By Gregory Gorea
Seneca Wine & Liquor of New Hartford & Utica NY
Napa Valley in Northern California is the wine capital of the United States. I learned a lot during my trip to Napa to visit some of our suppliers in person. What a trip! Napa has beautiful weather as you can see by the picture I took above of the iconic “Welcome to Napa” sign. We traveled to Napa from San Francisco and the road trip is breathtaking. The first thing you realize is that Northern California has hundreds of thousands of of undeveloped acres for as far as the eye can see even before you come to the valleys where the grapes are grown and wines are made.
Recently, I did my 23 and me profile. I never really cared where I came from, but received 23 and me as a gift and I sent it in. I thought I was 25% Irish, and the rest Italian. Fact is I am mostly Italian, and slightly Irish. Knowing this I was impressed with almost every winery telling us that without Italian immigrants, Napa Valley wouldn’t be as famous as it is today for the wine they produce. The Italians came over and taught the Napa natives how to make wine like the “old country”. When you think about it, Napa Valley is dominated by Italians. Think the Gallos, Mondavis and Trinchero families. These four sets of Italian families (Mondavi’s have separated to form or own Charles Krug, and Robert Mondavi) dominate wine production and brands that we drink and enjoy today.
The Gallo Family makes Apothic, Barefoot, Carlo Rossi, Ecco Domani, Lamarca to name just a few; Robert Mondavi is famous for Woodbridge (which was recently sold to Gallo); Trinchero is not a name you may know, but you know their wines like Sutter Home, Menage a Trois, Folie a Deux, Joel Gott and Napa Cellars; and Charles Krug is famous for their upscale Napa wines, but you probably don’t know they produce over one million cases of C.K. Mondavi wines by Charles Krug (that’s what the CK stands for!), and they are the house wine for Georgio’s Village Cafe in New Hartford.
If you ever get a chance to go to Napa Valley, go. It’s a trip I will never forget and neither we you.