Napa Valley – Sonoma, CA

On our brief tour through wine country we stopped at two wineries; one relatively small and one large. There was no particular reason we selected these two out of many in the area.
Reata is one of the first you will encounter driving from San Francisco to Napa Valley. We were stunned at the appearance of the facility having a picturesque backdrop of the Napa Valley. The lodge itself had the feel of a mountain cabin. The tasting room had a large wine bar where you could sample some of the exclusive selection. Reata has a rich history that recognizes Native Americans that originated on that land and pays homage to western California heritage. They specialize in Chardanay and Pinot Noir because of the cooler climate they experience overnight that allows the grapes to grow to perfection. We particularly liked the Chardanay because of it’s smooth taste and fruity notes. Overall it was a nice introduction to the Napa Valley region.
Chandon is a more widely known brand a little further into the valley. We chose this as our second stop to contrast the smaller winery. The entrance alone lets you know you are entering what you imagine wine country to be. Grapes growing along the road, a beautiful restaurant, tasting room, gracious, knowledgable staff ready to fill your glass and show you what a tasting is all about. Here we sampled the sparkling wines. Mr. Traveler and I tried two different reserves so we could get the most out of this visit. Our favorite by far was the exclusive etoile Rose aged 6 years. We tried it paired with the Chandon Rose and it was like night and day. The staff was amazing, as colorful as the bubbly we sampled. Very helpful, even offering club soda after I spilled the Sparkling Red on Mr. Traveler while taking photos seen here. We highly recommend Chandon for the wine enthusiast that wants to experience something outside the usual still wine category.

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