Livermore Valley

The drive to Napa county (NA) isn’t that far. It doesn’t smell bad there. The roads are fairly well-maintained.  But there is always some subtle discord about departing from Livermore Valley, exiting Alameda county (AL) and heading north through Martinez, Benicia and Vallejo and finally entering NA. What is the root of this?  Well, today I visited the county health rankings web site which allows comparison of counties based on multiple criteria.  Overall the report authors have done a great job pulling a lot of information into one web site.  The emphases are a bit unexpected. For example they track teen pregnancy but not cancer, STD’s but not heart disease.  Nevertheless, there are some important comparisons and in today’s BSC (Bryersantis Science Corner) we’ve digested some contrasts between these two wine-producing counties.  If you are coming to California and want to spend time in healthy, safe enthusiastic wine environment, Livermore Valley is your best bet.

The report found that Napa residents take more “sick” days per month than us in Alameda county, are more obese and have a higher incidence of diabetes.  AL ranks higher in clinical care, since it has less uninsured residents and more primary docs per capita.  NA has a larger problem with particulate matter in the air but you might get lucky and miss one of the 10 poor air days per summer if you visit.  In AL, accessibility to healthy food is greater so it will be easier for you to find a grocer with fresh nuts, produce and cold cuts to pack a picnic for your wine tour.

So the excessive drinking measure is a bit controversial but is currently defined by the percent of adults consuming more than 4 (for women) or 5 (for men) alcoholic beverages on a single occasion in the past 30 days or drinking more than 1 (for women) or 2 (for men) drinks per day on average.   This is where Napa’s numbers are distinct.  19% of AL is bested by 25% in NA.  Is this why NA has 50% more fatal car accidents?  Be careful on the roads this spring everyone and consider bringing a designated driver as you hop among tasting rooms.  It seems like the AL folks have a bit better judgment in this arena.  That’s good.  Maybe it’s because a greater percentage of AL county residents have attended college.  Who knows?

Read the report for yourself and see what you think.  There’s some factors where Napa definitely wins, such as mammography screening. Overall, I’m definitely looking forward to a great spring in Livermore Valley.  If you haven’t been here before, plan an overnighter at the  Purple Orchid Inn which is close to many destinations.  Have a great visit.

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