In comparison to my last post, the lights at this winery are positively understated, but very tasteful. Tucked away on the Oakville Crossroad I nearly missed this staid display of electric merriment. The Groth winery is stylised California mission, based on the architectural impact the Roman Catholic church had on early 'Alta California'.
Over a period of 54 years, beginning with Mission San Diego, established in 1769, 21 missions were established by the Spanish stretching 650 miles along the 'El Camino Real'. All were established near the coast and were designed to be one days walk apart.
Franciscan monk Junípero Serra is generally credited with planting the first grapes for wine production in California at Mission San Diego. Father Serra's grapevines, of uncertain genetic heritage, had originally been introduced from Spain to Mexico. The original European strain having been lost, the grapes were simply called Mission grapes since the Catholic missions were where they were generally grown.
The final mission at Sonoma, in the Sonoma Valley, has proved to be an ideal location for grape production; fertile soil, maritime fog, and a mild and sunny climate. And over the hill, here in Napa, Vinogirl is enjoying a glass of wine and her own Christmas lights.