fall in napa valley is spectacular! as the harvest and crush for grapes comes to an end, the leaves turn brilliant colors of gold and burnt orange and deep purple before they fall and vines are completely exposed. the last of the mission figs are ripening and the weather has yielded to sunny cool days and crisp nights.
as you drive through the valley, the alluring smell of grapes fermenting permeates the air and teases the senses of the upcoming vintage that will be released next spring or later. the cooler weather is perfect for the soulful complexity of braised dishes, beef shortribs, lamb shanks, and pork shoulder are just a few of the dishes that I begin to crave at this time of year. tonight will be, a more simple effort with chicken thighs braised with farro & chanterelles. i'm thinking some nice black mission figs with local honey for dessert might just do the trick.
I hope you will take the time over the next couple of weeks to come visit the Napa Valley and enjoy the beauty!