on December 22, 2004
Domaine Carneros is the first major winery you see on the drive from San Francisco to Napa.It was our first stop. The facility is designed to look like a French chateau. It is breathtakingly beautiful and offers many great photo opportunites. Rows of Pinot Noir vines frame the entrance. We had the good fortune to arrive just as the harvest was begining and were offered samples of the grape itself. They were surprising small, and very sweet. Ordinarly table grapes are a pale comparison. Domaine Carneros offers a video/multi-media/walking tour of their facilites which produce "sparkling" wine, aka champagne. Visitors can pick up small, free souvenirs like corks stamped with the Domanine Carneros Ramshead logo. Glasses of their products, along with cheeses (for a small charge), are offered. We sat outside on their wrought-iron chairs, enjoying the high vantage-point view of Napa, when one of their employees graciously offered us tastings of dessert wines they make with leftover grapes. Delicious. This lady also kindly answered all of our dumb questions, including, "How much is agricultural land valued at here?" Answer: about $330,000 an acre. Our ag (onions and cabbage),for comparison, goes for about $1,500.
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