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Napa Valley at Last

Having just poured myself a little Napa Valley Zinfandel I thought it a good time to start reporting on our trip. Of course it all began with an early morning flight out of Newark Airport. Continental Airlines for the second time in two years put us on the ground in San Francisco right on time. After what was probably the fastest ever trip through the baggage pickup and the rental car area, we were off to Napa rather early with a plan to stop at Domain Carneros. As many great plans go this one was quickly trashed as soon as we hit the highway. I guess you could say we forgot one big factor, Friday was the beginning of July 4th weekend and just about everyone must have had a plan to get out of San Francisco early. We then decided to change the plan and head up to Napa. After a slow crawl up the interstate we hit the valley and were more than ready for some wine tasting and pulled into Regusci Winery; which has been one of our first stops in the valley for 4 years in a row now. Regusci is a “Ghost Winery” a term given to the few remaining early Napa Valley wineries that were in existence from 1860 to the early 1900’s. Very few still exist as many wineries of that period were decimated by the phylloxera infestation of the 1890’s, or the great depression that also occurred in that decade. The final blow for many was prohibition which followed and many wineries were abandoned or forced into bankruptcy. Many fell into disrepair and were dismantled or incorporated into new modern facilities many years later. The original well preserved winery located on the Regusci ranch was named the T.L. Grigsby-Occidental Winery. Regusci’s tasting room was quite busy though we were able get a spot after a short wait and were greeted by Neil, a great host with a quick wit who was happy to pour us our first tasting. Although Neil was quite busy he filled us in on some history, stories and Regusci wine. He also took time to take us on a tour of the original gravity fed winery building answering questions which was an unexpected treat. Regusci makes some excellent well respected wines and we did not hesitate sending our first case back to New Jersey, and so the week began. Heading up to the Wine Country Inn we decided to make a quick stop at Robert Sinskey tasting room as we had visited on a prior trip late in the day when the taste buds were shot and wanted to try the wines again. The tasting room was quite crowded and we waited a bit for a spot. Sinskey serves a small food pairing plate with an assortment of cheese pastry, olives and nuts which was quite nice, though I was not overly impressed with all of their wines. That was just my opinion though, and we did buy a couple bottles for relaxing back at the Inn. It was then on to the Wine Country Inn to check in and relax before a walk over to the Silverado Brew Pub for a nice diner to cap off the day.

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