Took a break away from our west coast trip with relatives to explore Highway 29 up through Napa Valley.  It was warm enough to ditch the jackets we needed in San Francisco and Monterey, but still pleasant enough to drive with the windows down.

There are usually 500-1300 grape vines per acre in Napa

There are usually 500-1300 grape vines per acre in Napa County

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My husband wanted to rent a convertible but we settled on an SUV as we took on the hour plus drive north.

I usually immediately go to sleep on car rides but I’m glad I stayed awake on this one (at least for most of the drive!). The rolling vineyards and expansive scenery was so relaxing after the tourist spots of Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row.

Beautiful Napa Valley

Grapes were first planted in Napa in 1838

I learned there are over 450 wineries in Napa. We made it to two before prior commitments pulled us back in line. I’ve visited Napa before. The right way to do it is to stay in Napa, get with a tour or driver and take your time. Still, being this close, we just had to visit once again!

Sunny Napa!

It can take 500-600 grapes to make one bottle of wine!

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Here’s why.  I had my husband stop several times so I could capture the beauty of Napa Valley.  Hopefully from these photos you can get a sense of how peaceful it is.

Flowers on the way to the vineyard


One vine could produce 8-12 pounds of grapes

Next time, this will be the first stop on our west coast tour.  Enjoy!

For more factoids on Napa Valley, click here

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