New: Three

New: Three

It’s been an eventful 2011 thus far.  After spending two days wine tasting, eating great food, and reconnecting with friends, I’m ready to get back to reality!

We took our time leaving Silverado Resort yesterday morning. Having not stayed there since 2002, we forgot what a relaxing and pretty place it is. What made it even better was the rate – $99 per night and the lack of crowds this time of year. We practically had the place to ourselves.

It was a beautiful sunny day when we left yesterday. This picture was taken
upon our arrival…wet and gray but still lovely. 

The fallen leaves are strategically raked around the trees at the Silverado golf course. 

Getting ready to leave the hotel. 

Our friends know about my “New” series and thought a visit to one of their favorite wineries might qualify as a “new experience”.

Boy, were they right!

Del Dotto is an unforgettable place. And since our friends are wine club members, we were treated to a complimentary tour of the wine cave and a tasting which made the experience all the more special.

The entrance to Del Dotto

Beautiful frescos throughout.
Imported from Italy, these marble columns and
detailed mosaic tiled floors are eye-popping.
In the Del Dotto wine cave, the chandeliers are made of Murano glass and  imported from Venice. Silver candelabras are dotted throughout the long corridor.

Nearly all of our tastings came right from the barrel. 
Just six of what must be over 100 barrels of wine in the cave. 
Main room 

After the tour and tasting, we were treated to some fine Italian meats and cheeses served
with their homemade olive oil and bread sticks. 

These must be very old olive trees…their trunks are enormous. 

Check out the face in the wall. 

Their wine is handcrafted in the traditional European way and is some of the best I’ve ever tasted. But the price of the majority of their wines is steep and not for someone on a budget like me and the tasting and tour fees can run as high as $30 to $50 per person. Yet, I would encourage you to visit Del Dotto if you’re in Napa Valley, if not just for the decor, architecture and art. Having lived in the wine country for nearly twelve years, I have been to many wineries and Del Dotto stands out as a one of a kind. If you want to splurge on a tasting and tour during your visit, this is the place.

After a late lunch, we headed home and were surprised last night by a visit from a friend of ours. We haven’t see her in a couple of years and ended up chatting well past our bedtime. It was so late, she stayed the night in our guest room rather than make the long drive home. It was a great way to end what has been a very social and somewhat exhausting last few days.

I’m pretty sure the rest of my “new” series will not include drinking fancy wine or dining out at trendy restaurants.

I can’t afford it and besides, I’m ready for a different kind of “new” .



  1. January 4, 2011 / 8:44 am

    Bellissimo! Your photographs capture the specialness of this “new” adventure! A long time ago, I lived in the Bay area, and I visited Napa once. This makes me LONG to go back–and if I do, I’ll certainly be visiting Del Dotto! xo

  2. January 4, 2011 / 8:53 am

    WOW!! The pictures are exquisite!! I am sure you must had felt as if you were transported back to Italy??!! I am putting “Del Dotto Winery” on my “must see” list!! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful getaway with us!!


  3. January 4, 2011 / 9:07 am

    Oh I’ve been there! My friend, George, is a member of their wine club as well so we were able to do the same tour for free! I loved all of their wines and the cave was so beautiful with the chandeliers. It was a wonderful treat to the day after a lunch at Auberge du Soleil.

    Nat xx

  4. January 4, 2011 / 9:27 am

    That looks amazing! I will definitely go when I am in California (some day).

  5. January 4, 2011 / 1:34 pm

    Del Dotto looks beautiful! The hard part of picking which wineries to visit is that they are all unique and it’s impossible to see them all when on vacation there. This one definitely looks worthwhile checking out.

    I printed out some info on the Silverado Resort. Thanks for the tip! Even the AARP rate isn’t bad! (being an old fart has its benefits) I haven’t officially become a member yet but now that we are taking a vacation, it might be a good time to do it.


  6. January 4, 2011 / 3:54 pm


    As you know, there are many, many wineries to visit in both the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley – where I live. It’s hard to decide which one to pick! I’m glad we went to Del Dotto with our friends and that they had a membership because $50 a person is hard to swallow.
    I want to go back just to spend more time looking at all the pretty things!


    To be honest, I felt more like I was at Bellagio or the Venetian in Las Vegas than in Italy. Del Dotto really is over the top!


    So you must know what I’m talking about when I say this winery is one of kind!


    Please let me know if you ever plan a trip out here!


    You are right…there are so many wineries it’s hard to choose just two or three (because that’s about all I can manage before I’m sick of wine!).

    SIlverado has so much to offer – spas, golf, wineries and world class restaurants nearby.

    I wanted to mention to you that we went to Bottega for appetizers on Sunday…and wow! The food was so delicious. I’m going to ask to go there for a Valentine’s gift (not on 2/14, mind you – too crowded). I am certain a sit down meal would be delicious!

  7. January 4, 2011 / 5:05 pm


    I am amazed at the number of wineries you have been to, they are so beautiful. On another note, I read some of your former posts and really enjoyed reading all that you had to say (and show) with your European vacation.

    ~I thought your comment about wearing pumps on the cobblestone streets was priceless.

  8. January 4, 2011 / 5:19 pm

    Im following your blog! Love your posts and the fact that your main image is of Versailles, my favorite place in the entire world! 🙂

  9. January 4, 2011 / 5:33 pm

    What a wonderful winery to visit…so beautiful! You are doing very well on “new” things.(-:

  10. January 4, 2011 / 10:47 pm

    This is an awesome ‘new’! I really need to get around to some of the vineyards around me. I’ve been here over a year and have only been to one! I really need to do something about that!

  11. January 5, 2011 / 7:11 am

    Thanks for mentioning Bottega, I wrote it down and it’s going in my travel folder.

    Yep, 3 wineries a day is about our limit as well! 😉


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