Whatever I say about Napa, would not be enough. Situated in one of the most visited states in America, this region attracts millions of tourists every year. You will ask “What is so special about that place?”. Their finest wines! Although my passion is beer and frankly I would prefer to attend something like Oktoberfest, I must admit that we were very pleased. As we drove from San Francisco to Napa , to be honest there was not much different to see. Their large highways, which are a pleasure to drive on . Their perfectly arranged neighborhoods with nearly identical houses, as though taken our from TV series. Small plazas every few miles, where one can eat something quickly (such as McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell), liqueur stores because they do not sell alcohol in supermarkets (maybe some states are exception ), Outlets , and let’s not forget Starbucks, that is on every corner. These were already common places and were of no interest to me. But when we passed the Napa, California sign, I was amazed . Sure you’ve all seen pictures of fields of tulips in Holland ( some of you probably had seen them in person – which I noble envy ). It was the same , with slight differences that except tulips there were grapes. Left, right … vineyards. Every kilometer, there were wineries where you can taste wines or eat delicious food. Of course, wine tasting sounded pretty good and we necessarily had to practice it . And here we were , at a winery (of which I did not forget to take a magnet) sitting at the bar , waiting eagerly for our dose. The bartender was an old man with a big white mustache and frankly much reminded me of Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean . The “package ” that we chose was everyone of us to taste five wines (although Davy poured us six, which of course we did not refuse ). The first two were red wines, two white and one that tasted like champagne and the last one personally reminded me of cognac. We raised our glasses, looked the people around us, and carefully repeated their movements. We shook our glasses, smelled the wine , watching it against the light, honestly did not know what to do except drink in a single gulp. Two wines I liked , the others I did not approve. For that my boyfriend had to drink up my glasses too (not that they pour much wine , but … ). We did not fail to make pictures … no, not for memory .. for Facebook.
Lastly we decided to queue for tasting cheese. What I tried , as I recall , at least (or at least as far as I heard ) was Brie California, and it was delicious! Wine only managed to rekindle my appetite , so in a small town in the valley we sat down to eat. For the first time , I ate such Caesar salad. So far,I always get mu lettuce cut. Maybe this was one of their customs of presenting this salad, I do not know. But, the fact was that the lettuce was only washed. Luckily I had a knife, and I was able to get it cut and eat afterwards. Or maybe it was something like a game. They tried to awaken my appetite with some exercises for hands before eating.
After lunch, we headed to one of the largest wineries in the county. The interesting thing about it was that it was a castle. Yes that’s right castle . I wanted to make a picture in there, but at the entrance a guard told us that we have to pay for it. But, we are Bulgarians after all, so we went through the back door when the guard was a little distracted. We were impressed by their animals: strange kind of hens and roosters, 2-3 goats that seem to smile at us to pet them ( then we saw that it was forbidden … ) and others. And in a little pond there were swans.
I would return in Napa , California with pleasure. Vineyards , aromatic grapes, sparkling wine, thousands of bottles, delicious cheese, my uncut lettuce… all that will remain in my memory.
Have you been in Napa Valley? Share your stories with me. 🙂