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New York City
June 2001

A Bacchanalian Feast in the Napa Valley

by Pola Rosen, Ed.D.

The Napa Valley, a verdant checkerboard of vineyards, picturesque towns with sophisticated restaurants, comfortable inns nestled in the hills and art galleries combined with local wineries make for a marvelous California vacation.

Only one and a half hours north of San Francisco by car, the area is bathed in sunlight and warmth during the day, with chilly temperatures at night. The grapes love it and so did I on my recent trip there with my husband.

Meadowood, a total resort in St. Helena, combined hiking, tennis, fine dining, all spa activities and private cabins complete with fireplacesójust the perfect touch on the cool evenings. An interesting diversion was the croquet lesson on a marvelous green velvet lawn around which you could have afternoon tea after the game.

The views, food and sculpture garden at nearby Auberge du Soleil ranked a ten. A walk in charming St. Helena included boutiques, a fragrant bread shop, a small local newspaper headquarters and few tourists.

We were fortunate to be able to dine one evening in The French Laundry, usually requiring a two-month reservation. Truly one of the outstanding restaurants of the world, the high tab prix fixe menu was worth every mouth-watering bite.

Vineyards were fun to explore offering wines, tours, art and the beautiful outdoors. We visited Phelps, one of the few vineyards requiring a reservation and worth it. The wines were good and a tour of the grounds was special.

Francis Ford Coppola has a magnificent mansion, which houses an interesting collection of wines and other objects for sale. The vineyard is called Neibaum-Coppola, just a short distance from St. Helena. The Hess vineyard has the most interesting collection of museum quality modern art.

A feast for the eyes as well as the palate, the Napa Valley truly gratifies all the senses.

 

Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email: ednews1@aol.com.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2001.




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