Napa Valley Wine Tours and Tastings 16 Feb 2015, 5:00 am
Napa Valley is a world-class destination, known primarily for its abundant vineyards and wineries, spectacular cuisine, romantic atmosphere, and the scenic surroundings along the beautiful Napa River. Enjoying a romantic wine tour through Napa Valley, or sampling regional wines at local tasting rooms, are the two most quintessential Napa Valley experiences that have been enjoyed by couples for decades. Whether you’re a wine officianado looking for a more intimate winery experience, or a newcomer to this romantic haven, Napa Valley has what you are looking for. Book your room at the romantic Candlelight Inn Bed and Breakfast today, and experience the extraordinary world of Napa Valley wine tours.
Wine Tours & Tastings in Napa Valley
When you visit Napa Valley, you’ll discover more than 400 world-class wineries, the most of any other region in North America. For a firsthand glimpse into Napa’s wine country, take one of the many wine tours through this beautiful countryside. If you’re new to the Napa wine experience, then you can’t go wrong by visiting the bigger name wineries. Start your wine tour heading north to the Robert Mondavi Winery, followed by Beringer Vineyards, and finally Sterling Vineyards, located even farther north near Calistoga. Along the way, you’ll pass through three distinct AVA’s, allowing you to sample the distinctive range of Napa Valley Wines. If you’d rather skip the extended wine tour and stay close to town for the day, then head to the unique collection of tasting rooms in downtown Napa. You’ll find wonderful places like Vintner’s Collective, which focuses on the smallest one percent of Napa’s best and most sought after wines, John Anthony’s fine wine shop and tasting bar, or the small-production, artisan wines found at Back Room Wines.
If you’ve been to Napa before, or as a first-time visitor are looking for a more in-depth or intimate experience, then these wine tours are for you. If you want a behind the scenes look at winemaking, then we suggest you spend a day at the Raymond Vineyard and Cellar, where you can become winemaker for the day. During this spectacular 90 minute wine tour, you’ll work with experienced winemakers to blend your own bottle of red wine, which you get to take home at the end of the day. Red Wine lover’s should head to the Stags Leap District’s Chimney Rock Winery, where you can explore one of the most treasured blocks of estate Cabernet Sauvignon on their Ganymede tour. Experience one of Napa Valley’s most beautiful wine tasting rooms on HALL Rutherford’s Appelation Exploration wine tour. Or spend a day enjoying the bounty of Napa Valley, when you combine a food and wine pairing tour at either Signorello Estate or the Long Meadow Ranch Winery.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Napa, one thing is for sure: You will enjoy a spectacular array of world-class food and wine, along with an endless supply of romance. Book your room at our luxurious Napa Valley Bed and Breakfast today, and experience the allure of Napa for yourself.
Napa Puts the “Happy” in the Holidays 17 Dec 2014, 7:50 am
The chaos and fear experienced that morning led to relief and a renewed sense of community in its aftermath; a deeper appreciation of what can oftentimes be taken for granted.
The rebuilding process carries with it the seeds of change. Oftentimes, those changes can lead to an increased sense of happiness which comes from regenerating and rebuilding. New environments mean new opportunities and nowhere in Napa is this more evident than in downtown.
The nexus of change these past few decades has been centered in downtown, the emergence of the Oxbow district leading the way in revitalizing an often overlooked district.
The recent earthquake rattled Oenotri somewhat, but no extensive damage was done. Morimoto experienced no problems and continues to anchor the refurbished riverfront area, particularly in the wake of the recent closure of Fish Story down the street.
Ubuntu closed its doors a couple years ago, but its departure has created space for the new Torc, Celtic for “Boar,” using the animal’s theme of ‘representing both the principles of hospitality and feasting and the skills of hunting and war,’ as their philosophy.
Where Ubuntu was all about vegetables, Chef Sean O’Toole has made Torc about omnivore essentials prepared exquisitely. They recently received their liquor license and O’Toole promptly hired bartender – not mixologist – but bartender Corey Harrison to deliver classic cocktails with a modern twist.
Longtime downtown stronghold and local’s favorite Zuzu Tapas has weathered the economic storms of the past few decades and now owner Mick Salyer continues his love-affair with Spanish cuisine by opening La Taberna, just three doors down from Zuzu at 815 Main Street.
La Taberna seems as if it was created with Ernest Hemingway’s classic short story A Clean, Well-Lighted Place in mind: the comings and goings of a busy downtown, all inhaling and exhaling to the rhythms of late night among the most comforting food — and of course a sublime beverage to put oneself in the proper mood for watching the drama of life unfold.
Inspired by the Pintxo bars of northern Spain, La Taberna is “a modern take on a classic Spanish tavern. Embracing the natural bounty of northern California in a wide array of Latin-infused flavors, La Taberna is the place to enjoy honest good food and drink. Have a quick bite and a cocktail or linger with friends for a full meal paired with a bottle of wine.”
My last professional gig in Napa was Maître’d for a lunch with a few lucky winners of a Napa Valley Opera House auction, as well as the musicians of the film soundtrack La Vie En Rose who’d performed the night before at the Opera House and hosted by the estimable Margrit Mondavi.
What the lunch made me realize, was how dialed in the Opera House is into the roots of Napa.
So when founder of the iconic Knitting Factory, one of New York’s longest running music venues, Michael Dorf opened City Winery in the Opera House, I knew it was bound to become something special.
Saturday, September 20th, Dorf’s City Winery hosts VOENA, “a captivating, multi-cultural, world music experience that redefines “choir” the way Cirque du Soleil redefines “circus.” Over 140 children from ages 6-18 to celebrate music through voice, sound, rhythm and movement. Singing in over 23 languages, VOENA has performed around the globe bringing their message to unite the world with children’s voices.”
Also this winter, City Winery will bring the enigmatic Portland Cello Project (or, PCP, as their fans affectionately call them) on January 28th.
According to City Winery Press, “The group has built a reputation mixing genres and blurring musical lines and perceptions wherever they go. No two shows are alike, with a repertoire now numbering over 1,000 pieces of music both expected and unexpected to come from a cello. ”
One of the businesses that sustained considerable damage in the quake was the hip neighborhood wine bar Carpe Diem. There’s a happy ending to the story, though, as they’re the perfect example of the aforementioned theme of “unpleasant things leading to breakthrough’s in other areas,” they recently moved into the Oxbow Market for a pop-up concept that features their famous Quack and Cheese, Steamed Bun Pork ‘Taco’ with hoisin glaze and house made kim chi, not to mention their house-crafted Aftershock IPA on draft – and – here’s the kicker – they’re the only restaurant in the Oxbow with a liquor license!
Inside tip is to show up on Tuesday’s “local’s night” and see how the people who wait on you, pour you wine and check you in eat and celebrate. You will not be sorry.
Although downtown is alive with energy and continues to grow, it’s important not to overlook up-valley and all there is. This winter seems to be all about happiness in the valley. Whether that comes from knowing one of the biggest quakes that will ever be felt has passed, or just a sign of the times is unclear, however, the result is a felicitous feeling from check-in, to check out.
With one of the most sustainable spreads in the valley, all-organic Long Meadow Ranch presents an old-world experience in a modern context, producing wine, olive oil, organic vegetables and grass-fed beef for Chef Stephen Barber‘s no-nonsense, but ever so flavorful food.
I first came to know Barber’s cooking through the Michelin – recommended Barber’s Q in the Whole Foods parking lot in Napa; a true local’s place.
Long Meadow Ranch’s New Year’s Eve Party promises to be an opportunity to truly unwind and relax in the rustic chic environment of the place and enjoy Barber’s four-course family-style prix-fixe dinner menu, Long Meadow Ranch Wines, excellent cocktails and festive live music. (Reservations available by phone at (707) 963-9181 or online @ www.longmeadowranch.com/Farmstead/Restaurant.)
Thirty-eight year old Chef Christopher Kustow has brought vision and world-class execution to the secluded and posh Relais & Chateaux spot which hosts the annual Napa Valley Wine Auction. Service is perfect, and each dish shines in its own right, using the best of local fare in a masterful way.
This year is the seventh Kustow will present Meadowood’s annual 12 Days of Christmas, a showcase of the best culinary talent the world has to offer, as visiting chefs from around the globe strive to create their best in Kustow’s technological marvel of a kitchen in one day.
Among Chef’s the event has quietly become a cult legend. It’s opulent – and costly – but if you’ve ever wanted to truly know what a world-class, memorable meal is all about…this is your ticket.
Kustow will cook the last evening, December 20th, and I’d imagine he’d want to reclaim his space in the kitchen – should be unparalleled dining.
At the Candlelight, you can ask Sam or Scott to arrange anything for you, and they’ll cheerfully accomplish the task. That alone should put a big smile on your face.
Meadowood’s 12 Days of Christmas chef lineup
Dec. 18: Esben Holmboe Bang of Maaemo, Oslo
Dec. 19: Ignacio Mattos, Estela, New York
The Bedrock of Napa 21 Sep 2014, 7:51 am
The magnitude 6.0 earthquake that rocked the area early that morning left an indelible mark on the fabric of downtown in the form of crumbling brick facades, broken wine bottles and toppled stacks of barrels.
The blue-collar downtown area that’s home to the multitudes that work in customer service was one of the hardest hit. Wineries in the Oak Knoll area, close to town also reported serious damage, as did the emerging downtown nexus of high-caliber eateries. A state of emergency was declared. Several buildings downtown were red tagged as uninhabitable, forcing the businesses within to go on hiatus.
Napa historically is incredibly resilient, bouncing right back after a lengthy prohibition era, numerous fires, shrinking water levels, and an occasionally soft Napa Valley wine market. The resiliency of late comes in part from the community-centered growth around the farm to table movement and its affiliated surge in local production.
Vineyard land has increasingly been re-purposed for farming or cattle, its produce going directly to Napa’s restaurants and Farmer’s Markets, diversifying the areas offerings and spreading risk. Napa also seems keen to rekindle its deep agricultural roots, if only to meet the growing need for fresh farm to table fare.
The migrant work force that tends the thousands of vineyard
acres and mans numerous restaurant kitchens were undoubtedly hit
hardest economically by the earthquake. Their contribution and
significance are duly recognized in Napa, though; as the community
is aware they are vital to its success.
To that end, The Napa Valley Vintners, among others, created the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, with the Vintner’s generously donating $10 million to assist in the needs of the community and to ease the suffering of those hardest hit.
Napa’s bucolic charm is undeniable. It’s a part of the world whose natural beauty alone make it worthy of a visit, but it’s the twin industries of Wine and Food that have cemented Napa’s place as a world-class destination in the twenty-first century.
The people that comprise this work force are the heart and soul of Napa. The level of service in Napa has always set it apart from other destinations and it’s the sheer determination of this workforce which went into action immediately in the wake of the quake to right the ship.
As they do any other day, they quietly and efficiently got down
to the business of
cleaning-up the mess and reaching out to those fellow workers in need. While Napa may be one of the largest tourist draws in the world, at heart it’s just like any other small town that operates on trust, neighborliness, and community pride.
Still, the good intentions were only the beginning of the process. After the clean-up, there was the problem of assessing where to go from there. Silicon Valley Bank was recently commissioned by Napa County and the Napa Valley Vintner’s to assess the damage of the quake. Their conservative estimate was $80 million for the town of Napa, $400 million countywide.
Their assessment included damage to winery buildings and infrastructure such as waste water ponds and private bridges, wine making equipment, cleanup and removal costs, vineyard irrigation, bottled inventory in current release, bottling supplies, finished inventory ready for bottling, bulk wine, barrels, lost revenue from damaged tasting rooms, losses from business interruption, and loss of wine held in wine libraries.
The funds will help get Napa back on its feet and, indeed it already is business as usual in Napa. There may be a few cosmetic reminders, and of course the memories of those that lived through the quake will always be there, but for the most part Napa’s bedrock of community and partnership remains undeterred.
Every business and region goes through a periodic shakedown, or rough patch, it’s how they react to it that dictates what the place is made of and how they’ll come through it. In Napa, you’ll find the response to the challenge has been a reminder to the world that a first-class destination is built from the ground up, ready for any circumstance, and built to last. Come and see for yourself.
Mountain to River in Napa 18 Jun 2014, 12:36 pm
Summertime in Napa is all about keeping cool. After the morning fog burns off, the heat can oftentimes reach the 100’s, causing visitors and locals alike to scramble for shade and a cool beverage.
Generally, Napa’s got the ‘cool beverage’ part covered in spades and can offer a dizzying array of beer and white and sparkling wines to that end. The ‘keeping cool’ portion is a bit trickier and often means staying inside the dark, deep caves of a winery or the confines of a well air-conditioned tasting-room.
But what do you do when you want to be out in the stunning Napa landscape, enjoying its natural beauty and stunning vistas?
For one, get up early…. if you can make it to Ritual Coffee Roasters by 7:30 a.m., then great. Your effort will be well-rewarded by some of the best coffee in Northern California. Ritual started in San Francisco in 2005 and since then has cemented itself into Nor-Cal coffee lore. Their centralized location in the Oxbow district and Market along the Napa River make it the ideal spot to begin your journey.
Now that your caffeinated and ready to go, head out to Skyline Park and be one of the first to get in when they open (5$ per vehicle) at 8:00 a.m.
If you’re an avid hiker, there’s a collection of trails at your disposal to get a strenuous workout that can push ten miles and have elevation gains/losses in the thousand foot category. The reservoir at the top of the mountain provides shade and a cool breeze on a hot day and is a great spot to have a picnic.
If you’re just looking for a space to chill out, then Skyline’s got you covered as well. There’s no better spot in Napa to sit back and relax, or take a leisurely stroll than the Martha Walker Garden at the entrance to the park. The Garden is home to the Napa Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society and has several environments within its three acres, including Redwood Forest, Oak Woodlands and Chaparral.
Your ideal Napa Summer’s day begins in this case with the
aforementioned visit to Ritual, yet sticking around and enjoying
your coffee there until it’s time for the Fatted
Calf to open up just outside the Market proper ( Mon. –
Sat. 9am, Sun. 10am).
Within the confines of the tiny butcher’s-sized space of Fatted Calf, lie some of the best hand-made charcuterie, sausages, fresh meat, sandwiches and salads the Bay Area has to offer.
I first got turned on to them at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market in around 2007, and several years later when working at the Oxbow Market, was fortunate enough to have them open up right behind where I was at.
Co-owner Taylor Boetticher and his crew used to saddle up to my bar after a long day creating their magic and I got a first-hand sense of how hard they worked, and also how down-to earth the guy is.
His shop is stacked with all you’ll need for that long picnic later at the Martha Walker Garden, and later that day as you’re lying in the shade, stuffed, you’ll be content with being wise enough to follow this advice.
On the way back into town, stop into the Oxbow again and if happens to be a Tuesday, stick around for Local’s Night, it’ll give one a true sense of what life’s like in town.
If you’re an Oyster lover, you would want to stop at the Hog Island Oyster Company and partake. There’s an a rray of the best Oysters available in American waters, including Sand Isle Kumamoto, Hog Island Sweetwater and Salt Pond from Point Judith Pond, RI , as well as great beer and excellent white wines that pair perfectly available.
The bar is generally hopping and packed with interesting faces, or you can chill out on the back deck that overlooks the Napa River, which oftentimes casts a breeze around sunset that’ll help cool you.
If you happen to be lucky enough to be staying at the Candlelight and enjoyed the advice given herein, ask Scott or Sam for a similar day, and they’ll hook you up.
*** For the adventurous woman with a Culinary bent,
Fatted Calf is offering its Pig + Woman + Knife
course that has participants breaking down a whole hog into its
primary parts, prepare roasts and other porcine delights. The class
is taught by women for women and is being offered on July
1045 Easum Drive
Napa, California 94558
Reservations: (800) 624-0395
Local: (707) 257-3717
Visit the Napa Valley 29 Apr 2014, 8:38 am
April showers do bring May flowers! Because of above normal rain in April, Napa and the Wine Country are in full bloom – tulips, poppies, and wildflowers dot the landscape in the towns and countryside. The vibrant yellow of wild mustard – a bit late this year – flourishes between the lush green foliage of the grapes in the vineyards! It is an awesome sight across the rolling hills.
Now is a perfect time to visit this world famous center of wine production in the Nation! Winery tours are always very popular, and now, with new craft breweries popping up in Napa/Sonoma, your tasting opportunities are endless!
Just a sampling of what is in store for visitors this in May into Spring:
ARTS AND FLOWERS
Environmental Artist Ginger Harness has combined the two in a breathtaking way. Each Spring, hundreds of Calla Lilys come to life under the Olive trees on her property at 4024 Rohlffs Way in Napa. Harness and her volunteers paint the growing pristine white flowers, one Lily at a time, in stunningly vivid “Easter Egg” colors. This very exceptional “Living Art” exhibit began before Easter and runs through May 31. 4024 Rohllfs Way, Napa. firstname.lastname@example.org
MUSIC, WINE AND FOOD
Chill-out to Acoustic Jazz Guitar every Wednesday and Thursday – 5:00 to 9:00 p.m – at Fish Story Restaurant, on the Riverfront (Third and Main Streets), in downtown Napa. Solo guitarist and vocalist Jess Knubis performs original compositions, jazz standards, and memorable pop tunes with an engaging and masterful style. Happy Hour, with a full bar is 4:30 to 6:00. 707 251 5600.
Jamieson Ranch Vineyards in Napa hosts live music from some of the Bay Area’s top bands every Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Music is complementary for tasting room visitors, and the winery chef offers special wine and food pairings at each event. May 3 features Reggae with the Joseph Lion Band; May 10; R&B Motown with Caroompus Room; May 17 – Fire and Rain, James Taylor & Carole King Tribute; May 24, Country, Terry Sheets; and May 31; Rockin Blues with 5 Day Bender. 1 Kirkland Ranch Road, Napa. 707 254 8673 x119.
Last year’s enormously popular Bottle Rock will be back again under new management on the weekend of May 30, 31, and June 1. Headlining the three days will be The Cure, Friday; Outkast, Saturday; and Sunday, Eric Church. They will by more than 45 popular bands on 4 stages – too numerous to list here. The event benefits the Napa Valley Youth Symphony. For a full listing, information, and tickets now on sale go to: bottlerocknapa.com
Napa’s historic Opera House is now home to City Winery. The only other venues for this popular concept combining music, wine and food are in New York, Chicago and Nashville; so this really confirms our town’s growing importance in this genre. A sampling of performances: May 1, Mike Nesmith; May 7, Asleep at the Wheel; May 13, Jesse Cook; and May 30, Maria Muldaur. For tickets, a complete calendar of performers and dining options, go to citywinery.com/napa.
Symphonic Music returns to Napa Valley with spectacular music, exciting parties and awesome guest artists. Performances will be at the beautiful Lincoln Theater in Yountville. Coming up, on May 25 – will be Joel Fan on piano with the Russian Masters. Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2; and Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition. For tickets and information: 707 944 9900; symphonynapavalley.org
The beautifully restored historic Uptown Theatre, at 1350 Third Street in Napa has become a favorite of locals and visitors alike. It’s easy to see why, from its ongoing series of highly acclaimed and well known musicians! A sampling: May 3, Toad The Wet Sprocket; May 21, Gregg Allman; May 23; Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo; May 24, The Fab Four – the ultimate Beatles tribute. Some performances for May have already sold out. For tickets and information: 707 259 0123; uptowntheatrenapa.com
By Lee Klein
1045 Easum Drive
Napa, California 94558
Reservations: (800) 624-0395
Local: (707) 257-3717
Springtime Brews Up New Vistas 22 Mar 2014, 8:21 am
In the Wine Country
Every weekday about a quarter past five throughout the Napa Valley local bars start to fill up with thirsty vineyard workers who order…beer.
While it may seem strange that beer be flowing freely in Napa, the truth is that beer has serious roots in the area, starting with San Francisco’s Anchor Steam in the 70’s, Sonoma’s New Albion in 1976, and the Sacramento delta region before that in the early 19th century.
Today, beer is all about choices. Microbreweries have embraced small-scale production of seasonally -themed products that reflect the local flavor of the area produced in, resulting in differing styles to please any palate.
For Wine Country brewers, the farm to table ethos that’s part of the local culture factors heavily into their approach, and indeed may be the reason for the region’s unparalleled success. This way of preferring quality over quantity has underscored the history of beer in the region since the outset, and indeed was the impetus for the movement, as it sought to create its own distinct way of micro-brewing.
Although Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Company was born in the wine country of Temecula,Ca., he’s always had the beer bug, teaching himself to homebrew when he was 18 in the basement of his parents Cilurzo Family Vineyards.
A couple years after he began that first batch in the winery basement he met his future wife and business partner, Natalie and they’ve been together since. The success of the business relied on what the other brought to the table, and based on the numerous awards they consistently garner, they seemed to have found a perfect marriage in every sense of the word.
Although Vinnie’s known for his consistently impressive beers, it’s his homage to the first century, scholar, writer, naturalist and historian Pliny the Elder in the form of a double I.P.A. that’s put him and tiny Russian River Brewing Company at the forefront of America’s craft beer renaissance.
Upping the ante, Russian River released the now infamous Pliny the Younger, named after the aforementioned Pliny’s nephew and biographer of the same name.
A triple I.P.A., the Younger has nearly triple the amount of hops as regular I.P.A. and is rather difficult to make. It’s full bodied and complex, yet delicately smooth. Its limited-amount release each year creates a ruckus at the brewery, as a crowd has taken to gathering outside like waiting to get tickets to a sell-out concert.
This year 15,000 people were served the Younger in the one-week period it was offered at the Brewery, some waiting 12 hours in a rare storm to do so. The beer’s reputation grows yearly, and yet the Cilurzo’s and Russian River seem to take it in stride, keeping their noses to the grindstone and continuing to innovate in what’s become a uniquely Californian way.
One innovation that rapidly is becoming a trademark move for Cilurzo is his use of wine barrels for aging beer. It’s not a random process, but one that’s been fleshed out over the years, using specific used wine barrels with specific beers. In his Temptation, he uses Chardonnay, in the Supplication Pinot Noir, and in the Consecration, used Cabernet Sauvignon Barrels.
These beers can be chemically dynamic and unstable to work with, so they require a great deal of attention, yet the resulting product is incomparable. Like wine, they’re made for the cellar and Cilurzo believes they can easily age up to five years.
Meanwhile…back in the Valley…
Oftentimes, I find that at the end of a long day wine tasting, (p.s., to try and do more than three in-depth tastings a day is insanity), there’s nothing better than a cold beer.
The crispness and bubbles seem to reinvigorate my palate and are often the perfect beginning to a meal.
Downtown Napa has plenty of options, and Downtown Joe’s has stood the test of time, with the brewery being established in 1988 by Chuck Ankeny, great grandson to Adolph Hamms of Milwaukee. It was officially christened Downtown Joe’s in 1993. Ale is the name of the game here, with seasonal options constantly available. Ask your bartender what’s new. You won’t be disappointed.
Out and away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, at the gateway to Napa where infamous Hwy. 29 meets Hwy. 12 from the East, Napa Smith Brewery is producing award-winning beers from craft-brewing legend, Don Barkley.
Don began in 1978 at the hallowed New Albion Brewing Company as Master Brewer and his pedigree shows in these organically produced marvels. He manages to produce a variety of beers, and is at home creating a hoppy I.P.A., or Ginger Wheat that will make sushi a special treat, or add an exotic flair to fish tacos.
These are just a few of the options available on your visit to Napa. If you somehow manage to get through this list during your stay and want more suggestions, don’t hesitate to ask Scott or Sam at the Candlelight. They won’t steer you wrong.
1045 Easum Drive
Napa, California 94558
Reservations: (800) 624-0395
Local: (707) 257-3717
Saint Patrick’s Day 7 Mar 2014, 5:20 pm
The young man who would become St Patrick was born to wealthy parents who were not particularly religious, in Britain near the end of the 4th Century. He died March 17 about 460 AD.
Saint Patrick stained glass window from “Cathedral of Christ the
Light, Oakland, CA.
Photo by Sicarr
At the age of 16, he was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They took him to Ireland, where he spent 6 years in captivity, some say at Mount Slemish in county Antrim. But more likely, he became a shepherd in county Mayo near Killala.
As a shepherd, outdoors, lonely and afraid, he turned to religion, becoming a devout Christian and probably at this time first thought of converting the Irish to Christianity. It was at this time that he heard God’s voice telling him to return to Britain. He escaped after more than 6 years, and walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo to the coast.
Back in Britain, he immersed himself in religious studies for about 15 years. During this time, he again heard God’s voice telling him to return to Ireland with a two-fold mission. To minister to the Christians already there and begin to convert the Irish who were celebrating with their own pagan rituals.
When he was ordained as a priest, he returned to Ireland to begin his work. Working with the non-Christians, he also let them continue some of their pagan celebrations such as worshiping the Sun.
It is also thought that he illustrated the Holy Trinity – The Father, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit – through the 3 leaves of the native Irish Clover, the Shamrock.
Surprisingly, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held not in Ireland, but in New York City. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers in the British Army marched through the City!
Now, each year on that date, nearly 1½ million people line the 1½-mile parade route that takes about 5 hours. Other cities, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Savanna, and San Francisco, among them, also hold parades.
Be sure to check Hurley’s Bar and Grill for a delightful
traditional meal this St. Patrick’s Day. Check out the
menu and the site
Monday, March 13th, 2013
Of course Chef Hurley is as Irish as it gets and he does his entire St. Patricks Day menu in Gaelic for the day. Bob also does some real classic Irish cuisine and the “in brine for 6 weeks melt in your mouth” corned beef & cabbage. Join us for a pint Guinness or throw back a little…
1045 Easum Drive
Napa, California 94558
Reservations: (800) 624-0395
Local: (707) 257-3717
Napa Valley’s Other Refreshing Beverage 2 Jan 2014, 3:13 pm
A basic history of Chocolate
The Aztecs created a beverage called “chocolatl”, a
healing drink that was also used for special ceremonies. They would
ferment the cacao beans, dry and grind them, and sweeten them with
honey and native spices to make this refreshing
For additional history information about chocolate
The Making of Chocolate
All the chocolate made for consumption worldwide
starts with the cacao bean which comes from pods of the cacao tree
(Theobromo Cacao). The seeds are fermented, sun-dried, may be
treated with alkali ( called Dutching), packed and shipped to a
manufacturing plant or to consumers.
At the factory, the beans are sorted then roasted to bring out the color and enhance the flavors. Further reading about the making of chocolate can be found on the web at http://www.cacaoweb.net
Locations to buy artisan chocolates in Napa Valley:
Classic Home Desserts: A Treasury of Heirloom and Contemporary Recipes Hardcover
by Richard Sax
The Science of Good Cooking (Cook’s Illustrated Cookbooks) by The Editors of America’s Test Kitchen and Guy Crosby Ph.D (Oct 1, 2012)
In researching on the web I used www.bing.com
The Candlelight Inn — a luxurious Napa Valley bed and breakfast. Located near downtown Napa, this lovely 1929 English Tudor inn is centrally located to all the wonders of the valley.
Secluded beneath towering redwood trees along the banks of the Napa Creek, the candlelight rests on an acre of quiet, park-like grounds. A romantic and restful backyard delights sun seekers with manicured gardens and a gorgeous swimming pool.