Napa Wineries Worth a “Pilgrimage”

It was just a sidebar, taking up about a third of a page, in the May issue of Food and Wine magazine. But the headline caught my attention: “Wineries Worth a Pilgrimage.”

The author recommended four estates on two continents: Movia in western Slovenia, Chateau Musar in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, Tasca D’Almerita in Sicily, and Chateau Cos D’Estournel in Bordeaux. The attractions range from “a mad genius winemaker” to “one of Bordeaux’s greatest Cabernet-based reds.”

The piece got me thinking about how we, as wine lovers, approach our favorite beverage and the places where it is made. When we become interested in a topic, we want to learn more about it. And when it comes to wine, the learning never ceases because each vintage brings new questions and answers. When we make the time to plan a trip to one of our favorite wineries, it really can be a pilgrimage.

I don’t know how the Food and Wine writer managed to get the list down to just four wineries in the entire world. For me, virtually every winegrowing region around the globe is home to at least that many pilgrimage-worthy estates. We spotlight many of them here on Vinesse TODAY in our “Wineries of Distinction” section.

Just for fun, I’ve started to make lists of wine regions and wineries within those regions that I believe are worth a “pilgrimage.” Every so often, I’ll share one of those lists here—beginning today with Napa Valley…

  • The Hess Collection: Donald Hess owns wineries around the world, and his Napa estate houses about a quarter of his acclaimed collection of international contemporary art.
  • Sterling Vineyards: Visitors take a tram from the parking lot to the winery, and once they reach the top, they’re rewarded with a breathtaking, 360-degree panorama of the valley.
  • Far Niente: During the springtime, you can spot the red and pink azaleas on this estate’s 13-acre garden from a mile away.
  • Domaine Chandon: Etoile is one of the few restaurants that’s part of a Napa Valley wine estate, and it delivers plenty of style, sophistication and pleasure…in its décor, and on its plates. The restaurant makes a visit to Domaine Chandon a true culinary experience.

Do you have a favorite winery in the Napa Valley? Let us know about it—and why it’s worth a pilgrimage—in the Comments box below.

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log
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