We are very fortunate to live about an hour from the Napa Valley.  It is world-famous for as a wine-producing region, with hundreds of vineyards set amid gentle picturesque  rolling hills. Wineries range from small, family-run estates to iconic institutions such as Robert Mondavi Winery, with concerts, outdoor markets, gourmet food and all manner of year-round winery tastings. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most popular varietals in the area, but more than three dozen different other grapes are found throughout the area as well.

However, the lesser-known story of Napa also involves alcohol: high numbers of DUI arrests (1.2 per 100 licensed drivers), the highest rate in the Bay Area.  Interestingly, 82 percent of those who were arrested for DUI were Napa County residents.  Furthermore, beer is what the locals like to drink, most of whom work in the service industry, according to a 2015 Napa Valley Register article.

For a photographer, countless opportunities abound for commercial and landscape images of the grapevines during the various seasons, early morning fog and dew, gentle sunsets, local flower plantings, wine-tasting and more.  I've included some of those shots, but also some others that refer to the alcohol-related DUI tragedies as well, as well as images that include farmworkers, the hard-working laborers who make all the great wines possible.  Overall it's a fascinating place to visit, as are the other various valley areas that are part of the region's wine country.  Cheers!

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