Long live the grape!
We visited Napa mid October and the valley was harvesting and crushing. The entire valley had the smell of wine in the air.
You can drive yourself or hire a limo to take you from winery to winery, but whatever you do, here is one stop that we particularly enjoyed along the way through Napa to Calistoga. Be on the look-out for little signs that may appear outside the winery that will tell you that they're picking today, crushing today or any other special event that you may find interesting. That's how we found the first winery we stopped at, because of a sign that read "Stomping Today"...
I believe they are the only winery that will actually let you stomp grapes in a large wine barrel. There's a small fee and operates on a first come, first serve basis. It's fun, easy and something that may be on your bucket list! Yes, your feet do get purple and you can have your purple feet immortalized on a special t-shirt (for an additional cost). The purple hoses off, so don't be afraid of hopping in and taking out an agression or two. lol....
We were also able to see forklifts dump large containers of just picked grapes onto a conveyor belt. There, several workers picked out stems and any imperfect grapes before they went directly into the tanks.
This winery has a rich history in the California Wine story. Mike Grgich's bottle of wine that beat the French for the first time in a blind taste test, is sitting in the Smithsonian Museum.
The video above tells a wonderful story of California wines and features Mike, himself.
The folks at this winery were the friendliest we met that day in our various stops and we thank manager, Ken Morris for his hospitality.
Driving from the city of Napa
on the main highway (Hwy. 29, also called St. Helena Hwy.), the winery is located approximately 15 miles north in Rutherford about 1/2 mile north of the Rutherford Grill, on the left side of the road. Look for a large white stucco building with a red tile roof. (707) 963-2784
On GPS: 1829 St. Helena Hwy
The Wine Train also stops at this wineryhttp://www.winetrain.com/winery-tours/grgich-hills