June 26, 2013 – Napa adventure with Cathy and Brad Ritch

One of the really nice things that occurred on our trip to China was meeting Cathy and Brad, fellow travelers and wine fans. We decide that once the trip is over that we will get together since they live only about an hour away and close to Napa Valley. They follow through and invite us up to their place for a day of wine tasting. And what a day it is!

After meeting at their lovely home, we go to Pine Ridge Winery for a picnic. Brad procures a very nice Chenin Blanc and we dine on various deli delights accompanied by the tasty white wine. After lunch we head to the Del Dotto Winery. It is a tasting experience like no other we’ve had.

Del Dotto Winery
Del Dotto Winery

The winery interior is based on a conglomeration of Venetian palaces – marble and mosaic floors, epic sized wall paintings, crystal chandeliers. From the main tasting room we are ushered into the wine cellar where we will taste the wine from the barrels.

Cathy and Brad with us at Del Dotto Winery
Cathy and Brad with us at Del Dotto Winery

Wine cellar
Wine cellar

Since Brad is a member of their wine club, we get a VIP tour. We get to taste A LOT! We also learn about the barrels and how they affect the wine and compare French Oak to American Oak. The wine is really fine.

Brad talks to  our guide while John does side by side tastings
Brad talks to our guide while John does side by side tastings

John and I buy four bottles which won’t even be bottled until 2014. But we’ve tasted it from the barrel and it is definitely worth the wait! Our tasting ends with pieces of panini and charcuterie selections. It has been a unique experience.

Later we stop back at Pine Ridge for a tasting and to pick up a few bottles that we can actually take with us.

The fun continues with dinner at the Green Valley Country Club where Cathy and Brad are members. The clubhouse is beautiful and the food is very good. After an overnight at their place and breakfast back at the club, it is time to leave. We have had a wonderful time and look forward to having them down to our house and Livermore Wine Country. It won’t be the same fabulous wines but we hope to reciprocate with another really fun experience.

Cathy and Brad
Cathy and Brad

Mary and John
Mary and John

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.