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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  November Trip Report part 3

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Author Topic:   November Trip Report part 3
damombo
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posted 12-17-2010 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Gary called us the day before to change the appt because he had a funeral to attend. He got Don to take the appt for him, but Don was going to be working down at Cuvaison so that's why we met him there. Apparently he stores some of his equipment there and they let him store it if they can also use it? It would be interesting to meet Gary - Don is very laid-back, kinda looked sleepy that day Wondering if Gary's personality is similar...

IP: 96.8.187.200

damombo
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posted 12-17-2010 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Mobambo? Have you forgotten me already or is that the inventory talkin?
A Uhaul behind a Z4 or a corvette - that's a sight I'd like to see!! Especially if it was full of wine!
We didn't meet Charlie - Jeff was the only soul around. It was very nice - just the three of us. That's always fun - makes for a special time (provided that person is personable, and Jeff certainly was!)

IP: 96.8.187.200

Hawkeye
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posted 12-17-2010 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
WOW, take a day off and you are so far behind that you think you are running first.

So glad that you enjoyed Jeff and Chase Family Cellars. They are on our "every trip" list just like Robert Biale. We were sitting at a cask room "Map Your Palate" tasting several years ago at Meryvale. The man sitting next to me asked what wines we liked. I told him that we liked cabs and were beginning to get into zins. He told me that we needed to go to Chase and the Hayne Vineyard to taste zins. Said it was the same vineyard that Helen Turley made some of her most famous zins. Did you get to meet Charlie?

Sorry that you did not get to meet Gary Luchtel. We did not meet Don Suhr his partner. What does he have to do with Cuvaison? Speaking of Cuvaison, we had a bottle of their 2005 cab last weekend that was excellent. Shared it with some out-of-town friends that know a good wine when they taste it. Now that I have an inventory, I can tell you that we brought home 4 of their 2007 zins and two of their 2007 cabs. They weren't a bad price either.

By the way, Mobambo, you could probably rent a U-Haul trailer to pull behind that sports car and then you could get all the wine you wanted.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 12-17-2010).]

IP: 68.169.189.111

yesilovewine
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posted 12-16-2010 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Not only that, but you might bruise what you CAN get in there!! Thanks for the clarification....now that you mention Oakville Grade, I think that is the one that I've heard so many tales about.

IP: 98.232.221.183

damombo
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posted 12-16-2010 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi yesilovewine! I don't think Petrified Forest is all that wild. The one farther south - Oakville Grade maybe? - is quite a ride. We do enjoy the winding roads - coming from flat Houston, it's a thrill to get to drive on that kind of road It would be fun to rent a sportscar one of these trips, but the trunk wouldn't hold enough wine

IP: 98.197.192.216

yesilovewine
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posted 12-13-2010 11:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Damambo, I am always confused about the roads over the mountains between Napa and Sonoma. Is Petrified Forest Road the "tame" one? Or is it Trinity that is the less scary? One of those two has quite the reputation for white-knuckle curves and I want to be sure to avoid it at all costs!
You know, I always get hungry when I read your posts- and I'm not even close to being a foodie. I need to save that for meal time from now on.
Looking forward to the story of Sonoma!

IP: 98.232.221.183

damombo
Member
posted 12-13-2010 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Day two began with breakfast at Pacific Blues again. We checked out of the Napa Valley Lodge because we would be moving to the Sonoma side of things that night. First stop was Cakebread. We had recently rejoined their wine club and my husband was eager to take advantage of those member perks. We were seated in the fairly new membership area and enjoyed tasting through their array of wines. We are partial to their Chardonnay, and the Dancing Bear Cab is delicious with it’s dark fruits and barest hint of chocolate.
From Cakebread we headed up 29 to a new-to-us winery that Hawkeye had suggested: Chase Cellars. We met with Jeff and had a delightful visit - he walked us through a bit of the vineyard and then back to the tasting room for some fabulous wines. We loved their Zins, and the Cab was nice as well. Plus they had a Zinfandel Port and a Zinfandel Chocolate Sauce! Yes, we sent home a case of assorted bliss.
We had planned to eat lunch at Gott’s (Taylor’s Refresher), but Jeff suggested Farmstead restaurant down the road in St. Helena. What a great place! They have a wonderful chef - the soup of the day was butternut squash, and it was delectable. Jeff had said they had the best hamburgers in the valley, so we split one, along with the mac and cheese and a bowl of chili. He was right - the burger was terrific. As was the mac and cheese and the chili. Too much food, but who could resist? We did draw the line at dessert, so good for us This is a restaurant you should all try next time you are out there.
We had made an appointment with Gary Luchtel of Surh Luchtel (again thanks to Hawkeye), but he called and wasn’t going to be able to keep that appointment. He said his partner Don Surh could meet us a little earlier than the original time and a little farther away - so we headed south to Carneros to meet Don at the Cuvaison Estate Winery. Don met us there and we had our tasting in their board room. A very laid-back fellow - he hauled a box of wine bottles from his car to the board room and the three of us sat down and began chatting and tasting. He said “Gary tells me you like cabs and pinot noir” as he pulled out 3 different Pinots... and I said, “uh, oops, actually it’s cabs and zins - we aren’t really wild about Pinots” Poor Don! You should have seen his face, poor guy!! But the wonderful thing is, when we tried their Pinots, guess what? We actually liked them - so I’ve finally found a Pinot that we enjoy. We ended up with a case of assorted Pinots, Zins and Cabs. Another excellent find Hawkeye!
When we left, it began raining pretty hard. We had planned to go by Biale (they were having some sort of an event), but when we got there, the parking lot was packed and the rain wasn’t letting up and we had to be in Santa Rosa to check in, so we just left. We headed over to Santa Rosa by way of Petrified Forest Rd. and arrived at Vintner’s Inn just about the time the rain stopped. We had reservations at John Ash’s restaurant and will continue our travelogue on the Sonoma boards

IP: 96.8.187.200

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