Wine Tasting at Jarvis Winery

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of touring the Jarvis Winery in Napa Valley, California, where the beautiful and unique setting can only be matched by the incredible wines.

The location is one of the aspects that makes Jarvis Winery such a magical experience. While most wineries are located right off of the highway, making them visible and accessible to every tourist driving by, Jarvis is literally hidden away in the mountains. The entire facility is held in 45,000 square feet of cave in the Vacas Mountains of the Napa region. Once you are buzzed in and instructed where to park, you enter the immense double doors into the side of a mountain. From there, you are taken on a tour which includes a ballroom, tasting library and underground waterfall. Imagine Disney World, meets Narnia, meets Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory…and just add wine! The tasting was, of course, the best part of the trip — Jarvis makes some of the best wine I’ve tasted, which is remarkable considering that one of the owners was born and raised in the “dry state” of Oklahoma. I left with wonderful pictures, wonderful wine and wonderful memories.

jarvis winery napa valley california 2011 michael russo wine tasting destinationSo excited to have arrived in Napa Valley!

jarvis winery napa valley california michael russo 2011 wine tasting destinationThe winery’s tucked-away entrance

winery napa valley california michael russo 2011 wine tasting destinationA beautiful view of azure waters and the serene surroundings

winery napa valley california 2011 michael russo wine tasting destinationThe Inner Circle Gallery — with barrels upon barrels of wine!

Wedding Inspiration: Vieques, Puerto Rico

A few weeks ago, I took a long weekend trip to the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico. The beautiful yet secluded island, which lies just a few miles outside the Puerto Rican mainland, provided me with a wealth of inspiration in a relatively short period of time! I stayed at the W Hotel, where the sand and surf (not to mention the spa) were the perfect remedy for the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. However, since I love what I do so much, I can’t help but think of work, even when relaxing on a remote island! As it just so happened, a couple was getting married at the hotel that weekend, and the wedding arrangements were stunning. Inspired by the lovely waterfront venue, the programs for the procession, and the tropical-tinged table setting, I snapped a few shots of the setting. Although I have yet to work on a destination wedding on an island like Vieques, I think these pictures make it evident why I’d love to try my hand at it!