway 29.

Walk among the easternmost coastal redwoods in the state, as well as maples, oaks, and madrones; the tall tree-cover cools things down when Napa Valley's summer heats up.

Napa Wine Beats French Wine in Blind Tasting?

Must have been a slow news day up in Napa. Because when I saw this headline, I didn't know if I was reading the Onion or the Napa Valley Register. Might have just used the stock "Hometown Boy Makes Good," instead. I'm not complaining about the content of the headline--I have no horses in the Napa vs Bordeaux race--but more about the style of article.

Ubuntu and Manresa: Where Vegetables Go To Die

We are just getting around to reading this article, written by Raymond Sokolov for the Wall Street Journal. As usual it's not new news for anyone who lives out here in the Bay Area (or, you know, reads the New York Times), but his glowing portrait of Los Gatos' Manresa and disciple Ubuntu, up in Napa, means we'll hardly be surprised when biodynamic gardens and haute vegetable temples start cropping up like wildflowers in the coming year.

Copia Closed

While it's tempting to think that the closing of Copia, Napa's ambitious wine and cultural center, is a sign of the times, the fact is that the organization has been troubled since its inception. Robert Mondavi raised and donated much of the money for its construction, despite the fact that there was little indication of how Copia would sustain itself. It has had trouble drawing crowds and has never become that first stop on the Napa wine trail that its creators hoped it might be.

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