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What Qualities make for a truly great wine tour guide?

What Qualities make for a truly great wine tour guide?

“A company is only as good as its people” is an often-repeated truth we have all heard many times. For a leading tour operator like Platypus Wine Tours of Napa Valley, understanding this principle is fundamental to the company’s success. Importance of Leaving the...

Recipe Feature: No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe Feature: No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Platypus Wine Tours, headquartered in Napa, conducts safe and educational regular and custom tours throughout Wine Country California. Destinations include many of the best boutique wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Besides visiting the vineyards and...

What to know about Yountville AVA

What to know about Yountville AVA

Nearly a half-century ago, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department began to designate specific regions of the nation as AVAs or American Viticultural Areas. The issue was to provide consumers with greater clarity regarding the origin and characteristics of the...

Closing out the Year in Napa Valley

Closing out the Year in Napa Valley

From late November to early January, Napa and Sonoma Valleys close out each year on a high note featuring a wide range of seasonal celebrations, gala events, and a hearty welcome to the New Year. December is a magical time in Sonoma and Napa Valley. The communities...

Recipe Feature: Turkey and Brown Rice Soup

Recipe Feature: Turkey and Brown Rice Soup

It’s Holiday Season! For many of us, a turkey will be served, likely for that family Thanksgiving Dinner and possibly during the Christmas and New Year seasons. Usually, we end up with some leftover turkey and may be looking for delicious and easy-to-make recipe...

Besides wine tasting, what is there to do in Napa Valley?

Besides wine tasting, what is there to do in Napa Valley?

Coming to Napa Valley to visit the wineries and sample the wines is undoubtedly a primary motivation for many people’s weekend or long-term visits. But, no matter where you are in Napa Valley, you will find an almost endless list of fun and entertaining activities for...

Holidays in Napa and Sonoma Valley

Holidays in Napa and Sonoma Valley

Wine Country California is the perfect place to experience the joys of the Holiday Season. The businesses and communities of Napa Valley and Sonoma County are once again extending their famous hospitality in so many ways, with each year bringing new, exciting events...

Recipe Feature: Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Guests of Platypus Wine Tours can enjoy specially prepared lunches and snacks during their Napa Valley and Sonoma wine tours. In these instances, the professional culinary staff at Platypus endeavors to create new and exciting recipes for their guests’ enjoyment....

Crush and Fermentation Post Harvest

Crush and Fermentation Post Harvest

The vineyard crews of Napa Valley are wrapping up their harvest, and the carefully tended grapes are heading to their respective wineries. Since early in the year, the vines have undergone many changes, from early bud break to the ripening or “veraison” stage that...

#MerlotMe Merlot Month

#MerlotMe Merlot Month

October is the month that Merlot lovers officially celebrate the virtues of their favorite varietal. During this time, wineries throughout Sonoma County and Napa Valley have begun processing their newly harvested grapes to produce excellent vintage of highly acclaimed...

Panzanella Salad Recipe

Panzanella Salad Recipe

Guests who participate in any Platypus Wine Tours throughout Wine Country California, including Napa Valley and Sonoma County, are always amazed at the level of hospitality and the knowledge displayed by the Platypus tour professionals. Besides providing a safe and...

Mushroom Cream Pasta Recipe

Mushroom Cream Pasta Recipe

Guests of Platypus Wine Tours of Napa, California, frequently request recipes of some of the food preparations created by the culinary staff for the fascinating Wine Country California Tours through Napa and Sonoma County. As the weather begins to cool during the Fall...

Harvest Season and Rounding Out Your Home Wine Cellar

Harvest Season and Rounding Out Your Home Wine Cellar

Once again, as harvest season in wine country California rolls around, work in the vineyards has accelerated. Vineyard managers have carefully charted their harvest schedules based on each grape variety’s rate of maturation and its vineyard location. Some white and...

Most Reliable wine pairings

Most Reliable wine pairings

Wine pairing is the art and sometimes science of selecting the right wine to enhance the enjoyment and flavor of the food being served. The aim is for the wine and food to be in balance, making sure that one does not overwhelm the other. In the extreme, for example, a...

What to know about winery tasting fees

What to know about winery tasting fees

Visitors to individual wineries in Napa and Sonoma wine country are generally asked to pay a wine tasting fee to sample the wines during their visits. According to a San Francisco Chronicle article from July 2022, the average wine tasting fee for a basic session in...

Rich Mushroom Soup

Rich Mushroom Soup

As a winery tour company, we are always seeking ways to delight and entertain guests and friends. That's why we love featuring delicious recipes and wine pairings that will help you bring a piece of wine country home. This delicious offering, now part of the Platypus...

Veraison in the vineyards

Veraison in the vineyards

Vineyard managers and their teams shift from one phase of vine development to the next during the growing season, always alert to unexpected changes and variations. While climactic conditions impact how a season’s crop will develop, grape vines undergo distinct stages...

Russian River AVA

Russian River AVA

Because of its unique combination of climate and location, the Russian River American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Sonoma County is one of California's most successful and popular growing wine grape-growing areas. The specific varietals produced from grapes grown in...