Fall color is usually associated with trees. However, grape vines are also prone to some nice color changes through autumn and we took a ride up to Napa Valley to see how things were looking. We probably we there a little after the peak of the colors but there were still some nice colors to be seen. A good number of vines were already devoid of leaves but others had developed a strong red hue. Heading up to Calistoga, we could get up on the hillside and see the valley floor below us. The variation in the different fields helped to emphasize the colors more in my opinion.
With Dad and Jan visiting, it was a chance to get out and see some of what the area has to offer. Dad likes trains and is also quite partial to wine so what better trip to make than a visit to the Napa Valley Wine Train. For those who are not familiar with it, the service runs from the town of Napa up through the Napa Valley. It pretty much parallels the main road (or you might argue the road parallels the rail line) and passes by many of the vineyards and wineries as it goes.
We took the trip that included the tour of the Grgich hills winery as well. Lunch was served on the train shortly after we departed Napa and we ate as we gently rumbled through the countryside. Since it was a rather damp day, being inside and watching everything outside while eating seemed to be a good plan. When we reached the winery, the train stopped to drop us off. It then continued up to the end of the line where they ran the locos around to pull them back down the route.
Once we had finished our tour of the winery, the train reappeared to pick us up. At this point, we boarded a different car. This one was a lounge car where we were served our desserts. Sitting inside facing seats eating dessert while watching the vineyards roll past was a great way to wrap up the trip. They ran a second trip later in the day with dinner served on board but, since it is dark so early at this time of year, I think our time was a far better one for the trip.
Nancy and I were up in Healdsburg as part of a weekend away. She wanted to check out a winery called Ferrari-Carano while we were up there so we headed off to find it. It turned out to be a very attractive location. The buildings were beautifully designed and the grounds had been expertly landscaped. Even if you didn’t want any wine, it was a nice place to walk around for a while.
We were interested in the wine too so went in to buy some of their stock. I took a wander down to the basement where you could see a healthy selection of barrels of wine being stored. Sadly, this area was off limits so I had to be content with looking through the glass at the stockpiles. There was enough wine down there to keep me happy for a while. It would be fun to have a closer look around. Maybe they have tours that we can go back for. If not, at least we can buy more of their excellent wines!