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The first winery we toured while in Napa was the Del Dotto winery where they had a great barrel and cave tasting tour. My wife and I were taken into the Del Dotto building and after being given a sample of wine were taken into the hand dug caves where you can see pick axe marks and barrels of wine lining the walls up and down.
We sampled 12 wines directly from the barrels via a wine thief and were able to taste and compare wines from the same vineyard and with the same French oak barrel but with different clones and compare how they taste.
We just had to buy a bottle of the Mo/Fo Cabernet Sauvignon which wasn’t being bottled until Fall of 2012 and they will ship the bottle to us when it is ready. We also bought an incredible Zinfandel / Syrah port wine that taste like liquid gold poured on to the tongue.
It was great learning about the French Oak barrels and the toasting of the barrels to impart different flavors into the wine.
If you are in Napa Valley, Del Dotto is a must visit place and the cave tour and barrel tasting was unlike anything else. It made for a great adventure and honestly after tasting 12 2oz portions of wine in the span of 90 minutes or less I was a little buzzed. (I don’t drink often (maybe 1 drink every 1-2 months, so can’t hold my alcohol well).