While it's undeniable that Champagne (the real stuff from said region of France) reigns king on New Year's, we've recently been paying respects to its just-as-tasty (and much more affordable) cousin, sparkling wine. If you're looking for a festive end-of-year alternative to all those reds you've been pairing with your holiday fare, head to Napa to sample some of the best sparkling wines in the Valley. Here's a look at four of our favorite sparkling wine houses up there, plus special New Year's treats for 7x7 readers.
The Next Generation In Wine or NG was created over a casual lunch in 2006 to bring together the next generation of Napa Valley’s family wineries. Although there is a range of ages in the group, they all share the daunting but enviable responsibility of taking over the family biz. I had the pleasure of joining the NG for their holiday party and although they definitely still do what the club was originally created to do, “socialize and have fun” (aka party), they’ve moved beyond the buzz.
I grew up in and around San Francisco so when I moved up to Napa I thought I was giving up my beloved Bay Area nightlife. Turns out I was right… at first.
Things have changed because people like John Truchard, a long time grape grower turned winemaker and entrepreneur, asked: “Why should tasting and buying wine be restricted to the daylight hours?” He answered by opening the sleek and stylish, refined but hip John Anthony Tasting Room, which stays open until 2am every night.
What sounds pretty nice on these increasingly crisp days (how cold was it last night?) is red wine and hearty food. The Rutherford Appellation Wineries have answered this call with their semi-annual "Roll out the Barrels" Passport Weekend December 4th-5th. A slew of Rutherford wineries (including Honig, Hall, Rubicon and Peju Province) are warming things up with winter wine tastings paired with soup and stews.
Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead in St Helena is a country oasis that specializes in grass-fed beef, heirloom fruits and vegetables, eggs, artisan olive oils and award-winning wines. It's the ideal spot to host a benefit for Slow Food Napa Valley and they're doing so with the Long Meadow Ranch Corral Club Harvest Party this Saturday, September 18th.
You've probably heard a bit about the Rustic Francis' Favorites restaurant at Francis Ford Coppola's new Geyserville winery, but as the weather finally turns nice, it's the pool that's got us excited. It's unfortunately not slated to open until October (the date was pushed back from Labor Day), but here are some quick previews.
A new e-bicycle touring company has opened in the Napa Valley. Change of Greenery, based at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa, provides an eco-friendly option to the popular pasttime of winery-touring with its fleet of electric cycles. Yes, this means that pedalling is an option, for those who don't mind a little exercise with their wine, but there's also "throttle" mode, which means you can reach speeds of up to 18 mph without exerting one bit of leg effort (the 250-watt motor and lithium-ion battery do all the toiling for you).
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.