Back Lane Wineries of Napa, Second Edition by Tilar Mazzeo

By Tilar Mazzeo

This up-to-date consultant to the small and "secret" back-lane wineries and tasting rooms of Napa profiles over 70 hard-to-find, genuine boutique estates that characteristic world-class, artisanal wines respected via locals and critics.

Beyond the crowded tasting rooms of Napa’s renowned wineries, there’s an genuine, welcoming facet of the valley ready to be explored: boutique estates run by means of passionate winemakers who handcraft world-class wines. Back Lane Wineries of Napa uncovers greater than seventy of those gem stones that locals and critics revere yet few viewers ever see. up to date with new wineries, eating places, and native points of interest; maps; full-color images; and pointers on wine-tasting etiquette, wine transport prone, and itinerary making plans, this advisor will organize oenophiles and starting wine-lovers alike to reside the nice life—Napa kind

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The result of all this celebrity and acclaim is more than just great wines. It also means tourism. Each year, nearly five million visitors travel to the Napa Valley wine country from around the world. Most of these visitors travel along what the locals call “the loop”—the well-trodden tasting route that takes eager enthusiasts up the Silverado Trail and back down the St. Helena Highway (or vice versa), past some of America’s most famous and most familiar wineries. Along the way, there are picturesque fields of blazing mustard blooms, ready gourmet pleasures, and a little taste of the good life, Napa style.

A sturdy cardboard box, marked fragile, can get an entire case of wine across the country with minimal hassle, provided you understand the airline policies and any unusual state sales-tax regulations (available from your local bureau of taxation). Most wineries will happily give you a regular packing box, and some of the wineries have started selling extra-sturdy boxes specifically designed for sending wines this way. Some wineries now sell cleverly designed wine “sleeves” of inflatable plastic perfect for slipping a bottle or two into a bag—or you can purchase a “wine-lover’s suitcase” from catalog suppliers before your trip and rest easy knowing that your only worry is finding favorite bottles to fill it up.

Often these winemaker tours are exceptional educational experiences and a rare opportunity to get an inside perspective on the craft of winemaking. Generally, it’s a good idea to call at least a week in advance to set up appointments, and, in the busy summer months, appointments several weeks in advance are strongly recommended. Should you find yourself in the wine country unexpectedly, however, there’s absolutely no harm in making a spur-of-the-moment call. Often, the winemakers are able to welcome even last-minute visitors.

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