Napa and Sonoma Wineries: Viansa and Artesa

By grace.g.yang ยท June 12, 2008
Under: California,My Life

I came up with a list of wineries to visit in Napa/Sonoma based on message boards and travel book research. Since we’re relatively new to wine, we were looking for places that had educational tours that could teach us about the wine-making process and all the different types of grapes that are used for local wines. The first place we visited was Viansa, a winery opened in 1989 by a husband-wife team:

The name Viansa is a combination of their names (Sam and Vicki Sebastiani) and they specialize in pairing Italian wines with food (Vicki was a chef before she opened the winery). Sam and Vicki no longer own the winery, but there are still lots of foods in their marketplace that are supposed to go well with their wines:

Another reason we visited Viansa was to have lunch; they have an outdoor oven with pizzas and other small treats:

Since the weather was perfect (a cool 75 degrees), we decided to have an artichoke pizza with seltzer water and eat in the patio overlooking their vineyard. The pizza was okay, but the view was amazing:

I was REALLY happy to be out of the car:

We went on the wine tour to learn more about the winery and to do another tasting (after doing a tasting in the marketplace area). The tour ended up being a private tour since no one else signed up, but we learned a lot about the wine-making process. Here’s the Viansa family crest (the orange and yellow crest in the center, symbolizing the earth and the sun):

Viansa doesn’t make their wine on site anymore, but here’s the area they used to have all of their oak barrels:

Now, instead of aging their wines, they host weddings and parties in that area.

Overall, the tour was informative but I seriously couldn’t taste any of the “notes” they were mentioning in the cheat sheet. Chris and I tried to guess without looking at the cheat sheet, but I lost every single time (I think I’ll stick to seltzer water!).

After going to the winery, we stopped off at a little fruit stand to pick up fruit and water:

We picked up white flesh peaches, nectarines, raspberries, apricots, and lots of water. The fruit was so colorful so I ended up taking a couple more pictures:

Our drive to the next winery was beautiful – Napa and Sonoma are perfect during this time of year!

The next winery we visited, Artesa, was opened in 1991 (under a different name) and switched to Artesa in 1997. A person from yelp recommended the place to me, so we decided to check it out:

The views from Artesa are beautiful; you get a view of the entire valley:

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We went inside for a wine tasting that wasn’t so good:

The wines left a bad taste in our mouths, but we decided to explore the property and take pictures before they closed (all of the wineries in Napa close around 5 or 6). Here are some of our favorite pictures:

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After we left Artesa, we drove into downtown Napa to walk around (we had some frozen yogurt from bon creme that was kind of gross), and headed to Yountville for our Ad Hoc reservation. Check back for an Ad Hoc post!

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  1. Group Favour Blog  on February 1st, 2011 @ 8:23 am

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