Bubbly in Napa’s bubbling champange (沉醉Napa酒香中)

Ok, I admit that I don’t know about wines. I drank cooler during college and later occasionally red and white wines in parties. I couldn’t tell which wine was better than another, nor could I really understand certain highly praised wines. After all, wine isn’t in my study list; as long as it’s not too bitter, sour, or trying to choke me, it’s all fine. Recently, it seems there’s a new trend of “how to appreciate a wine”–books about wines have been published, wine tasting classes are advertised, and even comic books featuring stories about wines are widely loved!!

Fine, I’m not particular about wines, but who says one that doesn’t possess a good knowledge of wine can’t appreciate the understated landscapes of wineries?

Napa is about 2-hour drive from my place. Living in California for a long time, I’ve paid my humble visit to Napa before but didn’t get much impression about it. Not until after watching “Letters to Juliet” which reminded me of my wonderful trip to Siena, Italy a few years ago, a friend told me that the sceneries in Napa were no any less than in Siena.

Since one free day couldn’t afford me to construct an extravagant trip, I managed to get some info from a friend, who told me that Domain Carneros Winery offered wine tasting tours and very good sparkling champagne.

Indeed, Domain Carneros is beautifully built with its facade just like a French chateau on the hill.

It’s already November so all the grapes had been harvested.

The tour began with visiting the grape collecting site outside and going inside with the wine process container while guests sipped the first bubbling champagne.

Domain Carnero’s sparkling champagne is famous for its fine and fizzy tiny bubbles emerging from the bottom of the champagne flute when it’s poured. 

Along the tour, I tried several different champagnes, and one of them was even a beautiful blushing pink! Nowadays, wines were not processed mainly by human labor but machines controlled by computers. After the wine is bottled, the bottles need to be settled tilted upside down on the racks and turned every few hours. Before there were workers turning the bottles manually; now the bottles are stored in special cubical cages and turned by robotic arms. 

Honestly I couldn’t remember the names of champagnes I’ve tried. I only noticed that I drank 4 or 5 types of sparkling champagnes and a red wine. The sparkling champagne was certainly very tasty, but I found most bubbling things tasty anyways, even just the plain sparkling water!

Just like most of the people who visited here–I would certainly drink more if I didn’t have to drive all the way back home. Therefore, every guest tried each champagne and wine for only a few sips. After all, it’s a wine tasting tour so you’re supposed to just taste stylishly and not tackily getting drunk there! Haha!


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