a winter wine tour

One perk of working at a travel company that sells wine tours is occasionally getting to go on one. The day after our office holiday party, we boarded a limo bus for a second office Christmas celebration in Napa Valley. Napa in the winter has a calmer atmosphere – harvest is over and the leaves have fallen off the vines, leaving the valley relatively empty. We visited two wineries – Black Stallion and Michael Mondavi. Located in a pretty, farmhouse-style estate overlooking the vineyard, the Michael Mondavi tasting gallery is a fabulous place to sip wine, with its large, comfy back porch. Even though the sunny, 60-degree weather was more spring-like than Christmastime, we had plenty of holiday cheer.

Michael Mondavi winery (top left [photo courtesy winecountrythisweek.com]); a vintage Porsche tractor outside Michael Mondavi (top right); the sunny back porch (above left); the Mondavi vines may be bare, but the view of the rolling hills is just as lovely (above right); view of the sunset, the city and the holiday lights as we drove across the Bay Bridge, back into San Francisco (below)

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