This post is part of a larger Napa Valley series centered around the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef's Competition. To see other posts in this series, check out the Napa Valley Guide.
On Sunday morning, before the Signature Dish Competition, S. Pellegrino organized another amazing outing for their VIP guests at Antica Vineyards.
Antica is owned by the Antinori family, one of the oldest winemaking families in history. The Antinoris have been making wine for over 600 years! Most of their vineyards are located in Tuscany and Umbria in Italy. Antica is derived from Anti (from their name) + ca (from California), since this is their California vineyard.
It took about 40 minutes to drive up the mountain to arrive at this beautiful, beautiful vineyard.
It's hard to capture the vastness of the vineyard from pictures alone, but here's a shot at it. 🙂
Winemaking, Water tasting, and a History Lesson
We learned a bit about wine making and got a tour of the facilities.
We participated in some educational seminars. You've heard of wine pairings and wine tastings, of course. But have you ever had a water pairing? They had us try a few small dishes with S. Pellegrino sparkling water and Aqua Panna mineral water. Interestingly, the S. Pellegrino was much more effective at cleansing the palate after a taste whereas the Aqua Panna mineral water dampened the flavors but drew them out longer. The red wine enhanced the red meat (as expected) and the white wine paired nicely with the shrimp salad.
The views from the top of the mountain were just picture-perfect.
When we entered the wine cave, we were greeted with an amazing spread of food from Hurley's. Not only that, we saw musicians and jesters, all in a nod to the Italian renaissance period.
Of course, when we left, they gave us a little souvenir.
The weather was absolutely beautiful. It was really relaxing to sit on these couches on a mountain top vineyard while enjoying the fantastic lunch, endless Antica wine, and expansive views.
Thanks S. Pellegrino, Aqua Panna, and Antica Vineyards for an amazingly educational, relaxing, and extremely enjoyable afternoon.
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