Napa Day 1: Whitehall Lane, Turnbull, and the CIA at Greystone

We arrived in Napa yesterday and checked into our beautiful hotel AVIA Napa Valley. Then we rushed to a tasting appointment at Whitehall Lane, then to a tasting at Turnbull, and finally ended the day tasting olive oil and dining on the terrace of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. It was a whirlwind day. An incredible day. And it was only the first day.When we crashed in our king-sized, fluffy bed at AVIA last night, we crashed and crashed hard.

Here are the highlights from Day 1 (longer posts to follow when we return to Chicago):

  • Whitehall Lane: We briefly met the winemaker, Dean Sylvester, who told us he started making wine because he couldn’t afford drinking the expensive, European wine he liked to drink in the 70s.
  • Whitehall Lane: The whites were good, but the cabs were even better. We tasted the reserve Cab, the St. Helena Cab, the Rutherford Cab, and the Leonardini Vineyard Cab.  Each were fantastic — if only we had the space and money to bring home cases of each!
  • Whitehall Lane: Gorgeous property. The club room and terrace (see photo gallery) was a space we wish we could hang out in every night, with a glass of Whitehall wine of course.
  • Turnbull: This winery has always been one of our favorites and this trip went above and beyond our usual high expectations. We met with winemaker, Peter Heitz, who was one of the coolest, most down-to-earth people in wine that we’ve met. We tasted cabs straight from the barrel and talked about the farming in wine-making and laughed–a lot. We spent so much time with Peter that we didn’t have time to taste the bottled, reserve cabs that we love. So we’ll be back there before we leave Napa–for sure!
  • CIA Greystone: Tasted three supreme olive oils in their Oleoteca Villa Campestri. This experience included an 18-minute video-guided instruction on tasting super-premium olive oils.  We finished the day eating dinner on their terrace, gazing off into the hills and vines and dreamed of owning a house here.

Check out some of our photos below. When we have more time, we’ll post more.

Filed under: Napa Trip 2010, Travel, Winery

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