Friday, July 25, 2008

California - Day 2: Copia

Our visit to the Napa area was centered around reservations for lunch at Copia.

Located in the town of Napa, Copia is the new(ish) food and wine museum that bills itself as "The American Center for Wine, Food & The Arts." It's a grand idea and a beautiful facility.

Of course, having worked in museums AND wineries, I have an interesting perspective.

I'm aware of the financial problems Copia has been having since it opened. Like many larger new museums, it greatly over-projected annual visitation and income. And, like Cereal City in Battle Creek, there's really not that much to do once you're there.... and at Copia, almost everything costs extra.

My personal beef is with them billing themselves as "The American Center..." They are very much centered around Napa Valley, with northern California pretty much the furthest they reach. There was no wine for sale in their shop that came from outside California (except some from outside the U.S...huh?). And everything they said or did was all about northern California.

To be fair, my experience with them is pretty limited. But, as someone with museum and winery experience, those are my thoughts.

That being said, we had a really lovely time at Copia. The luncheon was delicious, the wine was even better, and I loved the program's format. We sat in a classroom/amphitheater where we were treated to a combination class on cooking, wine, and gardening. What could be better?

The luncheon was based on summer themes and local Zinfandels. The menu included lots of local foods, including some that were grown in Copia's gardens. Yum!

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