My husband and I went to Napa Valley over Valentine’s weekend. One of our favorite wineries there was Pride.
Imagine driving up a very narrow, very steep hill that stretches on for miles. Huge, moody foothill pines, coast redwoods and black oaks create a mystical and enchanted forest-like atmosphere as you drive up. Couple that with the mist and cloud cover surrounding the area and you know you’re about to experience something amazing.
The mist began to turn into big heavy drops of rain when we reached the Pride sign which welcomed us as we entered the driveway of the vineyard.
The vineyard looked a bit like the Scottish Highlands, except for the vines of course. It was interesting to learn that the vineyard is located in both the Napa and St Helena regions with the property line neatly splitting down a perfectly planted row of vines. Separation is important in the labeling and bottling so that consumers know whether they are buying a Napa wine or a St Helena one. I began to wonder if it really made a difference. Looking at all the wineries with their vineyards planted so closely together, how different could they really all be in taste?
This is where our wine expert, Andy filled me in on the different soils in the area. Apparently, there are over 60 different types of soil in the world and the Napa region contains over 30 of them. These different soil textures, volcanic rock, marine, etc are just one component that have an impact in overall taste during the winemaking process.
We then made our way into the caves where the barrels of wine are stored. Andy let us try a few of the wines in the cave using a handy wine tap. I need one of those in my house!
It was fun to try the different wines and listen to Andy tell the story behind each one. The man could have been reading poetry, because he explained everything with enthusiasm and self-deprecation. There wasn’t an ounce of wine snobbery and no question was too simple or beneath him to answer fully. It was so interesting and so true when he said, “The more I know about wine, the more I find that I don’t know.”
We ended the tour in a private room reserved for guests allowed to sample more wines paired with cheeses. My husband’s eyes lit up when he saw this room because it screams our taste to a tea: wood paneling, buttery leather chairs, rustic wooden tables. Ah, heaven! The picture above does not do the room justice. We will definitely be back with friends to reserve that room. Thank you Pride. See you soon…but not soon enough.
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