December 15, 2006

Sattui Winery Visit, Napa Valley, CA

A bit late as I was caught up at work but here are some of the photos from our visit to a winery in Napa valley during our visit to San Francisco last month. The famous and historic wineries there have been instrumental in giving Napa Valley wines their worldwide recognition. So we felt a laid back visit to the vineyards, is a good way to understand the easy going West Coast way of living.
The drive to the Napa Valley was pleasing as we left the city and saw endless green and brown. But when we approached closer to the Highway 29 from Yountville, just past the town of St Helena, we did slow down to a snail's pace due to the traffic.

You don't really have to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the beauty of the rolling Napa Valley countryside and explore a winery there, which is what we had set out to do. You could do a tasting there and visit the cellars to see how wine is made and packaged. You do need a love for bread, cheese and spreads as that is the only food (and sometimes BBQs) available for miles around. This winery had a picnic area open to the public so while we ate, the kids frolicked around. Lots of food and a good day out in the sunshine.

The Sattui Winery building. V. Sattui is a family-owned winery established in 1885 and located in St. Helena, the very heart of California's famous Napa Valley.

The welcoming signboard broadly proclaiming its superior status.

I thought there would be endless wineyards towering over us into which we could walk through, with tantalising goblets of grapes hanging profusely. No doubt prompted by the photos of the Italian wineyards. But this was a dwarf variety of vines all along lines, not much taller than us, and had tiny (but very sweet) grapes randomly. Still it was a sight to see wineyards stretching over the hills all around.

Maybe it was past harvest, so this bunch was one of the last few left.

What's a winery without wine bottles, right?

Wait! But there's more... We had a lot of fun perusing through the amazing collection of rare and familiar cheeses. We tried some, bought some types and demolished the lot with our lunch. Certainly quenched my cheese fetish.

The other eye catching item was the rows and rows of various spread made on premises. With ample breads cubes,dips and spreads for tasting all around, it was tempting to buy a lot. Some were good, some were a stretch of imagination such as "Spicy Apple Garlic Jam","Rasberry Cranberry Chipotle Jam", Peach Chutney" etc.

Oh there's more....The other spreads were "Sesame Mustard", "Spicy Honey Mustard", and "Creamy Horseradish With Dill".

Some of the wide variety of breads..Pain Levain, A kind of crusty but soft on the inside bread, Olive Bread, Walnut Bread, Herb Garlic Flat Bread were there inside the winery for an impromptu lunch on their backyard picnic tables.

This Herb bread dipped in Sattui's Balsamic Dipping Oil is a must try for all bread lovers. We finished one of those yummy bottles of oil and vinegar in a week! So much for a low carb diet!


Anonymous said...

Amazing post Shaheen. I loved every bite of it LOL! I love Napa and Sonoma valley. There is so much to see, drink and eat! I can see you too had a great trip. I have been meaning to ask you about it.

Some great pics too!

PS. This commenting issue with Blogger is really getting annoying.

Just in case you are wondering this is Meeta.

Asha said...

Beautiful pics! You are lucky.Makes wanna visit one!:) We will one day.I have been to Hollywood and Long beach but not SF!YOur trip is very tempting for us!Great info.Thank you.

RP said...

That is so inviting. Beautiful pictures.

gattinamia said...

I feel like I'm a little girl seeing candies... so much I want to grab that cheese, jam and bread!

Neetu said...

Hi Shaheen....fellow 'calicut'ian here, Westhill to be precise! Love to read your blog ever since I chanced upon it a month ago. In fact I came upon it after a trip back home so I really felt like it was a Godsend because I was going through the usual withdrawal symptoms. It feels good to know there's someone from the same place here, rediscovering and keeping her passion for food, places and hobbies alive! Great snaps - you wont believe this - I had my first taste of cheese and grapes (thank God it was grapes cos if it was wine I'd have had to pass it up!) on the Delta flight back to NY and I've been hooked. It was like being a kid again and finding this totally new food to enjoy. Later tried to buy whatever cheese I could that I thought might be the ones that were served but no luck. Going down next week for my sister's wedding n for the first time I'm hoping Delta didnt change the menu lol! I must sound nuts but its not that often now that something this decadent tickles your tastebuds right?
Will be back in Jan so here's wishing you and family a Happy, Healthy and Barkath-bhara New Year in advance.

Shaheen said...

Meeta, I loved recalling that fun trip and writing abt it.

Asha, RP, U have to go there. and if u would taste it too, u would enjoy it so much!!!

Gattina, I did grab and its still sitting around my middle.:(

Hi Neetu, welocome to my blog and it was really fun to read thru ur post. I always have a weakness for people from Calicut(don't let my other friends here this!)and its heartening to hear u read it.
Yeah, it is fun to discover new food while still hanging onto every bit of the old and loved. It broadens the horizons.Hope u find ur cheese soon.Keep writing in.

Linda said...

Hi Shaheen, thanks for sharing these beautiful photos! California is on my long list of places to visit someday. This was a gorgeous virtual tour!

Shaheen said...

thanks linda and i do hope u would be visitng there soon.