Wine Country Tour
March 03, 2011
Surviving a long Missouri winter sometimes calls for a trip to a warmer climate. This year, I was lucky enough to visit California and take a trip to wine country. I learned so much about the process of growing grapes, tending vines, and the intricacies of wine making. I was privileged to take a tour of the Hendry Winery in Napa Valley where the owner spent 4 hours explaining the history of his ranch, the different varieties of grapes, and the complicated process of making a quality wine. I learned about grafting varieties of grapes into a sturdy rootstock, and how the best and most flavorful grapes grow in a section of the ranch that has the worst soil and the least water. I learned about the difference of fermenting a wine in an oak barrel as opposed to a stainless steel vat. The best part of the tour was going to the tasting room and sampling 12 different varieties of wine. I learned the proper way to taste wine, and got some good tips for pairing different wines with food to bring out the flavors in both the food and the wine.
I found many good resources at the library to help plan this trip. The book North American Wine Routes has plenty of information on the Napa and Sonoma Valleys as well as popular wineries to visit. Drink This: Wine Made Simple is a great source to learn about different varieties of wine and food pairings. If you have the opportunity to escape the wintery weather in Kansas City, wine country is a great place to visit. Check out our great selection of travel books, web resources, and go and enjoy!