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Washington Post: Napa – Surprises on the Silverado Trail

Elissa Leibowitz describes her recent tour of the Napa Valley and her choice to stay off the beaten path and visit only smaller wineries along the Silverado Trail.

As I quickly learned during a long weekend in Napa Valley, a newcomer can tour the Northern California wine region in one of two ways: You can nudge your way into big-name, well-marketed wineries to sample mass-produced wines poured by tasting room managers too busy to chat. Or you can stick to small wineries and sit on patios and linger over larger-than-usual samples while talking to the vintner about his craft.

Also in today’s issue is a report from San Francisco-based freelance writer Alison Hoover Bartlett titled Sonoma – Slow Sipping in Wide Open Spaces.

Nailed to the trunk of an ancient-looking tree on West Dry Creek Road is a sign that says “Slow.” Around the next bend is another: “Slower.” This is good advice. After rounding a couple more bends along this sinuous road, I arrived at a place where rushing would be beside the point — Preston Vineyards, one of the northernmost wineries in California’s Sonoma County. In a region with tremendous power to seduce the senses, I had found the quintessential example.

At the end of this article is an excellent list of places to visit and eat in Sonoma County.

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