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Napa Valley Events Newsletter
May, 2000

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  • More Events
  • Web Cam of St. Helena vineyard
  • Weather Forecasts
  • Allergens
  • Editor's Note - The grapes are growing
  • Past Newsletters

There is always a lot happening in Napa Valley! Here are just a few of the wine-related opportunities. For the complete list of things to do:

Sundays and Wednesdays -- Robert Mondavi , Adv. Winegrowing Tour
7801 St. Helena Hwy, Oakville, CA. Designed for visitors who have already taken our Vineyard and Winery tour, our Advanced Winegrowing Tour covers winegrowing, research & development in viticulture, fermentation techniques & barrel aging. This 3-4 hr. tour includes a sit-down tasting of wines paired w/cheese & fruit. Reservations req'd. Fee: $20/person Time: 10am Phone Number: 888-RMONDAVI ext. 2022

Ongoing Fridays -- Vineyard Tour at Domaine Carneros
Reservations are required. Learn about wine and where it begins. The tour includes a tasting of component wines. Bring sensible shoes, sunscreen and an unbridled desire to HAVE FUN! Weather permitting. Fee: $10.00 pp Time: 11:15 AM Phone Number: 707.257.0101 ext 121 Sandy Hausser

Ongoing Saturdays & Sundays -- E-Ticket Tour at Sterling Vineyards
For visitors seeking an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at grape growing, winemaking and wine appreciation. The E-Ticket Tour includes vineyard, production cellar, and reserve aging room tours, a wine-tasting mini-seminar, "Tasting the Masters' Way," and a private wine tasting. Reservations are suggested. Location: Calistoga. Fee: $20.00 Time: 11:00am Phone Number: (707) 942-3717

By Appointment, minimum 10 people -- "Blend Your Own Merlot" At Rutherford Hill
"Blending in the Caves." This is a one-of-a-kind experience where you and your friends or colleagues become winemakers for a day! After your tour, your wine instructor will assist you with important considerations. Then, blend your own Merlot - even bottle it and take it home! Call the winery for more information. Fee: Varies Time: By Appointment, Reservations Required Phone Number: (707) 963-1871 ext.209

May 5 -- Kids Ride Free...Family Fun Nights
Parents are treated to a quiet, uninterrupted gourmet dinner, while children are entertained by a professional care provider in the deli car with games, movies, and a meal. Children must be ages 3 to 12. Additional children are $12.00 each. Napa Valley Wine Train. Fee: $75 per person (includes dinner & dessert for one child) Time: 5:30pm check-in Phone Number: (800) 427-4124, (707) 253-2111

May 6 - 7 -- Celebrate Calistoga's Small Wineries!
Annual Open House of Calistoga's small, family-owned wineries! Dutch Henry Winery, along with Zahtila Winery, Summers Winery, Vigil Vineyards and Graeser Winery are each offering a variety of music, barrel tastings, food pairing, and much more. All five wineries are only a few miles from each other. Discover the charm of these small wineries...where visitors are always welcome. Fee: Free Time: 10:00am to 4:30pm, both days Phone Number: (888) 224-5879

May 6 -- Artists' Sparkling Wine Reception
"The Ansel Adams Gallery presents the Sixth Annual Exhibition of Photography from the Ansel Adams Gallery of Yosemite and Pebble Beach." Mumm Napa Valley, Silverado Trail, Napa. Fee: Free Time: 7pm to 9pm Phone Number: (800) MUM-NAPA, (707) 942-3434

May 12 -- Spring Wine Opener
At Beringer Vineyards, St. Helena. Fee: Call Time: Call Phone Number: (707) 963-7115

May 16 & 24 -- A Tastetour of Riesling with Ronn Wiegand
Ron is the publisher of Restaurant Wine and Tastetour Publications. He is one of only ten American Masters of Wine and one of only twenty-five American Master Sommeliers. He is the first person in the world to hold both titles. St. Supéry Winery, 8440 St. Helena Hwy., Rutherford. Fee: Call Time: Call Phone Number: (707) 967-2930 or (800) 942-0809

May 20 -- 4,000 Years of Wine and Art
Illustrated Lecture at Clos Pegase Winery, Calistoga. Fee: Free Time: 2:00pm Phone Number: (707) 942-4981

more events
For more events in the Napa Valley area for the rest of 2000 please look through our extensive Events Calendar:.

Web Cam
A view of old, head-trained Cabernet vines near St. Helena. You can see they have mowed between the rows recently.

For weather predictions, choose the San Francisco area:

If you are sensitive to trees, grasses, weeds and molds see what might be blooming here around the time of your visit by looking at the web site of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology :
Select "San Jose (Station 2)," it has more recent data. Use the graph feature at the bottom of that page, input today's date 1999 (i.e. 4-1-99)
and you'll get a graph of the last 12 month's activity. Click on a bar of the graph to see what was active on that date. Pack tissues ;-)

editors note

It is beautiful this time of year: the grass-covered hills are just beginning to turn a soft golden on the west facing slopes but the grass is still green. By winter the grass will become a soft silvery taupe. Speaking of grass, May is the biggest grass-pollen month, if you will be visiting, and are sensitive, be sure to bring your medications, etc. Allergies make wine tasting a futile experience...

The grapes have "pushed" their first leaves a few weeks ago and the vineyard crews are tending the vines by pulling off extra shoots that would shade the grape clusters. We seem to be past the danger of frost (cross your fingers, knock on wood).

You know winemakers can talk your ear off about their favorite barrel wood and yeast selection, the intricacies of barrel and malolactic fermentation, grape clones, whole-cluster versus regular crushed grape fermentation, ad infinitum.

But you must be sure to corner a vineyard manager and ask him about his favorite trellising system, irrigation system: drip or sprinkler, to "sucker" and "leaf-pull" or not. They tend to be a little shyer than winemakers so be sure not to dispute their opinions, we want to encourage them to speak out more, they really have a lot to share with us.

Beringer has a page about what happens in the vineyards in Spring:

For those of you wanting to build your stock of information here's a new web site with information about why Rutherford is such a great wine producing region:

We encourage your feedback, please send your comments to our newsletter editor, Karla Noyes: Suggestions of topics you would like to see in future issues are welcome.

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For information on advertising in the Napa Valley Events Newsletter, please contact Kathy Moore at or 707-265-1853 ext. 109. Please refer to the Napa Valley Events Newsletter.

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