By Erika Lenkert
Put the simplest of Napa & Sonoma on your Pocket
With insider information on tasting, purchasing, and delivery wine.
Outspoken critiques on what is worthy some time and what is no longer.
Exact costs, so that you can plan the precise journey it doesn't matter what your funds.
Off-the-beaten-path reviews and undiscovered gemstones, plus new takes on best points of interest.
The top inns, eating places, and wineries in each funds, with candid studies.
Frommer's. the simplest journeys begin the following.
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Extra info for Frommer's Portable Napa & Sonoma
P L A N N I N G YO U R T R I P If you have the luxury of time, don’t visit just one destination: Tour two so you can compare and contrast these very different—and very wonderful—worlds of winemaking. THE GOLDEN RULE OF WINE TASTING: LESS IS MORE Yes, they all sound great. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to hit every winery. Actually, your best plan of action is to take it slow. Pick three or four wineries for a single day’s outing, and really get to know not only the wines but also the story behind each winery: its history, the types of wines it makes and where the grapes are grown, and the colorful people who make the wines.
After the grapes are harvested, the vines hopefully have the chance to grow for a few more weeks, storing energy in the form of carbohydrates that will sustain them to the next spring. After cold nights in November and December, the first winter rains knock and blow the vibrant-colored leaves off the vines, which then go dormant until March and April, when they restart the cycle. THE LIFE OF THE VINE Unless soil problems or vineyard pests intervene, a vineyard should have a commercial life of 30 to 40 years.
For the simpler white wines—chenin blanc, Riesling, and some sauvignon blancs— bottling occurs in the late winter or early spring. Most sauvignon blancs and chardonnays go into the bottle during the summer after the harvest. Very few white wines, usually chardonnays, take the slow track and enjoy 15 to 18 months of aging in small barrels with prolonged aging on the lees, the sediments from the primary fermentation. Those treatments are unusual, but they produce chardonnays that are richly flavored, complex, and expensive.