It was a gorgeous summer evening with a fantastic dinner and conversation of wine, California living, movies, comics, work and everything in-between. As we were diving into some Stony Hill Riesling and Patz & Hall Bootlegger Pinot Noir a question was posed:
What is with the rivalry between Napa and Sonoma?
Coming from the Napa side of the hill I responded with, “What rivalry? Sonoma makes great wines. Napa makes great wines. What’s the problem?”
HOWEVER it did remind me of the general stigma that Napa is a bit more snobby and pretentious while Sonoma is more layer back and easy going. Then I see signs like this (amongst others):
I think I can speak on Napa’s behalf when I say there is no rivalry as far as we are concerned. We love Sonoma County and everything within it. The food, the wine, the countryside, the breweries (which Napa really needs to work on) and the towns.
A story that I love to tell is that at my previous day job we were purchased by a larger wine company who happened to own another winery just outside of Santa Rosa. Since we were now a part of the same “family” I figured I would go over to taste the wines and meet some of my new coworkers. I walk into the quaint tasting room, start the tasting and we get to chatting about the wines and where I am from. I say, “Oh the other side of the hill, grew up in St. Helena actually.” To which they respond, “Napa huh? Great place for auto parts.”
You would be surprised how often that statement is used and I cannot figure out why…
What is with this so-called rivalry? It is interesting to see a valley that claims to be “real” or more “laid back” to stick their nose up in the air more often than not (sorry Sonoma residents and lovers, I’m just calling it like I see it). What is even more amazing are those that come back to Napa and tell me just how awesome their experience has been.
I’m not sure the issue is, how it started or why it continues to perpetuate itself. One thing I do know is that haters are gonna hate. My suggestion: build yourself a bridge and get over it. We are all in the same awesome industry doing what we love and dealing with what mother nature dishes us year in and year out. We thrive and suffer together.
Sonoma, I love you. Keep doing what you do and we will keep on keepin’ on…
…with our kick ass auto parts.