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Wine Reviews

I remember the first time we visited the Napa Valley wine country and toured some of the local vineyards. We really had no idea of what we were getting in to, other than some recommendations from friends who had been there before, such as “dress casual” and “sip gently and don’t gulp down the wine.” Our real concern was that attending a wine tasting would be a pretentious event designed to expose our naiveté of wine. This could not have been further from the truth.

The first thing to understand is that wineries come in all shapes and sizes, from huge conglomerates like Robert Mondavi down to single-family operations with very limited production. We have visited and toured hundreds of wineries over the years, and regardless of their size or purported quality, you can certainly learn something from everyone. I find that my most valuable experiences have come from visiting smaller, boutique wineries that tend to be owner-operated; however, the larger producers have the resources to deliver great educational experiences. It really comes down to who is giving the tour and the passion that they have for their respective grape, because at the end of the day, it is all about the grape.

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