They appear to be doing some construction at the site as there was dirt being moved around while we were there, so hopefully they will improve the experience or reduce the entry price. Hiking, biking, and scenic driving are all popular activities in the Napa Valley. The Vine Trail is a hiking and bike trail that will eventually.
For a list of local hiking and biking trails, biking rental and tour companies, and trail maps, stop by the Napa Tourist Information Center and look up information at the Napa Hiking , Visit Napa Valley , and Napa Life websites, including this guide to 10 bike routes in Napa Valley. For something a bit less active, try taking a scenic drive along the Silverado Trail , picnicking in one of the numerous parks, or taking a walk through the Petrified Forest in Calistoga.
Even if you are going primarily to visit the many tasting rooms and wineries, I encourage you to spend a little time enjoying the great food, nature, shopping, and history of this region. Have you done something you enjoyed in Napa besides drink wine and go wine tasting? Any recommendations other than the ones we shared? Have question or additional tips about enjoying Napa Valley without wine?
As always, just leave us your question or comment in the Comments section below! Hi there! Napa Valley is one of the best places in producing wine, but it is good to know there is so much else to do for those not interested in wine. We also took a hot air ballon ride here and had a great time! We personally used the company Balloons Above the Valley. Thanks, John.
Hi John, Thanks so much for your comment and so glad you had a great visit to Napa Valley and a nice hot air balloon ride!! Hi Nari, Yes, Napa Valley is mainly known for its wine but it offers a lot more as well! If you are planning a trip, feel free to follow-up with any questions! Best, Jessica. Hi Ryan, Yes, the Jelly Belly factory tour is really fun!
The other factory tours nearby are worth considering as well. Yes, especially when the weather is sunny but not scorching hot! Thanks for the blog. I was worried and almost decided not to go to Napa. But now it seems we can have fun there as well. Hi Andy, glad this article was helpful. There are so many other things to do here and you can even visit some of the wineries without drinking.
Have a great trip to Napa Valley! Hot air balloon ride should be at the top of this list. Hi Jrod, we actually just went hot air ballooning last weekend in Napa and it was fun. Great ideas and nicely organized. I live near Fairfield and am always looking for easy things to do with company.
I would like to mention the diRosa preserve in the Carneros region, which could also include a drive by of the Domaine Carneros French faux chateau opposite and the fountains at Artesa, which also has art exhibits. The diRosa collection is quite personal and unique. Yes, we mention those but have not had the chance to visit any yet. What a great article! Thank you so much for including Castello di Amorosa as part of your blog.
We are humbled!! The cutest town in NV. Napa Valley Aloft. Garden tour of French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery. Hi Jared, Yountville is part of the Napa Valley. Some of the pictures and places mentioned in the post are in and around Yountville. But there are a lot of things to do outside Napa and Yountville too!
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Thank you! My friend and I decided to make a random weekend trip and our finger fell on Napa valley. Neither of us are huge drinkers so it is nice to know we will have plenty to see on a day trip! Going back in 2 weeks, so this post is very helpful. Great list of things to do that do not involve drinking Wine. I really loved the train idea! That would be a great way to see the sights! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, the trains can be fun. We definitely plan to continue to keep joining Travel Tuesday.
Very helpful article, thank you. We only have 48 hours in Napa Valley. Is there a must see list somewhere? Planning on seeing Castello de Amorosa and Oxbow market. Then we have 60 hours in San Francisco. Both places have so many restaurants and activities to choose from in such a short period of time. Welcome Marilyn, I am glad that this article was helpful planning your quick Napa Valley itinerary. I have lived in California for the past 19 years and have yet to make it up to Napa.
For her at least, I will be partaking in the wine. Welcome Rachel, thanks for stopping by. Yes, hopefully this article will convince your friend that there are plenty of other things to do in the Napa Valley besides just wine tasting. Some of the winery tours are interesting even for non-drinkers, and there are plenty of other things to do as well. The factory tours, in particular, sound fun.
Thank you for the comment, I am glad you found the article helpful. Yes, while Napa Valley is primarily known as a wine and foodie destination and rightfully so , there are lots of other things you can do here as well. My husband and I have never been to Napa Valley, but we are looking forward to our upcoming trip next month. I was a little nervous at the fact that Napa is known as wine country and as much as I love wine I wont be drinking any due to the fact that I am pregnant. I origanally planned and booked this trip about 8 months ago before I was pregnant and found out 2 months ago that i will be expecting.
My first thought was just to cancel the trip but after talking to my husband and reasearching all the other things in Napa that you can do without alcohol we decided to go on the trip anyway. I think I am most excited to take a train ride with Dinner. I guess I will be doing a lot of eating and shopping in Napa Valley. Works for me. Hi Mary, welcome to our blog! I am glad you found this article helpful.
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You can also look into the nearby Sonoma area which offers even more outdoors activities and things to do. It grows with you, tells a story and is a constant reminder of how your life has changed. We will ask everyone to share a few words about their significant wine they brought.
The bottle sits there….. There are bottles of wine out there sitting in Cellars and literally being loved to death! You are looking for a bottle full of memories! Since the millennium, a night deep in the month of February has been brightened for wine lovers by the creation of a day to celebrate cherished bottles.
Wine is more than the liquid in the bottle. There will be special offers to buy cellared gems on the evening we will talk all things aged, cellaring, oxidation and what the 5 factors are to consider when starting a cellar. Demand for Chardonnay is back. Whether the big oaky numbers of the past, or the lighter, fresher, more refreshing Chardonnays that has buyers clambering from their roast chicken dinner. Thankfully the ABC club Anything But Chardonnay , have moved on but what people most likely mean when they say they dislike Chardonnay, is that they had too much of the Chardonnay on offer throughout the 80s and 90s.
Chardonnay belongs in your wine vocab. It was at a time when wine slowly started to become the alcoholic drink of choice for initially women and then men. Consumers have come back and are becoming more knowledgeable and they are happy to try these new punchy, flavoursome wines with colourful wine labels and broad spectrum varietal appeal. These styles from the new world are now standing up and standing out on shelves and wine lists against the tried, tested yet often misunderstood wines of France, Chablis and co.
Yes it originated in France, the Burgundy region in particular, and has spread throughout the world. The chardonnay grape is small, round, with a limey-yellow colour. It enjoys humid, moist growing conditions in a mineral rich, limestone or chalky soil. Chardonnay, whether elegant and lean or broad and buttery, has spread to almost every top wine growing country in the world. It is a place where heavy clay and chalk soils produce a flinty, refined Chardonnay that is much prized for its intense minerality.
To focus on this fruit flavour most wines in Chablis are unwooded. I honestly consider this area to be one of the most under-estimated wine regions in France. These include quality demarcations such as Petit Chablis, Chablis and the Chablis Grand Cru — of which there are seven sites. As the White Burgundies from the southern counter-part Cotes de Beaune are becoming increasingly expensive, Chablis represents great value drinking and excellent for the cellar if you like your Chardonnay with age and a fuller mouthfeel.
The richer style of Chardonnay is made in warmer climates and can be bold, big fruited, and with the right oak there are overtones of nuts and cream. This is the Australian classic style of Chardonnay, which is itself reflective of some of the communes south of Chablis — Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault, as they show ripe flavour profiles hinting at tropical fruits like pineapple, guava and mango. Some oak is used during winemaking and this offers those hints of cashew nut, almond and sometimes a thick chicken skin like flavour profile.
Acidity is just as important in this style as it is in Chablis, as acidity will hold these wines together and help the wine mature. The mouthfeel in Blanc de Blanc Champagne for example can be almost custard like yet still with good acid. Malolactic fermentation and lees work also both play a part in these wines. Pick some familiar wine varieties and explore them. Taste and learn about their history, and then use these wine tips and knowledge as a base from which to continue the drinking adventure! The wines could be made from grapes such as chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, riesling or pinot noir, and you should learn a few facts about them, such as how cabernet sauvignon is ideal for aging, its homeland is Bordeaux Fra , and that it grows well in warm, coastal climates like Margaret River Aus and the Napa Valley USA.
Cabernets also range from medium-bodied to full-bodied and are characterised by their high tannins and mixed spice or currant flavours alongside the richness of ripe berry, tobacco and sometimes green pepper aromatics. As a food pairing, a Cabernet Sauvignon matches with red meats, hearty pastas, lamb, strong-flavoured cheeses and dark chocolate. Your insight will enable you to understand other varietals better, and your friends will instantly assume you have the knowledge! Someone might taste lemon and another may taste orange. Even words are subjective, as some people think a young wine is anywhere between one and three years old, and another person might consider anything under ten years to be young.
There is no right or wrong. Let nobody tell you any different.
It is a misconception that you must age wine. In general, red wines are better candidates for aging because of their tannin, acid, alcohol and fruit. Unfortunately wine labels offer no indication of cellaring potential, not even back labels. Got a wine question for our experts… Get in touch. A personal cellar can be littered with vinous mistakes, your palate changes over time, winemakers move on and styles fall in and out of popularity.
When starting a cellar ask yourself a few questions:. Once these questions are answered and you are about to start a cellar, I urge all of our members to first buy some aged wines, whether Pinot Noir or Shiraz, choose some varieties you enjoy and taste them. You could save yourself a lot of time, money and possibly some embarrassing moments. While there are many, many different wine varieties that are cultivated worldwide, the below list of wines styles to cellar is based on years of managing private cellars at Vinified. Note: In general, more expensive wines are made to become better with age.
They are some times made with better fruit and more complex styles of oak. Most inexpensive wines do not benefit from ageing. New Zealand Wines moreover Pinot, should hold a worthy place in your cellar. Native to Burgundy and notoriously fickle the Pinot Noir grape has found in New Zealand a home away from home.
Their special combination of soil, climate and water, innovative spirit and their commitment to quality, come together to deliver pure and intense wines. Our members always ask where do we buy Pinot from in New Zealand. In this offer we give you some options, we feature Pinot Noirs from North to the very south of the island and define some regional styles. Some of these examples are exclusive to Vinified. Which, in combination with Sauvignon Blanc, put the country on the international wine stage.
More than just Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough offers increasing depth in varieties and terroir. It is dissected by a river and made up by three valleys, the combination of a cool, yet high sunshine climate, low rainfall and free-draining, fertile soil produces lively and fresh Pinot Noirs.
Look out for vibrant red colours and cherry fruits. Martinborough, for some 30 years has been quietly work toward becoming a world-class wine village. Look out for Pinots with big structure, fruit sweetness and complexity. Low cropping levels partly due to the strong northwest winds sometimes present at flowering time, further concentrate flavours in grapes. The climate is about hot dry summers and cold frosty winters, perfect for further capturing acid and texture of fine Pinot Noir. These wines in general are heavier than those of their southern counterparts. However the marked variation, high sunshine and short, hot summers provide an eloquent, albeit brutal, landscape for vines: site selection is everything here.
Dry autumns and overall low humidity are significant assets, helping to coax both amazing purity and complexity from the fruits of the vine. Central has six sub — regions stretching from Wanaka 80kms to the north of Queenstown through Bannockburn, Alexandra, Bendigo and the Crowell Pisa basin located on the valley floor 25 Kms south of its namesake township of Cromwell at the foot of the picturesque snow capped mountains. Your looking for wines with a nervous energy of acid and robust tannins, soft and sweet red fruits.
Some even have added complexity of herbs and spice and all things nice. Almost clear, gentle aromatics on the nose, musk, pear and white florals like jasmine. This example of white Pinot in the mouth is fine, textured with nectarine and almond tart characters. Some alcohol warmth on the back palate if anything. Fermented in both tank and puncheon for texture. Will fill out over the next years. Cellar — Founded in This is a savory example of southern Pinot Noir.
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The wine is well balanced and has integrated tannins and will develop rich complexity. The is a super seductive wine, taken from a group of vineyards. Reddish purple in colour, broad aromatic spectrum of olives, bay leaf and blueberries. A mid palate wine with dark cheery fruit and hints of spiced oak with clove and coffee overtones. Batting well above its average. With good cellaring potential. This is a sophisticated wine with good acids, integrated tannins and has an intensely fruity finish.
Great concentration. One of the wines of the night at our series of Mister Jennings dinners in Richmond, Melbourne. Cellar — 5yrs. From a Dutch husband and wife team, these grapes were hand-harvested and de-stemmed into small open top vats for fermentation and finished in French oak. The nose here is gamey and has a little funk, the mouthful is rich, balanced with silky tannins wrapped around spicy black cherries and a hint of mocha on the finish.
Mark Mason and Michelle Crawford live and work on a stunningly beautiful site located on the Parkburn, nestled in the foothills of the Pisa Range. From a hectare site, 20 hectares have been planted into 18 different vineyard blocks. Different soils, aspects, altitude, clone and rootstock add layers of complexity.
Hand picked, small batch fermented, hand plunged, basket pressed — made with passion this wine this is so pretty. It was a standout in the line up. The palate delivers with roundness wand fruits of the forest alongside star anise with silky and defined tannins. Cellar — , 5 — 7years. Winemaker Larry McKenna and his team stand at the top of the tree for quality. This is dense dark and a black bold example from the deep alluvial gravel soils of Martinborough terraces. Way bigger than I expected. Very big style. Cellar , 10 years. We love this wine a blue elite gold winner at the recent Air New Zealand Wine awards 1 of three.
It is beautiful. Crimson in colour, initially quite light on the front palate, builds with thyme and sage notes, filling out with some plush plump red berries in the mid palate and a long savory finish. Exclusive to Vinified. Classy wine with good cellaring potential. Cellar — , 8 years. Overall the differences in the two regions after two fabulous events are Martinborough , on average has older vines, their wines are bigger and bolder with savoury palates, earthy characters and forests floor flavours, very distinctive.
Central Otago has exploded, with its several sub-regions stretching from Wanaka 80kms to the north of Queenstown through Bannockburn, Alexandra, Bendigo and the Crowell Pisa basin.
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The big difference on the palate in these wines is freshness and defined acids. Martinborough has tannins and Central has acids, Central wines are softer, red berry spectrum of fruit and can be simple in wetter years. Regions are equally cellar worthy but styles are very different. We can no longer bundle New Zealand Pinot Noir into the one bowl, the regions are now stand alone. When we started this journey our flagged was firmly rooted in the Martinborough camp, our thinking has changed…maybe. Aromatic wines are varieties where the flavour and aromas of the wine is that of the grape.
These wines tend to be fermented at cooler temperatures so that the primary aromas of the fruit are preserved, not only known for their vibrant fruit flavour — they also have strong aromatics of flowers and spice, hence the name of the style. Their vibrant scents and flavours are often best showcased by vinification and ageing in stainless steel or other neutral vessels. Some of these grape varieties originated in one part of the world, like Riesling Germany or Pinot Gris France , and are now widely grown throughout both hemispheres.
The same qualities that make aromatic whites so desirable to drink, including pronounced floral and spice notes, can make it challenging to pair them with food, especially if one flavour dominates, such as rose water or star anise. Balance is the key; whether in be a dry or sweet version, fruit, flowers and spice must be balanced by acidity and minerality, not to mention the level of alcohol in the wine which plays a part in matching foods.
The suggestion is the higher the spice level the lower the alcohol and higher the sweetness needs to be for example Residual Sugar RS in the wine, try it you wont be disappointed. Vinified guests are still raving about the wine and the wine and food matches. At Vinified we always guide you on how to taste, what to drink and what to put in your cellar. Criteria of selection: Good wines are tasty, Great wines are evocative! All these wines have a story and covey a sense of place and enable the varieties to shine above all!
Medium bodied and dry. A deliciously elegant, rounded, fruity style with hints of cherry and wild strawberry.
Its fine streams of bubbles enhance the delicate pale pink color. It is fresh and vibrant in style with some notes of apricots on the finish. Mike de Iulliis is cleaning up at present in all the national wine shows. A crisp, clean wine with intense citrus flavors, balanced by structured acids adding length to the palate. Planted on the sandy loam soils of Black Creek. This traditional style Hunter Semillon shows all the hallmarks of a classic.
Fresh lifted lemon and limes dominate the aroma, the palate is lively and fresh. The natural acid ensures great length of flavor and gives the wine structure that will hold it in good stead for the future. This wine is a really generous and expressive Riesling. Loads of lemons and limes jump out of the glass, with some nice floral aromas as well.
The palate is pure and energetic and surprisingly textural — no doubt aided by the time it spent on its lees. Nice one. Deliciously ripe fruit, great length of flavor and mighty refreshing! Palate cleansing freshness for summer. So clean! Fresh, fruit forward and powerful. A creamy and briny nose amid gooseberry, guava and cucumber — Sancerre-like as some tasters have remarked. Certainly refreshing, though layered and deceptively complex. Deep color, and displaying an essence pastille bouquet of plum and sage; the palate is thickly textured and unctuous revealing plenty of concentration and depth , toasty oak notes and a bitter mocha note to conclude; big boned and muscular stems and whole bunch.
Fragrant and luscious and matured in old oak. Fine Dining has died Melbourne was awash with fine diners — Andrew McConnell had possibly not even tasted a lobster roll yet. Wine Shop or Wine bar Then came chalkboard bars and bottle shops. Apparently, this is the new hospitality! Selecting the right wines for your cellar. Top Tips Tip 1. Secrets of Cellaring. Upcoming Events and News. Learning about or just your loving wine, one of our upcoming events will be right up your alley. Drinking differently Welcome to Uncle Restaurant, Collins Street Melbourne.
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