RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Napa Valley, CA.

Wednesday 5/30/2012

This is Lake Berryessa. It was located just a few miles up the road from our campground. You have to pay a day use fee to use it. The guy at the office let us in for free just to look around for a few minutes. I forgot to tell all of you that Joe is writing this blog.  Diane uploaded the pictures.
It is actually a reservoir. This is the marina.
Much of the marina seemed fairly new.
This sign is found on most roads is this area except for major highways. Every time we went to the  Napa Valley we had to drive narrow roads up and over the mountain and back down the other side. You can take the interstate but it adds about 40 miles to the trip from our location.
 This is the Oxbow Public Market. We were told it was kind of a farmer's market, but it turned out to be mostly restaurants and food court type of place. Diane purchased some olive oil and vinegar at a stand that was giving out free samples.  It is located in the town of Napa.

This is an example of the country side in the Napa Valley. Lots of vineyards even on the steep hillsides.

Grapevines for miles and miles, everywhere you look. But what do you expect, when 75% of all the wine in the US comes from this region of California.
Upon advise from the visitor's bureau in Napa we drove up the valley to the town of Calistoga to visit this winery that was suppose to be one of the most interesting.
This is it. We met a nice couple in our RV park that told us we should check this place out. The visitors bureau agreed. We have been to a few winery's in our travels and sampled wine in a few places but nothing quite this grand.
It was a warm day, suppose to hit 90. I am ready to go inside and get out of the hot sun. It may be great for the grapes but not for me. Come on Diane lets get going.
Check out this door. Bet it would take a battering ram to break into this place.
We payed $18 each to take a tour and have a wine tasting at the end of the tour. This is the courtyard inside the castle. It even has its own well, though they don't use it anymore.
Another view of the courtyard. Back in the day, homes were taxed on how many windows it had, so a few windows were bricked up.
This is the grand dining hall. All the walls are hand painted in Italian Fresco paintings. 
This is the artists name, I think he was from Italy.

This is a view from the viewing tower showing the vineyards.

This is the tower, from which I took the previous picture. We had walked down below it in this picture. Even though all this is new construction it is very authentic looking.
Check out the size of these barrels. I look dumbfounded.
We go down to the tunnels, or should I say dungeon.

Here is where they store and age the wine where the temps are cool all year round. Each of these barrels come from France and are some special oak. Some winery's use them 2 or 3 times before selling them for next to nothing. They cost about $3000 each when new. After being used 2 or 3 times they no longer give the wine the oak flavor.

Many bottles of special or reserve wine being stored in the lower levels.

They even have a dressing room for the Knights of the castle. Some of these are real and some are recreated.
They also have a torture room. This is an Iron Maiden. Inside are spikes that make you very uncomfortable when you are placed inside. Our tour guide said people always answered questions when inside.

This device is called the "Bird Cage", and was hung outside over a fire with someone inside.
More wine. Our tour guide said that a special engineer from Europe was brought over to help them construct these archways.
Now for a taste straight out of the barrel.
This is a better picture of the arches.
Here is the gift shop. Diane likes this part of the tour.
Now for the wine tasting. This is the part of the tour that Joe likes.
The tour is done and we stroll back to the car. It was OK but I wasn't that impressed with the tour part. Half of what we saw could be seen by any visitor for free.

They even have chickens, imagine that.
Diane couldn't resist these little chicks.
Good bye great castle.
View as we drive down the vineyard's driveway.
On the main road through the valley we come upon these trees forming an arch of their own.
Time to head home on our curvy steep roads across the mountains. They are so curvy, it made Diane feel car sick, so she kept telling me to slow down!

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