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Wine Country

7 Off-The-Beaten Path Napa Valley Wineries

Many of 450 or so wineries in Napa Valley are too far off the beaten path for an easy day-trip from SF. But it might surprise you to learn how many of the best “off the beaten path” spots are actually only a stones throw away from the iconic wineries that line Highway 29. Here are a few new favorites:

Summer Wines to Pair With BBQs and Warm Weather

Summer is here and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be spending most of your time at BBQs and hanging outdoors by pools, rivers and cool waters. But what wine to bring? Everyone’s tastes are different so there’s no right answer, but here are some of my favorites, a few summer-safe varietals and the top picks of a local expert:

Why Some Wines Give You Hangovers

Ever wonder why you can spend a whole evening drinking wine and wake up feeling fine, or drink just a glass or two and wake up with a pounding headache? The anti-hangover rallying cry is typically "avoid cheap wine," but when your next-day happiness is in question, it's good to have an arsenal of more specific tactics. So we turned to Jordan Kivelstadt (winemaker at Qualia Wines and founder of Silvertap Wines), Keith Emerson (winemaker at Vineyard 29), Ignacio Delgadillo (winemaker at Delgadillo Cellars), Kale Anderson (winemaker at Cliff Lede Vineyards) and Kent Jarman (winemaker at Joseph Kent Wines) to get some answers. We found that while wine hangovers are not an exact science, the level of pain in the morning is directly related to these things: Alcohol level, yeasts, oak flavor, tannins, additives, congeners and sulfites.  

Hold the Wine: What To Do With Non-Drinkers in the Wine Country

So you’ve got friends or family in town and they want to see Napa Valley but don't drink. Seems like a conundrum, but fret not— there's hikingbiking, museums and alterative winery experiences that make for a great day amidst the vines, even sans vino.

Manly Wine Country: Ideas for a Napa Valley Father's Day

I’m the last person to ridicule any man for drinking wine instead of beer, or heading up to “romantic Napa Valley” for a day with the bros or fam. But I know that sipping wine certainly doesn't top the list of tough, "manly" activities. Here are some wine country experiences that won’t drag down any macho egos on Father's Day.

6 Wineries That Showcase the Best of Napa Valley to Out-of-Town Visitors

With hundreds of wineries to choose from and experiences that range from hoity-toity tastings to off-road excursions, it's tough to give Napa fist-timers a balanced sampling of the valley. That said, here are six wineries that will give you a nice blend of the best the area has to offer in a weekend:

Getting Around Napa: The Best Driving and Concierge Options for Wine-Tasting Adventures

Can’t find a designated driver and don't want to listen to your intoxicated friends sing and talk wine while you soberly sip and spit your way around the Valley? How about hiring a car and driver — or better yet, take the Ferry to Vallejo, and get picked up and squired about by a Napa Valley insider? Here are our top picks of the four-wheel-concierges that do a whole lot more than just drive:

Napa Valley Late Night: Where to Go After the Party (Or Dinner)

There are tons of summer celebrations in Napa Valley, but what do you do when the wedding reception's over, the wineries are closed, or you want another drink or two after dinner? Not long ago, the answer would be to pop a cork in your hotel room, but these days the Valley has plenty of options for night owls.

Cycling Napa Valley: 6 Great Rides

Some visitors are mystified that anyone would want to ride a bike in Napa Valley where there are endless amounts of great food, wine, and drivers who have been “tasting responsibly” crowding the limited roads. Others plan their day or weekend around renting bikes and touring the wineries or taking a serious ride through vines, across the valley, and as far as the Sonoma Cost (and back). This blog goes out to all of you who are looking for the best two-wheel tours of Napa Valley from an amateur but competitive cyclist who loves to ride.

Franc & Blanc: Wine Country's Party of the Summer

Chateau Montelena helped put Napa on the map back in 70s. And this June 25th, they're throwing what's being billed as the Valley's party of the summer with Franc & Blanca chance to indulge in the Chateaus's delicious wines (made famous by the movie Bottle Shock). Come up to mingle with winemakers Bo Barrett (played by Chris Pine in the film), Cam Parry and Matt Crafton for an up-close and personal glimpse at the way a hot-ticket vineyard like this one operates.

And there's a lot more to do that just drink wine. Look forward to tons of music, food, a photo booth, wine classes, barrel tastings, games and prizes.

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