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napa map

This winter, enjoy wine country and the wonder of California’s coastline—kosher style

napa pic

Fly into Oakland, Sacramento, or San Francisco.
All three cities are located within an hour of Napa Valley.


Monday morning:
You’re finally in wine country. If you want to swallow that wine—and not spit—it’s best to leave the rental car at the hotel and take a tour bus or limousine to Napa Valley’s kosher wineries. Your first stop is at the Hagafen Winery on Silverado Trail, which is parallel to Highway 29, but a mile inland. Savor the wines in the tasting room and join the 11 a.m. tour to see winemaking in progress. Call ahead.


Monday afternoon:
For an extraordinary wine tasting experience, stop at Covenant Wines, located within the historic Larkmead Vineyard, also in Napa Valley.  Call ahead and you could nab an invitation for a personal winemaking demonstration.

napa whale

The interstate is faster—but we recommend taking the scenic route down the California coastline and through the Santa Cruz mountains. Take a charter boat from Monterey Bay to go whale watching. The winter is prime time for spotting the Gray Whale as they migrate through the bay. Chances of sighting are 90%.

red woods

Wednesday: Gasp as you go hiking through the rugged valleys of the Big Sur and climb up the ridges for superlative views
of the coastline. Drive a few miles inland and through the coastal redwood forests, where trees measure over 360 feet in height.

chicken filled brik

Chicken Filled Brik

Wednesday evening: Cap your day of adventure by feasting at Tierra Sur at the Herzog Wineries in Oxnard California, and enjoy gourmet dishes like these Moroccan Brik by exemplary chef Todd Aarons. Be sure to make reservations! Stay the night
in Oxnard.

Thursday morning:
Tour the Herzog winery and see wine being made, processed, and bottled. At this time of year, the wine made during harvest
season, from late August to early November, may have finished fermenting and will be moving into barrels. The tour begins daily at 10 a.m.


Thursday afternoon:
Fly home through LAX or continue on to enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling city—a sharp contrast to your week
spent with nature.

Before you go, Try the Special Edition Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon and the Reserve Late Harvest Chenin Blanc.

Have you been to Napa? Let us know in the comments below.

Contributed by Gary Landsman this article was originally published in the Chanukah 2011 issue of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller, Subscribe Now.