In Napa

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So, I’m in the Napa Valley. This is actually day 3 (we arrived on Monday afternoon): I would have posted something earlier, but it has been full on with barely a moment to spare. So just some pictures and captions will have to suffice for now. Our first appointment took us into the hills out east – this is Somerston Estate, where we had an informal pizza evening with several Napa Valley vintners, including Vivien Gay of Silver Oak (below).

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Then on Tuesday morning we began at Cain, with the thoughtful Chris Howell, discussing mountain viticulture versus valley floor. From the vineyards at Cain we looked down to see the valley floor still covered in fog.

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Then it was off to Honig to discuss valley floor viticulture, and Silverado where we had a great tasting of some lovely Napa Cabernets – the highlight for me was the fresh, balanced, floral Antica Townsend Vineyard 2012.

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This was followed by a ‘fireside chat’ (sans fireside) at Beringer, with Napa legends.

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Beer followed. Ana’s, St Helena. Both nights so far.

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Today was 0530 start for some balloon action. A great life experience.

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We then had a really lovely tasting covering four decades at Black Stallion, in which this wine shone:

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This was followed by a remarkable visit. Raymond, owned by Jean-Charles Boisset, who is married to Gina Gallo. He has done some fairly crazy things to his winery. Unlike any other winery I have seen.

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