It's a State of Mind

The Perfect Napa Valley Afternoon in Autumn

Our intrepid copywriter Andrea ventured up to Napa Valley, California to catch a glimpse of the fall colors and end of harvest season…  

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Fall is in full swing in the beautiful Napa Valley.  When you are lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, a trip to Napa is an easy jaunt, usually only about 45 minutes to an hour from most Bay Area locations. October is a beautiful month in the Valley. The leaves are starting to turn and everywhere you look is full of rich color and golden light. Many of the grapes had been picked by the time we made our way up there a few weeks ago, but there were still some red grapes lingering on the vines. Although Napa is best known for Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, we have discovered a winery that delivers rich and robust Zinfandels and has grown to be our very favorite.

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For over seventy years beginning in 1937 the Biale family has grown Zinfandel on a farm on the outskirts of the town of Napa. Most of the Zinfandel grapes were sold to Napa wineries but some grapes were reserved so Aldo Biale could make homemade wine for family and relatives.  Over time, his special wine became very popular. In 1991, Aldo and son Robert formed a partnership with childhood friend and wine salesman Dave Pramuk, and winemaker Al Perry to produce and market a special Zinfandel from the old vineyard which they named “Aldo’s Vineyard.”  With history, grapes, wine making and sales in place the new winery, Robert Biale Vineyards, gained recognition and a cultish following by Zinfandel fanatics. Once you’ve tried their delectable Zinfandel, you will see why! They have a small but comfortable tasting room and welcome visitors by appointment where we dropped by to taste and to pick up our wine shipment.

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From Biale Vineyards, we meandered north along Highway 29 just past the small town of Yountville. We were salivating just at the thought of lunch at Mustard’s Grill, the famous Cindy Pawlcyn restaurant that has become a Napa Valley institution. Cindy started Mustard’s over 25 years ago and it’s well known for its wood-burning grill, fantastic wine list and the two acre organic garden that supplies most of the restaurants produce. Some of our favorite items on the menu are the onion rings, the seafood tostada and the sweet corn tamales. Everything is SO good! There are many great restaurants to choose from in the Napa Valley, and we have tried quite a few, but we keep coming back to Mustards.

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Finally, after a full day and a full stomach, it was time to head south again, away from this magical Valley. It’s comforting to know that these beautiful vineyard vistas, fine wines and fresh, imaginative food is only a short drive away- anytime we need to revive our senses, we are ready to return.

Travel Time-

Under 2 hours from Sacramento
1.5 hours from San Francisco
Under 9 hours from Los Angeles

Visited-
Robert Biale Vineyards
4038 Big Ranch Road
Napa, CA, 94558

Mustards Grill
7399 St. Helena Highway
Napa, CA 94558

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