Journey with us on one of our wine tours San Francisco through a landscape that begs to be captured for posterity on your trip.
The hills appear around the road one by one as the sun burns off the highest fog. Driving through the Napa wine country hills and into the valleys is a magical experience. It is a kingdom unto itself with rows and rows of vines growing across the slopes, not perpendicular as you might imagine. From the air it’s as if Prometheus’ comb has run its teeth through the ground making rows so perfect, with exact distances between them, at once seeming to be an engineer’s topographical mapping and an artist’s sensitive hand on the land.
Napa wine country holds such an attraction for some that it must be included in one of life’s premier events… the wedding. What is more romantic than getting married in a vineyard? All sorts of connotations are there to give a marriage a good start. Fruitful, is one, sweet as wine, another. You get the idea, so we won’t go on. The aroma of the grapes fills the air, lending a grace note to the occasion. Not to be soon forgotten, this wedding…
As the grapes ripen, the hills don a new wardrobe when the leaves begin to turn from their cool green to a warm red, reminiscent of a fine Burgundy or Cabernet Sauvignon. Even in the same vineyard the leaves can range from a bright red to a deep purple, until they all catch up with the cooler weather and become monochromatic. The colors are vibrant and there’s almost a taste that flavors the landscape, making the air itself almost edible.
Feeding the Vine
Most important to the grapes is the soil—it’s texture, nutrients and drainage. All are critical and with the failure of any one to be as required comes an unpredictable harvest. From a history of wine-growing that dates back 7,000 years, vintners have learned about the remarkable requirements that produce the best grapes in time for harvest. The texture needs to be a layer of top soil over subsoil that holds the roots in place, drains well and has the ability to hold heat and reflect it back up to the vine. The nutrients, critical for predictable grapes. must have the proper balance and maintenance for a healthy vine must have calcium, that controls the pH levels in the soil, iron, magnesium, nitrogen, absorbed as nitrates along with phosphates and potassium.
A Special Place for Grapes
It is no accident that vineyards have found their way to this part of the state where wine tours from San Francisco are one of the favorite pastimes. The Napa wine country climate and landscape are ideal. Temperatures ranging from 37o-72 o F.. The landscape, with rolling hills for good drainage and water features that give off enough heat at night to protect the vines from the cold are all present here. They conspire to produce wines that are winning their way around the world to the applause of experts who come often, on a tasting spree with a Napa Wine Country Tour—one reason why vintners are cautious about allowing visitors into the working barrel rooms.
Consider it a rare treat (and your A Taste of San Francisco and Beyond guide must have high leverage at the vineyard) when the vintner allows visitors into the barrel room to taste and listen as he tells you how a bit of Napa wine country got from the land to your hand. Wine tours from San Francisco are something all visitors to the Bay Area can enjoy.