Napa Valley: Beyond the Tasting Rooms (Part 2)

Yesterday, we began a three-part series on things to do in the Napa Valley besides visiting the tasting rooms.

Here are a few more ideas…

  • Golf in the vineyards.

    Well, not exactly in the vineyards—unless you really shank a shot, that is. Chardonnay Golf Club in American Canyon features a unique blend of golf holes that consist of six par-5s, six par-4s and six par-3s that meander through more than 150 acres of Chardonnay vineyards. There are numerous lakes and creek crossings, and a wide variety of native trees, shrubs and wildlife.

    Several areas of the property are designed as wildlife preserves, dedicated to maintaining wildlife habitat among the vineyards and fairways. Sharing the property with the golfers are several species of birds including hawks, kites, kestrels, hummingbirds and even an occasional golden eagle.

    In the early morning or late evening hours, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, a bobcat family (on hole 16) and many other “critters” stroll through the fairways.

  • Pay homage to California’s legendary winemakers.

    The Vintners Hall of Fame, located on the Culinary Institute of America’s campus in St. Helena, celebrates the men and women whose collective vision, determination and hard work have been responsible for the growth and worldwide prestige of the California wine industry.

    Bronze sculptures of the inductees, crafted by renowned artist Lawrence Newlan, are displayed on historic 2,200-gallon redwood wine barrels in the former Christian Brothers’ Barrel Room. Each plaque includes a biography of the inductee, capturing that person’s unique accomplishments and role in making California one of the most legendary places in the world for fine wine.

    The CIA’s Vintners Hall of Fame also includes “A History of California Wine: The David and Judy Breitstein Collection,” the first major educational exhibit to document the rich history of California wine as told through rare bottles and their accompanying informational placards.

    Meticulously curated by Karen MacNeil, chair of the CIA’s Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies, the Breitstein Collection will display some 40 of the 150 bottles in the collection at any one time.

  • Take in a classical music concert.

    This year’s Music in the Vineyards series features 16 performances at venues ranging from the Hudson House at Beringer Vineyards to the stunning, art-filled grounds of the Hess Collection.

    The 2012 season runs from July 29 through Aug. 19.

Here are a few links to help you plan your trip…

Tomorrow: Napa Valley’s star-studded dining scene.

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log, Wine Tips
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