This easily could be in Tuscany instead of Napa Valley, California. The Castello di Amorosa is a castle and winery presumably authentic in (most) details near Calistoga CA. Virtual Paintout is in Napa Valley this month. I'm opting for this beautiful location because, try as I might, I just can't paint grape vines to my liking. I'm not even happy with these trees. That's part of the reason I've been on such a landscape bender the last year or so. I'm trying to get better at something I used to avoid.
Porta Del Castello
This one is closer to my comfort zone. No trees, grass or sky to screw up. It's a bit smaller, done in a 9x12 sketch book. I've lately been using a watercolor Visual Journal from Strathmore. I like the cold-pressed texture and the general construction. It has very thick, stiff pressboard covers and is wire-bound to allow flat opening or flipping the forward pages completely under the page you're working on (like wire-bound composition books in school). This is Strathmore paper, though. And a SKETCH book. This paper can't handle too many layers or corrections. You need to get it right in two or three layers or just understand that sketches aren't meant to be finished masterpieces (though many can be). Beyond that, I like this paper for my uses better than some other brands.