“Hitch Hiking” #3! Yountville California! Napa Valley’s Gorgeous Wine Country! Alfred Hitchcock’s Classic “North By Northwest!”

Welcome To Yountville!

Napa Valley wine country is legendary for making great wine – and for the third in my “hitch hiking” series, my wife Alex and I are taking you on a long walk through the vineyards, where you come across special friends like this turtle:

Let’s Go For A “Hitch Hike!”

This was my wife’s idea: showcase a great hike and then link it to a classic Alfred Hitchcock movie! And there is no better place to take great hikes than Northern California’s wine country!

It’s a magical place any time of year, with incredible restaurants, lots of great wineries, and lush vineyards all around you:

This photo was just taken in early June, when the grapes are thriving in the hot summer days and cool nights…and if you wake up early enough for a walk, you get some additional sights as well:

Yountville California

Cue The Balloons!

Yes, there is beauty and wonder every where you turn, and so Alex and I decided to take a walk through the vineyards along Yount Mill Road at the north end of town – several miles of beauty, vineyards and tranquility…

The Two Sides Of Alex!

Yountville is where I realized you could take a panorama shot and have one person on both sides of the picture like this:

We took this picture on the Yountville Cross Road, which intersects with State Lane – a terrific walk that always offs up a surprise like this: I shot some video of a helicopter working in the vineyard!

Hiking Yountville’s Yount Mill Rd.

Time to walk among the vines!

Yountville is a great place to hike – you can start in the town center and see the famous French Laundry garden, where cooks forage daily for items to include on that day’s menu:

yountville wine country tourism

Keep heading north, and the town gives way to amazing vineyards all around you – and the Yount Mill Rd, which is full of surprises!

The road does a northeast/north/northwest meander, ending up on the main highway 29…but during the walk, you come across great reminders of the history of this valley:

Yes, the town was founded by a guy named Yount, which is why it is Yountville…a small town surrounded by vines, everywhere you look:

The Yount Mill Road road takes you past many vineyards, and then the Napa River as well, well shrouded by trees and plants:

Yountville’s Grazers!

Further on, you come across some cows, who enjoy hanging out in the sun, eating, and giving you a casual glance as well:

We do this walk a lot, and once, Alex’s sister Lauren came along, and they hung out with the cows for a bit…

Everywhere you look there is such natural beauty, and by sticking to the back road, you avoid the busier part of the valley…

After a great walk, we headed home and relaxed for a while, because there is always a gorgeous sunset over Yountville:

And after a great day outdoors among the vines, it’s time for some wine and a classic Hitchcock thriller:

“North By Northwest!”

This is a classic chase movie, one of Hitchcock’s greatest films, and that’s saying a lot!

As IMDB posted:

“Madison Avenue advertising man Roger Thornhill finds himself thrust into the world of spies when he is mistaken for a man by the name of George Kaplan. Foreign spy Philip Vandamm and his henchman Leonard try to eliminate him but when Thornhill tries to make sense of the case, he is framed for murder. Now on the run from the police, he manages to board the 20th Century Limited bound for Chicago where he meets a beautiful blond, Eve Kendall, who helps him to evade the authorities. His world is turned upside down yet again when he learns that Eve isn’t the innocent bystander he thought she was. Not all is as it seems however, leading to a dramatic rescue and escape at the top of Mt. Rushmore.”

Here is the vintage trailer, hosted by the Director:

Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason star…a classic suspense film with one of the most iconic images in cinema:

The scenes where the crop duster is chasing and shooting at Cary Grant were filmed with a real airplane! Later in the sequence, when the plane crashes into the fuel truck, large models of both the truck and plane were built!

So there you go, another edition of “Hitch Hiking”! If you missed the first two, here you go:

This amazing view of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean comes from Will Rogers State Park in Los Angeles…and the film was “To Catch A Thief” – see the story here:


We also headed to Bodega Bay in Northern California, where Hitchcock filmed this classic shocker:

You can read more about this “hitch hike” by clicking here:


Let me know if you’ve hiked wine country!

Categories: Action Films, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exotic Travel, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Hollywood, Memoirs, Movies, nature, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized, wine

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17 replies

  1. Dusting where there ain’t no crops….☺

  2. A great series, John…Birds still scares me…I haven’t watched it for a while I think I am due for a Hitchcock watchathon very soon 🙂 Napa looks so lovely 🙂

  3. This is a fun series John! I’m enjoying your hitch-hiking. And Napa is beautiful!

  4. Hitch Hiking–I just love it. Great idea and great piece and pics. Now, what Napa wine would you recommend to go with the movie?

    • Oh, that was a great question – how could I forget that? WE love a number of wineries in Napa – Morlet, Vineyard 29, Crocker & Starr, but if you shop where there aren’t as many options, most big outlets have Sequoia Grove, Pride, Rombauer, Mondavi…

  5. Always funny! I did a wine train through Napa back in my single days. I’ll have to wait a few years, get the kids grown, then head back. Walking tours are always the way to go! Much better than wine train.

  6. Looks like I have to add a location to my bucket list! Fantastic pics and great writing!

  7. Beautiful pictures John! I’ve always wanted to visit there.

  8. Even though you know I am not a great fan of Hitchcock, you are really nailing this unusual and interesting series. You might have to do ‘Frenzy’, the next time you visit London. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.


  1. “Hitch Hiking” #4! A 196 Block Hike Through New York’s Central Park! Peering Through Hitchcock’s “Rear Window!” – johnrieber
  2. “Hitch Hiking” #5! We Climb San Francisco’s Legendary Coit Tower! Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”! – johnrieber
  3. “Hitch Hiking!” Here Are 8 Great Hikes! 8 Classic Alfred Hitchcock Thrillers! – johnrieber

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