Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Upper Valley

We started Thursday at Lancaster Estates. It was a bit of a drive to the top of the valley but I'm so glad we visited!

This shows how the grape vines are all grafted into American root stock. Apparently most grape vines, especially ones from France which are basically all of the major vines grown in California, are extremely susceptible to bacteria and rot. When the vines are planted on indigenous root stock they can live healthily forever! The root stock is below the knobby part a few inches above the ground.

The husband and wife that purchased this property and started Lancaster Estates built that beautiful house on the hill. They no longer live there but if you want to become a wine club member, you can stay there a couple nights a year!

The entrance to their cave.

Their tasting room inside the cave.

Inside the cave.
After Lancaster we visited Joseph Phelps. Their site was beautiful, but we didn't love their wines.

There were lizards everywhere this week!

Lunch at Farmstead was wonderful!

One of my favorite caves was Schramsberg's. This vineyard does exceptional bubbly! Their Napa champagne has been served by every U.S. President since the US-China peace treaties.

There are something like 5 million bottles in their mile and a half of caves (dug out in the 1800's with pick axes and buckets!) The bottles are each full of pressure, so full in fact that for the first 8 weeks that the new bottles are in the caves they are covered with tarps to protect passersby from being struck by the exploding bottles! A few explode out of every batch.

Our candle-lit cave tasting!

Beringer was our last winery of the day and it was just down the road from Schramsberg.

The house was originally built as a private residence. The house was beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. Home again Home again--My you made a lot of memories. Now back to earth. I am so happy you got to make this amazing trip. And thank you for sharing it with me. MaMaw