If you’re getting ready to plan your first—or even your fifth trip—to Napa, there’s a few things to consider before you go.
Here’s the 4 questions you should ask yourself:
- Are you sure you want to go?
- When do you want to go?
- How do you want to get there?
- Where will you go when you arrive?
Let’s answer each of these in detail.
|The best book for Napa prep: The Judgment of Paris|
Before you book a trip to Napa, you should know a little about the region.
Going to Napa for wine beginners is like wanting to play golf at Pebble Beach without every breaking 100.
You’re going to need to prepare to have a good time.
The best primer has to be Judgment in Paris by George Taber. It’s a great story on the history of Napa and why it’s important.
|Pick the low season January through March or November-December for your first trip.|
If you’re ready to go, you should plan your trip during non-peak season.
Everyone wants to go to Napa in Summer and Fall.
Skip it. Instead, go during February. The weather may be hit or miss, but the people will be happy to see you.
Plus, there will be less crowds at wineries and restaurants.
|When it comes to airports, flying into Sacramento is the best option.|
Fly into Sacramento instead of San Francisco
I, unlike many people, like San Francisco, but flying into the SFO is a mess.
It’s a huge airport. The rental car is far from the terminal. And you have to get out or around the Bay Area to escape.
Instead, fly into Sacramento and get all the benefits of a smaller airport.
|Pick one winery you love to be the foundation of your trip|
Visit One Key Winery and Then Take Your Advice From There
The biggest mistake first timers make is planning their trip without flexibility.
First timers should pick one winery to be the start of your visit. While tasting, ask your hosts for wineries that are similar to the wines you’re enjoying. Then, drink and repeat.
👆 This tip alone is worth following on any wine trip.
Free Run Juice
*free-run juice is a wine term for the grape juice that comes from their own weight prior to pressing. These are weekly tidbits that came out from my own wine reading.
Claret is Forever
We all know James Bond is cool, but he’s ice cold under the pressure of these thugs. His superior sense of smell and wine knowledge allows him to avoid danger and a flambé attack.
Please stick around for the fight scene. Bond like fine wine has improved with age.
Nerd Alert! British Sparkling Wine
Speaking of great British exports, they’ve been making British sparklers for years.
Since the late 1980s, our friends from across the pond have been growing Champagne grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). And in the next two or so years, we’ll get our first look at sparkling wine from Taittinger.
But there’s a less serious side to fizzy wine. Master of Wine Tim Wildman has created joy in a bottle. Something new from something old.
|Club Oenologique@ClubOenologiqueWhen setting out to develop a sparkling wine made from British ancestral fruit, @TimWildmanMW discovered a host of grapes on the verge of extinction. @ckpickard tells the story of his quest to save them and to resurrect Britain’s ‘lost vineyards’. cluboenologique.com/story/britains… One man’s mission to save Britain’s lost vineyar…When developing a Pet Nat from British ancestral fruit, Tim Wildman MW discovered grapes on the verg…cluboenologique.comMay 19th 20220Retweets3Likes|
P.S. – Shoutout to everyone who I chatted with last week. Your suggestions help craft this newsletter. I’m still working through replies and thank you’s to all who subscribe, so look for a note in the coming weeks.