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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit

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Author Topic:   LONG TRIP REPORT, PART 1
posted 10-03-2010 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bigsemi   Click Here to Email bigsemi     Edit/Delete Message
Yeah, the Harvest Ball at Sattui was 3 great days of activities. We have gotten really close to a lot of the people at the winery.

Also, went by Rutherford Hill. We are also members there. The wines are tasting great. The Sauv Blac, Sangiovese, and Reserve Merlot we all very good.

The Wine Valley lodge for the price was great. Very close to down town. Most importantly it was clean, no bugs.

We head back out this coming Friday. Hitting a football game at St. Helena, Saturday the Crush Party at V. Sattui. Sunday Going to Fleet week and the Lodi Wine fest on Treasure Island, then Monday we'll be attending the Great Pumpkin Weigh-off in Halfmoon Bay. Should be another fun 4 days.


posted 09-29-2010 04:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi bigsemi . . . Have you made your trip to Napa yet? How was the V. Sattui celebration?

Our trip is getting closer, only 23 days.


posted 09-28-2010 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bigsemi   Click Here to Email bigsemi     Edit/Delete Message
The wife and I love Palisades. We normally eat breakfast there whenever we are in the valley, even if we have to drive from Napa for it. Great coffee, try a Mexican Mocha. And great breakfast burritos.


posted 09-26-2010 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi damombo . . . What a great trip report! If we could get more people to do this, think what an important source of information on wine country.

We have been to Luna and Hagafen. Our response was similar to yours, acceptable, but not outstanding.

In February, we took the "Bottle Shock" tour at Chateau Monelena and really enjoyed it. The movie was partially shot on their grounds. As near as we can determine, about the only true part about the movie was that there really was a 1976 Paris tasting and CM was awarded best chardonnay. Also, Jim Barrett has been know to say, "About the only true thing about the movie was when yopu saw me at the beginning." Almost everything else including the boxing, the two girls, etc. was fiction. Oh, well, I really enjoyed the move. I think what make it special is the helicopter tour of the valley at the beginning of the movie and the music . . . the music gets into your head. Besides, the two girls are easy to look at. The tour was $40.00 and included an autographed copy by the real Jim Barrett, and a half bottle of chard. What I thought was a little tacky, they charged $10.00 more to taste their reds.

We have not picked up a lunch at Palisades Deli, but we will on our October trip when we visit Spring Mountain for the day. Will probably picnic at Keenan.

We have been to Frank Family since they have moved to their new digs. Our response was similar to yours, not the fun place to visit the old place was. Guess their wines were not very memorable either, because I don't remember them. But then, I am an old man and my mind is going.

We have not been to Madrigal that I remember but will try to add that to our October agenda as a "drop in."

We, too, enjoy Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. The first time we ate there I was not too impressed because I thought the server (proper name) was ignoring us. I have found since that that is part of their mystique. :-)

Again, thanks for the great review.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 09-26-2010).]


posted 09-25-2010 07:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
We have returned from our wonderful 4 days in wine country. Time flies! We spent two days in Napa Valley and two days on the Sonoma Valley side. I’ll be proper and post the Sonoma days on the Sonoma forum.

Arrived in Napa on Sunday evening in time to check into the Best Western Inn at the Vines and head to our dinner reservation at Ristorante Allegria. It’s in an old bank building and had a nice menu - the Mushroom Ravioli was outstanding. We enjoyed a Phipps Family Cellars Zin. We had hoped to taste the Phipps wines this trip, but their tasting room isn’t open yet, so that gives us something to look forward to (like we need an excuse to come back to the area!)

We were traveling with two other couples, so I tried to take into consideration their tastes and where they wanted to go. Our first stop on Monday morning was Luna. Each couple shared a tasting - two opted for the classic and one the reserve. I really enjoyed their whites - unfortunately, my tasting notes from this trip got tossed, so I have little to help me recall! The tasting room is beautiful and there is an observation deck up the stairs that was fun to see. From Luna we headed to Hagafen. We had been before, but one couple had heard about them and wanted to check it out. The wines were pleasant, but not particularly outstanding. The tasting staff was very knowledgable and friendly.

Then it was time to pick up some lunch for a picnic at Chateau Montelena. I had seen the suggestion about the Palisades Deli, so we went there. Excellent suggestion! Right down the road from Chateau Montelena and tasty, too! Since we are members at CM, we were able to reserve one of the little islands on their Jade Lake for our picnic. That was fabulous - they had set the table with napkins and flatware and flowers - very special. We lingered over our picnic and enjoyed the beauty of the setting, and the wonderful weather. After lunch, we had a tasting in the very crowded tasting room - our pourer said that they had been “slammed” all day. Mid-September, even during the week, is a busy time.

Next we stopped at Frank Family. We have long been fans of Frank Family, but since they built their new tasting room and have begun charging a tasting fee (which is NOT applied to a purchase), the charm of a small winery seems to have been lost. Our friends bought a few bottles of the sparkling Blanc de Noir, but we just weren’t as wowed by the wines as we have been in the past.

Our next stop was Madrigal and it turned into one of those special moments in Napa Valley. The new tasting room is fairly small, and we walked in on a limo group of about 6 young couples (in their mid-20s). They filled the space and were having LOADS of fun - and were cute and charming and reminded me of our kids. But, that meant there really wasn’t room for us - until the fellow behind the bar called the wine maker to come and help us! So Bruce came over and took us on an impromptu tour - what a treat! So unexpected - we thoroughly enjoyed visiting with him and tasting all of their wines. We bought a mixed case of the Sauv. Blanc, Zin, Chard, and Cab. We like their wines!

The final stop of the day was at the Castello di Amorosa. We had been on the tour and thought our buddies would enjoy it. The tour was fun - they seem to hire only vivacious, well informed, fun tour guides (naturally). The first time I hadn’t been wowed by the wines at the end of the tour, and that remained the same. Our friends, however, did buy a bottle of their Sangiovese.

Dinner was at Bistro Jeanty and was delicious. We all ordered something different so that we could taste lots of things, and it was all wonderful. We will certainly return!

Day Two to come...


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