"THE CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY" Top 5 Page for this destination Napa by travelgourmet

Napa Travel Guide: 452 reviews and 1,311 photos


Until you visit this region of California and see for yourself the beauty of the Napa Valley that runs up Hwy 29 or the Silverado Trail from Napa to Calistoga, don't try to compare this area to any other. Yes, there are many other fine wine regions in California, other states, and around the world, but for the quality of the senses: sight, smell, taste, and even touch, Napa Valley rates very high, not only with me but with wine and dine connoisseurs throughout the world. I offer a few of the sights and delights to visit while in Napa Valley.

I have placed my entire Napa Valley tips under "Napa" because I feel that the world knows Napa Valley with the shortened "Napa". Yes, Virginia there is a Napa City and other wine growing regions in the area, but my tips and reviews are for those looking to enjoy a day or two sipping the nectar of the gods somewhere in Napa Valley and not a lecture in Wine Appreciation 102 or Map Quest 101. Hey, let's just call it "Up Hwy 29 and down the Silverado Trail". Well, maybe just a little of Wine Appreciation 102. Whatever, it still is one of the best wine growing/tasting/buying regions in California.


The grape vines of the Napa Valley are barren from December to February. As they start to bud and the green growth appears, the many fields of vines become active with workers who begin to trim and care for the vines as if they were children. When August arrives and the vines have been thinned out to allow greater grape growth, daily watch begins until the sugar levels say it is time to harvest, somewhere in the late August through October time frame. If you have time to go to and participate in a grape stomp, please do. You will have a great time and don't worry, the foot stomped grape juice won't be bottled to sell.


Grapes have many varieties and each is harvested at different times but all with the same result. We got wine. The process is partly handled by nature but not an easy task and the finished product can be spoiled without the proper steps taken and at the right time. See my travelogue on the "from the grapes come the wine" with photos taken by me of the fermentation of wines explanation display, courtesy of Sterling Vineyards 1111 Duaweal Lane Calistoga, CA 94515 Phone (800) 726-6136. Located in northern Napa Valley on Hwy 29.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Wine tasting and fine dining at it's best
  • Cons:Heavy traffic on the weekends
  • In a nutshell:Beauty of the vine, not just the wine.
  • Intro Updated Jul 22, 2011
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Reviews (29)

Comments (31)

  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    Happy Holidays, Larry! Thanks for checking out my Big Island tips! The malasadas were great! Not too sweet and sooo fluffy! We went to Sonoma in Oct. but thinking about returning to Napa in Feb. so we can fill up our new wine room!

  • tracyskf's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    Pages on Napa is very very informative! Thanks Larry!

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Nice tips!

  • MacedonianUK's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2010 at 12:48 AM

    I enjoyed your Napa page, but the most interesting is your shopping tips. I just might come to Napa for the shopping. Really you tickled my taste buds and the Jelly bean factory looks great. I know one 4yrs old girl which will be tickled pink wth trip!

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    Great Napa Tips. BTW, Taylors not only has great hamburgers, it has the world's best milkshakes. I have a very wide research pool and can testify to this. LOL

  • llauraa's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Thanks Larry. Your photos on Brix look great, cant wait to try this place. Hope it is still as good as it was in '08?

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2010 at 6:24 PM

    Larry, Coming to the Napa area in October. Look forward to visiting some of the wineries you have profiled.

  • janetanne's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Fantastic photo Larry on the intro page. I'll come to Napa and you can come to Greece? Have a great week. Janet

  • gilescorey's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2010 at 3:03 AM

    Napa is such an interesting little geological gem....and so much narrower and dramatic than people realize. Great tips!

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Good wines and Good food maketh the days and nights ;-)))

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