Picture this: You are perched upon the second level of a deck with the most beautiful view sprawled out before you. Hundreds of acres of crops, ready to be harvested, and pressed into the savory drink you are sipping on, soak in the remainder of the sunlight. On the horizon, the sky is lit up with violent pinks, oranges, reds and hues of purple as the sun rapidly dips down and eventually out of sight. There is a slight whisper in the wind, but beyond the occasional sounds of laughter from another nearby group, the afternoon is still. It literally couldn’t be more beautiful.
My parents had recently gone to a local vineyard for their anniversary, and I remember thinking, how can one take pleasure sitting around looking at grapes … not to mention in the middle of practically nowhere. Therefore I did my research, and have come to understand the error in my assumptions. With gusto I later looked into some of the renown vineyards, an dug into what makes them so highly attractive.
A man that was once a mechanical engineer in the 1970s now owns over eighty five acres of land and cultivated nine different wine varieties. Vincent Arroyo was a self made man, moving into the tip of Napa Valley, more specifically Calistoga. Originally he purchase twenty three acres and invested all he had in a small vineyard. He had crafted the wines himself and it was that way for a while. It wasn’t until his daughter and son in law began to help their father full time, that Arroyo did not do a multi man job alone. It then became a family affair.
Despite being surrounded by other vineyards, Vincent Arroyo’s continues to stand out. There is no tasting menu like at many other vineyards. Nor is there a bar. The wine selections change almost everyday. Even if you go alone, there is little chance that you will be alone for long. The set up is so beautifully informal. The atmosphere is that similar to a family gathering around the kitchen table. To add to the experience, Arroyo’s dogs can be found playfully roaming the grounds.
So it is not just about getting wine drunk with your loved one or friends. It comes down more to the overall experience. The atmosphere, the people, the staff and the grounds. Once all put together, you get the perfect night out. Cheers my friends!