Sterling Vineyards – Wine Tasting in the Napa Valley

Written by: Mary Shull

Enjoy wine? What better place to sample the multitudes than in the Napa Valley! A world-wide destination for wine tasting, Napa Valley is home to hundreds of wineries. Take a few weeks and you might be able to sample all their fares.


Vineyard - from grape to glass at Sterling Vineyards in the Napa Valley

Nestled outside the small town of Calistoga, Sterling Vineyards sits 300 feet above the valley floor. The entrance is graced by a gorgeous tree-lined driveway and surrounded by row upon row of magnificent grapevines. The road leads to the visitor area where beautiful rose bushes await your compliments. Then, you must make your way to the winery which is accessed through an aerial tram ride! Yes, a unique four-person tram whisks visitors away (for a small fee) and deposits them atop the hill for their self-guided tour and wine tasting journey. Make sure to take in the sights as you glide along. The splendor only increases as you near the top and prepare for your special treat. The views are simply amazing as you stroll through the wonderful winery buildings that were designed after the architecture on the Greek island of Mykonos. Listen to the tower bells toll their lovely melody as you begin to sample your wine selections. Your tour takes you through the inner workings of the winery and explains its history and the vinification process. Motion-activated flat screen televisions help explain the processes involved in taking a grape and making it into wine. Wine tasting stops are strategically located to showcase the best views as you sample your wine and bask in your surroundings. Sterling Vineyards’ wines include:

  • Merlot
  • Chardonnay
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Eventually, you find yourself at the Main Wine Tasting Room where you will sit down and relax while you enjoy your final tasting of wine selections. Winery staff assist you in final wine selections as you soak in your experience and let your mind wander.

Your final steps take you through the wine shop where you have the option to purchase any new favorites for home enjoyment. You then board the tram and let the view wash over you as you journey back down to the valley floor.

Sterling Vineyards is an experience you won’t soon forget. It has been called one of Napa Valley’s gems and has earned bragging rights. So next time you plan a trip to Napa Valley for wine tasting, visit Sterling Vineyards and prepared to be impressed.

Here’s to Your Health! Drink Red Wine to Beat Cancer

Written by: Fruzsina Molnar
Two glasses of red wine

Drink a glass of red wine to beat breast cancer, study reports.

While most scientists and physicians have widely held the belief that all alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer, a new study in the Journal of Women’s Health has found one alcoholic beverage that’s the exception to this rule: red wine. Glenn Braunstein, M.D., and his colleagues at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have shared results showing that the skins of red grapes contain certain chemicals called Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs), which can actually decrease the likelihood of a premenopausal woman developing breast cancer.The results, published online on December 7, 2011, may indicate good news to those women at-risk for breast cancer who still like to have a glass of wine with dinner — they will just need to choose the red over the white, which does not contain the AIs.The study compared the effects of drinking one 8-ounce glass of Cabernet Sauvignon versus Chardonnay each night with food for 21 days, and then switching so that the groups drank the reverse for another 21 days (the women were instructed to abstain from consuming either wine during their periods). Braunstein and his co-authors found “evidence that red wine, through the hormonal shift patterns, may not elevate breast cancer risk like other alcoholic beverages.”

The way that the AIs work is by preventing “the conversion of androgens to estrogen,” and they “occur naturally in grapes, grape juice, and red, but not white wine,” said the article. Other alcohols have been previously determined to raise estrogen levels in women, which is a key risk factor for breast cancer.

But these good results do come with a warning from Dr. Braunstein himself, who wrote in a Huffington Post article about the importance of taking your wine with a grain of salt, so to speak. He cautioned, “The choice to drink moderately will depend on who you are. A fit 25-year-old marathon runner with no family history or cardiac disease and no additional risk factors who doesn’t drink now probably won’t gain anything by joining a wine of the month club. Meanwhile, a man well into his AARP membership with little risk of cancer and some concerns about heart disease, may as well keep his nightly glass of wine with dinner if that’s his lifelong custom.”

The most recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control note that in the U.S. in 2007, over 200,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, with over 40,000 of those women died of the disease. “Except for skin cancer,” writes the CDC website, “breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.”

The Journal of Women’s Health study’s co-authors include Chrisandra Shufelt, M.D., M.S.; C. Noel Vairey Merz, M.D.; YuChing Yang, Ph.D.; Joan Kirschner, M.S.N., N.P., Donna Polk, M.D., Frank Stanczyk, Ph.D., and the late Maura Paul-Labrador, M.P.H.