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Although it was in the low 60′s when I left my house this morning, by the time I arrived at the lakefront I was pretty warm. The early morning sun was shining bright and I had been walking fairly briskly navigating a wooded trail, steep incline and finally the sandy boulder-filled lake shore. After about 20 minutes following the shore I spied the little trail that led back up the ravine. Ah, about four steps into and under the canopy of leaves and I was feeling fine – natural air conditioning. It reminded me of – okay, here is the jump into our subject – the cooling effect of wine caves.
Wine caves have been used to store wine for over two thousand years, providing the perfect combination of cool temperatures and proper humidity for aging fine wine. The storage caves I am most familiar with are at Rutherford Hill winery - the largest in Napa Valley. About a mile long, with lots of winding tunnels coming off the main path, it is always an adventure to come out of the hot sun and feel the cool moist air and see the wine barrels stacked up as far as, well, as far as I can see. And, isn’t it nice to know that the wine is aging with natural cooling and helping to keep that carbon footprint ever-so-small?
Cheeky Card holders can get a special VIP wine tasting when they go to Rutherford Hill. Yes, that means you – if you have the card. Oh, and when you go and enjoy their signature out-of-this-world merlot, make sure you tell them the Cheeky Wine Guide sent you.