Sunday, October 2, 2011

Napa Valley

I went to a conference a couple weeks ago (just one of the reasons I haven't posted in ages) related to integrative medicine in women's healthcare.The conference just happened to be in Napa, California. Rough... I know. The conference was okay, but Napa was wonderful. It is a beautiful area. Just take a look.

So when my three coworkers and I weren't conferencing, we had the opportunity to explore this beautiful area and of course, taste wine! I didn't realize how accessible the wineries are. You literally can drive up to just about any of them and pay for a tasting. Our first wine tour was at Castello di Amorosa. Their tour and tasting was phenomenal. We got to taste the grapes, see where they make the wine, taste wine directly from a barrel, and then had a great tutorial and tasting experience at the end of the tour.

The place is a castle and a winery. It was neat hearing about how they integrated the two.

The picture above is our tour guide pulling some grapes out for us to eat and the one below is the grapes about to be separated from the vine.

I had a wonderful time learning about wine, hanging out with great girls, and eating delicious food. We visited about 6 or 7 wineries. Don't worry, I'm not a wine snob though! I'll still be purchasing cheap wine that I think tastes just as good. If you don't think that's possible try reading The Wine Trials. The book reports interesting results following blind tastings of wines priced anywhere from under $15 to $150 per bottle. I tend to agree with one of the girls that was with me on the trip when she said, "It's just not that deep to me."

So, while you won't ever find me heading out to purchase expensive wine, I have an appreciation for the work and money these people put into making their product. I had no idea that it takes at least three years of growing grapes before they are ready to be used for wine. I also learned that the type of soil and temperature the grapes grow in effects what type of wine you can make. I mean, I could go on and on here about the craziness of wine making. I would not want it for my job.

While Napa was fun, it is good to be home for a while. There are no more big trips hanging around the corner so I feel like I can settle back into a routine. I mean, I went to the grocery store for the first time in over a month on Wednesday. It felt good. I promise that projects will return now that I am returning to normal life. I'm going to try and play catch up. I am itching to get started on something.

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