Life

Travel: Wine Country with Robert Mondavi

Cheers!

Cheers!

The sun had just started to peak out over the rolling valleys of California. The air was hot – desert like but with a warm satisfying breeze. It was in that moment in time when I knew this would be an experience I would never forget.

I recently travelled to Napa Valley for a trip of a lifetime. Many know this area as ‘wine country,’ and let me tell you it is one destination you have to experience before you kick the bucket – especially if you’re a fan of the grape.  I have always been impressed by the process of making alcohol – an no this is not because I am from time to time a lush. I once worked in the public affairs department for Moosehead Breweries in New Brunswick. The office was attached to the plant and I would find myself many-a-times slipping on my work boots and helmet to explore how the beer was made.

Watching beer be bottled was pretty fascinating but watching the entire process of how wine comes to life is a completely different story.

Delish

Delish

One of my favourite wines is Robert Mondavi. I was introduced to the brand a few years ago and now it is my go-to whenever i’m looking to quench my thirst. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to explore their vineyard in great detail during my trip to wine country. There are hundreds of vineyards spread throughout Napa, Sonoma and Healdsburg – some small and some massive. The Mondavi Vineyard particularly stuck out for me because of its shear size. Driving to the vineyard you can see row upon row of small trees filled with succulent grapes.

The architecture of the vineyard was amazing. Robert Mondavi and his wife had established the winery in 1966.  It’s a truly magical place from their gardens to their actual barrel holding facility.  As I walked the grounds of the Vineyard, my wine expert Michael gave me a detailed one on one of how the vineyard came to be. We then took a quick walk throughout the vines occasionally picking a grape (not something that is typically done). Trying a Cabernet Sauvignon grape straight from the vine is something I will never forget.

“Making good wine is a skill. Making fine wine is an art.” – Robert Mondavi

image1

Beautiful

After our stroll through the vineyard, we went into the winery where the true magic happens. I got to see exactly how they craft the wine from the huge vats to the aging of the barrels. We even went into an area where they were bottling the wine.  It is true when they say that making wine is an art. Every detail from the sourcing of the cork to the type of wood of the barrels has to be carefully thought out in order to craft the best wine.

Barrels!

Barrels!

After the tour, we enjoyed an incredible meal prepared by the same chef that occasionally cooks for Robert Redford. Needless to say, I was in heaven. Not only was the food amazing, all of the produce came straight from their garden. I enjoyed every bite as I sipped a delicious glass of red (my fav.) and took in the view of the rolling greenery of the vineyards.  I’m not leaving I thought to myself. Maybe I could get a job here and stay forever! Are you hiring by chance?

If ever you find yourself strewn upon the hundreds of winery options to check out while visiting wine country in California, I definitely recommend you check out the Mondavi Vineyard. The staff was amazing, the tour was magical and the wine, goes without saying, is one of the best on the market.  You can truly see that everyone working there or within the organization is passionate about their craft.

So next time you find yourself staring at a sea of wines, think about the story I just told you. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a hot sunny Californian vineyard with warm breeze blowing in your hair and the sweet smell of grapes flirting with your senses.

Cheers 😉

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