Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Unique Napa Tasting Experiences

A few years ago Raymond Vineyards was purchased by the Boisset family, one of the largest wine producers in France.  Jean Charles Boisset took charge of the winery and created some of the most whimsical tasting experiences in the Napa Valley.

Upon arrival at the winery, you'll see signs pointing you to the Theater of Nature.  Here you'll walk through gardens to learn about Raymond's devotion to Biodynamic farming.  You'll see a variety of vegetables and animals that contribute to producing high quality grapes.  If you have young children with you, they will especially enjoy seeing the white peacocks, chickens, goats, and sheep.  Also outside is Frenchy's Winery, where your dog can enjoy a respite while you are tasting inside.

When you first walk into the tasting room, it looks like a fairly ordinary Napa tasting room, but you'll need to dig deeper.  You can walk down the Corridor of Senses to see if your sense of smell can pick up the many aromas found in wines.  Instead of tasting out front, walk back into the Crystal Cellar where you will learn about the art of decanting and see more Baccarat crystal than you've probably ever seen before.

If you plan ahead, more tasting experiences await you.  By prior appointment, you can take a blending seminar and make your own wine.  You'll get to take your wine home with you and Raymond will save your blending notes for future reference should you want more of your special cuvee. 

The Gold Room enables you to taste JCB Wines in opulent surroundings.  Your group can have a sit-down tasting surrounded by more gold (color, not metal) than you've ever seen in one room.

Finally, if you are a big fan of Raymond's wines, you can become a member of The Red Room.  For a $500 annual fee, you can make use of a room lined with red velvet that has a feel of old-time men's club, complete with a pool table.  The Red Room has its special red blend, which can only be tasted here.

There are other tasting options at Raymond, so visit the website and see what suits you.  If you'd like to take a private Napa tour that includes a visit to Raymond Vineyards, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at rick@blueherontours.com or (866) 326-4237 (toll free).

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