Day 1 –  Searching Napa for deep red wine.

We got off the plane and headed to see Brad who fermented the grapes we bought last year. The wine is now aging in oak barrels which will take another year or longer.

We have bought wine in the past and bought Malbec from him which we have to have bottled. Brad has been in Napa for 30 years and has a great reputation.

We tasted wine from different barrels and tanks including our wine.

After seeing Brad, we headed up to Vinroc winery on Atlas Peak to meet Shaina who is a consultant for different wineries and has her own label called Gaderian. We had a tasting in the barrel cave tasting 5 or 6 different wines. Awesome wines and experience.

Well, we need to get some rest so we can prepare for the next day!!

Day 2 –  Searching for wine in Napa. We visited Robert at Cabana winery where we have bought some port and Wow!! He produces so many wines from Napa and many other places in Calif. A wealth of knowledge seeing he has been in the business for over 30 years. 

We expect to do more business with him.

After nearly 3 hours of talking about and drinking wine, we rushed back to Napa to meet Marilyn who we bought grapes from during last fall’s harvest. She has vineyards on Atlas Peak and in Coombsville and has developed the vineyards herself. All purchasers of her grapes produce bottles of wine that sell for over $100.

She is so gracious and she showed us around her place, let Kim pet her horses and then she joined us for dinner. More than business, she has become a friend.

Day 3 – looking for wines in Napa.

Visiting Casey at Stringer cellars was a treat. We had bought some Napa Cabernet from him and he showed us around his facility. So many facets of the wine business and we learn something new each time we meet someone. 

Each winemaker has a little bit different way of bringing out the best in a wine even down to the temperature of the room it is aged in.

Wow! Who thought that making wine took so much knowledge!! 

When I taste wines now, I am going to taste the oak, the temp, the aging, etc.

Day 4 – looking for wine 

Special guests at John Anthony winery for a tasting. The church was moved piece by piece from Pennsylvania many years ago and is still legally listed as a residence. Of course, completely redone and now a unique tasting venue as well as a dinner or function venue.

Beautiful wines but no extra wine to sell to Incognito !! Great whites and excellent (and expensive) deep red . Love them.

After a quick lunch we went to the top of Atlas Peak, a superior AVA on the east side of Napa up the mountain along a road that winds around with steep drop offs – made Kim a little queazy!!

The views are amazing and when we reached Elan Vineyards which is the second to last drive at the top of Atlas Peak, well, you can see the views.

We went into see Patrick who moved to Atlas Peak in 1979 from France and a little while after started Elan at it’s present location. He farms using French vineyard farming techniques and produces superb reds, mostly Cabernet but also some merlot and a little Malbec and petite verdot.

They also have a small olive grove and vegetable garden.

Great conversation with Patrick and his wife Linda. Hope to see them again soon.

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