Napa Valley: My First Visit to California Wine Country

Napa Valley is a world-renowned wine-making region in California. My siblings frequent the place ever since they came to America. I had my first visit to Napa Valley in late November 2016. That's about 5 months after I arrived to resettle.

My First Trip to Napa Valley

I joined 3 of my siblings and the family of my brother on my first trip to Napa Valley. This particular trip took us to Castello di Amorosa, the Napa Valley welcome sign, Gott's Roadside, and the Culinary Institute of America.

Napa Valley Welcome Sign 

The first thing we ever did when we got to Napa Valley was take a family picture at the Napa Valley Welcome Sign in Calistoga. The sign says: "Welcome to this world famous wine growing region, Napa Valley". On the replica barrel top to one side reads a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson: "..and the wine is bottled poetry..."

Napa Valley welcome sign in Calistoga
Napa Valley welcome sign

Many tourists visiting the region stop by this sign to take pictures. It can well be one of Napa Valley's most photographed locations.

Castello di Amorosa 

Right across the welcome sign is Castello di Amorosa. It is one of the more popular areas visited by tourists in Napa Valley. Aside from being a major wine producer, Castello di Amorosa was also built to be a tourist attraction.

One of its main features is the medieval castle surrounded by a humongous grape plantation. Castello di Amorosa literally means "castle of love" in Italian. We did a quick tour of the castle. Then we spent most of our time at the wine tasting room consuming some 10 glasses of wine each.

The Great Hall of Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley
The Great Hall at Castello di Amorosa

Culinary Institute of America

Napa Valley is not just a world famous wine growing region. It is also acclaimed as one of the culinary hot spots in California. It's no surprise why the Culinary Institute of America established 2 campuses in Napa and St. Helena. Within the St. Helena Campus is Greystone Restaurant, Spice Islands Marketplace, the Bakery Cafe by Illy, and Vintner's Hall of Fame. We really did not get to explore the CIA at Greystone as it was getting dark when we got there. So we contented ourselves taking pictures of the grandiose exterior.

Gott's Roadside Burgers at St. Helena

Before we went home from that short trip, we stopped by Gott's Roadside. Gott's Roadside caught our attention earlier in the day when we passed it and there were multitudes of people in line. When people line up for something, it must be something really good. We ordered kimchi burger, bacon cheeseburger, the regular cheeseburger, and sweet potato fries for dinner.

Gott's Roadside burger in Napa Valley
Kimchi burger from Gott's Roadside
Have you visited Napa Valley in California? How was your experience? You may tell us in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.
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About Thadz

Brothers Janus and Thadz document their travels around the United States and occasionally around the world.


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