Posted by: nancycurteman | June 22, 2010

Best Wines in the World: Napa Valley Wines

American’s consume about the same amount of wine as the French and America rates as the fourth largest producer of wine in the world. Ninety per cent of U.S. wine comes from California. So, clearly a visit to California is not complete without at trip to one of its great wine-producing counties in which wine vineyards debuted in the 18th century. A good place to begin a wine country tour is the Napa Valley where the first grapes were planted in 1838 by George Yount. The unique town of Yountville is named after him. With over 300 wineries situated in the Valley from huge corporate-owned farms to small single-family owned wineries the decision about which ones to visit can be overwhelming. Here are three  very different wineries that exemplify what the region offers.

Lava Vine is a relatively new small-production winery with a very relaxed tasting room housed in a barn. The wines are excellent, but the best part of the visit is that the enthusiastic owner serves the wine sprinkled with stories about the origin and growth of his winery. Yes, the grapes are grown in lava soil.

Dutch Henry is another family-owned winery located in Calistoga. The flamboyant host, Julius Orth, claims Dutch Henry was a partner of Black Bart the infamous Wells Fargo stagecoach robber who plied his trade during California’s gold rush days. Be that as it may, the wine pours are generous, the chardonnays crisp and the cabernets will satisfy serious red wine lovers. Fine olive oil is available on site.

Begin your visit to Rombauer Vineyards tasting room with a stroll through the beautiful garden. A lovely  array of native flowers and plants, and an extraordinary collection of statuary create a restful respite for the traveler. The Rombauer family has a long history of fine wine making that extends back to the famous Rheingau region of Germany. Their outstanding wines prove it. Just ask the tasting room host who regales visitors with at least a university semester’s worth of information about wines.

Enjoy the gourmet wines of California.

photo: fotosearch


  1. Nancy thank you for your comment on my page re the Beam of a Lightouse…I created the post during a discussion on Dr Jean Houstons facebook page..I am wondering if you know her work?


    • I don’t know her work but I certainly like it if it’s similar to your lighthouse.


  2. Wonderful post, Nancy ~ full of crisp details and robust imagery.


    • I’ll take that comment as a great compliment having read your outstanding posts.


  3. Hey there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for
    this site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had
    problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.


    • Hi, I use WordPress. So far I haven’t had any problems. I hope I don’t have any in the future.


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