Exploring vineyards in Napa Valley

During spring break, my family and I visited San Francisco. In addition to the shopping and countless street performers, exploring the vineyards of Napa Valley would have to be the highlight of the trip.

I say this as a minor, however, so I’m sure my experience was different from that of my parents and older sister, who spent much of the time sampling wines. Lets just say the food and sights were amazing; the juice box and animal crackers handed to me–a bit comical, well, at least my family thought so.

Sterling Vineyards was the first vineyard we visited. Perched 300 feet above the town of Calistoga, Sterling Vineyards offers panoramic views of Napa Valley. For me, my visit there was a bit odd since this is where I received a juice box and animal crackers. My family wouldn’t let me live that down.

To get to the winery, we rode an aerial tram up into the hills. It was a little scary because we noticed the car dipped when my father entered. Apparently the maximum capacity of each car was four people; not sure of the maximum weight, but we were panicked for most of the trip, as we rode lopsided and cringing.

Once that nightmare of a ride was over, we arrived to a long set of stairs. After finally arriving at the top, we were greeted by staff who ushered us to a small table. At the time, the weather had been below 60 degrees, but my sister still insisted on sitting outside for the “view.”

Although the service was fast, we didn’t have much to do besides look at the surrounding foliage and laugh at my father’s attempt to swirl his glass of wine, a technique for blending the flavors before consuming. They also laughed at me, as I was subjected to constant humiliation every time I sipped from my juice box.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how family-friendly the Napa Valley experience had been. Although we had visited four other vineyards, Sterling was definitely my favorite.

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