Do you think we are the only ones going? Several million of us annually stroll through the valleys and hills, to fall to the blessed wine springs. Already, that Schwarzenegger doesn’t take away - the governor of the state of California is good: the roads are like tablecloths, and they do not cope with traffic.
God knows the special wine railway when it was built for tourists in the Napa Valley - you go by train in short dashes. (If you attack - congratulate with neologism! My daughter's classmate gave us a Los Angeles pearl on the Amerussia: "Attack, go to Napawala" - this is how the great and mighty lives.) And at each winery you stop sipping ... and spit out noble wine. You do not feel blasphemy? Really not? Then let's go, we go further - a fun and drunken locomotive "chucha" will not work, well, maybe a little bit. You need to be very sober so as not to vulgarize the priesthood.
Sonoma Valley, Monterey, Napa Valley ... My silver springs, my gold placers - the region watered with wine, squeezed among the spurs of the mountains, and in this corridor of awe filled with frivolous wine aroma, the vineyards stretch ... simple and elementary. Landed. And all the wines in the world smell then the people who cherish. Maybe it is the drops of human sweat and tears that give us this alarming bitterness of wine and emotion. And the waters of the Russian River, the singing of these valleys, wash in a light sadness ... After all, this is originally Russian land, my ancestors staked out! And my ancestors sold for pennies ...
And the vine, mercilessly burning with the sun, and the white wine sweaty backs with non-cutting marks from the ropes of deep baskets, and bees, bees, bees, gadflies, sweat and tears flying (and don't need them raisins - give little men: sting and suck!) . So much nonsense is wine - a thing in itself that needs to be spat if you want to understand what it is. Voila
On both sides of the highway, the gates of the old wine houses of the valley are solemnly and boastfully open. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, French colonists settled in the Californian valleys and planted them with the best French vine. The noble shrub caught on on the volcanic volcanic soils, and the wines acquired that extraordinary almond-chocolate flavor that gave Californian wines one of the first places in the world. California's hot sun, the absence of winters, greenhouse conditions with even a slight decrease in temperature due to the morning mists wrapping the tender vine - all this affected the bouquet of even ordinary varieties.
Here is the famous Sutter Home, founded in the 19th century. This family of winemakers indulges the whole world with its exquisite Californian wines. Oops ... - passing by. You see, the limousine is full of parking - it means the halls are ordered for a wedding or some other celebration. But it does not matter: every 500−700 meters we are waiting for the owners of wine houses. Here is a small winery, family-friendly and inexpensive. Only $ 10 for testing seven drinks plus discount coupons to neighboring vineyards. If we make a purchase, then testing is generally free. And if we buy a box of 12 bottles at a discount, we get another vintage wine as a gift and another piece of organic soap in grape oil.
Come on, or what? Would you like to try at the counter, and you can in the hall, and in a cozy courtyard on the air overlooking the grape plantations. Where you want to sit down. Now they will approach you and give you a map of the wines offered today for tasting. Let's honor what they seduce us with (and we already know that we will first seek the truth in light white wines, gradually moving to more dense and spiritual red ones. And what I didn’t mention in the article about the rules of tasting is the immutable the rule is to finish the tasting epic with the sweetest and most spiritual wine. Why this is important: we will go to the next wine house and taste other wines again. And the sweet aftertaste will prepare our greedy mouth and nose for unbiased testing).
Now experts-wine-makers will approach us and tell about our first wine much more than what is written in the abstract. You can ask a bunch of grapes to see what this wine has grown from. You will even be shown a sample of the soil. True winers sniffing the ground, but I don’t care about such subtleties - the wine would be smelled correctly ... But first we will admire the color of wine, fill the glasses swaying on thin legs with air, try to find the wine’s "foot". If the “legs” in the first light wines do not work out, then under the finale, with more dense drinks, we will succeed: can you see the thin streams running down inside the glass? Here it is - the truth in wine! What a pity that you can take just one sip for savoring the aftertaste. But we ruthlessly pour the rest of the wine into a silver bucket.
You can ask for water to freshen the mouth. Only ice should not be put into the water - freeze taste cones and do not understand anything in the next wine. And the inquisitive host will ask us about each of the wines, be prepared. They are like relatives to him. And if he recognizes a connoisseur in you, then he will take the soul out of you: well, well, well ... And you confess to the host that you love one of the wines that hit your imagination. Here comes the moment of truth - the master shines with happiness and gives you a test bottle for your nose and delicate taste. And in your turn, you buy your favorite wine in memory of visiting a hospitable home.
But: thanks to this house and let's go to another ...
Oh yes, this is an Italian wine house! It is already interesting: how the Italian vine got accustomed and how this casa bella will please us. Bon jorno, señora, bon jorno, ragazzi! What are you doing today? Bene, bene, we are ready. And here we and freshly baked crispy breads were put on the table. And the fireplace was kindled in honor of the dear guests. And the candles glowed in the twilight of the old hall. So we will admire the color of the wines of this house by candlelight. (And we are cunning - on the background of white napkins we will eat our wine with eyes to color!). And then from the twilight of the living room we go out into the vineyards and walk through the rows.
Oh, how gracefully a proud vine lies on supports (on the island of Santorini, the Greeks spread a vine with a nest inside which clusters of grapes escape from the sun, so as not to turn into raisins on the bushes!), Every row of the vineyard is numbered, numbered and described.
Let's try the grapes right from the bunches and read all the ins and outs about the variety, and about the soil, and about age. We will grab a bunch with us on the road and we will not hesitate to tweak the grapes, sweet as raisins, tart, like good bee honey.
And so on until sunset: from one wine house to another, from another to the third ... Our trunks are already full of selected bottles, and our hearts are filled with the tender warmth of the California sun in its highest quintessence - liquid honey juice of a noble vine.
Go, I'll catch up now. I invented something: I'll sign up to the elite club of this wine house. This means that tastings will always be free for me, and I will send this house to me anywhere in the country every month and in the amount I need to please my family and friends. Or rejoice in the very cold Chicago winter evening, sitting by the fireplace and remembering the gentle sun of the wine valleys, poured into our glasses. Blessed be the labor of winegrowers, winemakers, and wine makers who give us this joy! Blessed be, the land of California - the former Russian! Blessed are we, sinners, drinking the noble juices of the generous earth-planet, granted to us for joy and peace. Prozit!