Off the Beaten Path in Napa is getting More Crowded, Barnett & Pride Mountain in Point
One of the great things about having an interest in wine and the culture that creates it is that it is international, complex, and a subject that you can learn about for a life time. That in part is the reason why Napa and Sonoma, and wine countries in general have a very high return rate for their visitors.
I’ve written about this before, how many urban and suburbanites see these areas as their ‘family home in the country’ where they get their wine. It serves the soul. Since people come back again and again, they invariably want to return to see some favorites, and they want to meet some new friends.
There are some wineries that are harder to get to than others, but with experience and confidence visitors are increasingly willing to go off the beaten path. This point was made to me the other day when I tried to get a relatively late minute appointment for a Saturday at Pride Mountain and the Barnett Vineyards, both way up Spring Mountain. Booked Solid, with a waiting list!
For a long time poor Chateau Montelena suffered for a lack of visitors due to their distant location north of Calistoga. Then the movie Bottle Shock came out and now its three deep at the tasting bar on Saturdays. Admittedly they have done some wonderful improvements there, but this well deserved adoration owes a lot to that movie blowing their horn.
I was up at Reverie, on Diamond Mountain and I was surrounded by limousines from as far away as San Jose. The staff was slammed with tasting after tasting, and while they were happy for the business, I think they were a little surprised by the attention.
As I drove out I saw my friend Rozanna from Sip and Swirl Tours parked at Von Strasser. They had a patio filled as well. We were able to stop and chat for minute and exchange info about ‘really off the beaten track’ wineries, places that are by appointment, and only when you have their cell phone numbers, and they’ll take your call. This is the kind of info that guides thrive on, and one of the reasons that it’s so important to have friends in this business.
And no, I’m not going to share what we discussed, although I will say that it included two wineries in Napa and one in Sonoma, and they are all unique and very private. Of course, that’s why people hire guides like us.
Ralph & Lahni de Amicis are authors of the Amicis Winery Guides (Find them on Amazon), and owners of Amicis Tours. They are authors of over twenty books on health, design, business and travel. Their iPhone Apps, The Napa Valley Wine Tour, and The Sonoma Winery Tour are a tour guides approach to these beautiful area, complete with 1000’s of photos and insights. Their articles and products can be found on the sites http://www.amicistours.com and http://www.spaceandtime.com
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