May 3, 2003
Napa Valley, CA
(click on the picture to enlarge)
Saturday, May 3, 2003, Joe and Angie Amaro hosted the SF Bay Area
members to a
gathering amongst the vineyards of Napa Valley. Members/guests
attending were Joe and Angie Amaro, Tom and Jeanne Buckingham,
Johannes and Franziska Raedeker with 4 month old daughter, Elizabeth
Houck, Ray and Kathy Wischhover, Charles Osterofe, Linda Ayscue,
Marcella Schlegel and Ron and Jan Rubin.
The morning started with a
unique private tour and tasting direct from wine barrels at the
Del Dotto Wine Caves located just east of the town of Napa. The
winery features one of six original caves hand dug during the
late 1800s still in use in Napa Valley. The highlight of the
visit was a tasting of the same vintage wine aged in different
types of oak barrels. One could clearly taste the significant
differences between wine aged in French Oak, American Oak, etc.
It was almost as if we were tasting completely different wines.
Members then rallied their cars,
tops down, along the picturesque Silverado Trail to a catered
lunch served at Silver Oak Cellars. Our tables were arranged among stacks of
oak barrels in an "ageing" room
Our next private tasting was held
mid-afternoon at the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery, located in
Rutherford and owned by Academy Award-winning director Francis
Ford Coppola. Here everyone was able to tour the historic
Inglenook Chateau and Centennial Museum that contains film
memorabilia, such as Vito Corleone's desk from The Godfather and
a 1948 Tucker Torpedo automobile from Tucker-The Man and His
The day finally ended with an
outstanding Italian dinner at Don Giovanni's Bistro back in Napa
and ...... more wine.