Friday, April 18, 2014

Sideways in Napa Valley

On my third visit to Napa Valley, I wanted to do things differently. One, don't guzzle up all the wine at the different wine tasting stops. Everything becomes a blur once you do that. And second, veer away from the crowds for a different perspective of Napa Valley. 


My first stop on a road trip from San Francisco, Napa Valley has always been special. Seeing it during the off-season, without the usual crowds, was like seeing Napa Valley in a whole new light (see more on Napa Valley during the off season in my other blog here at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2012/03/side-views-sideways-in-napa.html).


After a quick meal, take a walk around town, and you'll see things you haven't noticed from your previous trips. Somehow, the charm of Napa comes out when the crowds are at its lowest. Head on down the main roads, and go sideways and peek at the side roads. Without the usual crowd, Napa is all yours. 

It was a chilly December day, and I decide to take a drive to Mont La Salle, the retreat and conference center of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. The quaint mission-style chapel sits above the famed vineyards of the Christian Brothers, providing a dramatic view of the property. Right beside Mont La Salle is the Hess Collection, long known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay made from grapes harvested from the Mont La Salle vineyards.

Leisurely walks and relaxed drives. Napa in the off-season is just so right on all counts. 

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