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  Planning Sept2011 Trip

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Author Topic:   Planning Sept2011 Trip
Hawkeye
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posted 01-20-2011 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
RC, The shipping charges to Tennessee from both places is the same as is the box price.

IP: 68.169.189.111

RC456
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posted 01-20-2011 04:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye,

Around $10-12 for 12 case.

IP: 74.142.135.122

Hawkeye
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posted 01-19-2011 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
RC, what do they charge for the shipping case?

IP: 68.169.189.111

RC456
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posted 01-19-2011 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye

Your right.....Buffalo Shipping is more convenient to drop off as you are heading out of town. But I can save money by using St Helena Shipping. $52 a 12 case vs. $77 w/ Buffalo. You may want to check the TN shipping and see if there is a savings for you as well. Buy another bottle for the trip to the airport with the savings! Just kidding: I am not advocating drinking & driving! Here is their website: http://www.sthelenashipping.com/

IP: 74.142.135.122

Hawkeye
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posted 01-19-2011 06:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi RC, We are in the same boat here in Tennessee, some wineries will ship here and some won't. For several years we have used Buffalo Shipping in Napa. http://buffalo.winecountrywebs.com/
We save everything until we are headed out of town for the airport then stop in for shipping. We keep count as we purchase bottles along the way and keep saying, only 4 more bottles before our full case, only 2 more bottles until our case is full. Well (explicative), we might as well start another case! The plight of a wineaux!

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 01-19-2011).]

IP: 68.169.189.111

RC456
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posted 01-19-2011 05:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Yesilovewine

I would like the list very much......posting to the Sonoma board will be fine.

Thanks,
RC

IP: 72.51.223.101

yesilovewine
Member
posted 01-18-2011 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
RC, I can give you a list of those types(property sales only) of places in Sonoma; we use several of them failry regularly. so you want it here, or shift to that board??

IP: 98.232.221.183

RC456
Member
posted 01-18-2011 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks, Hawkeye, for the info. This will be a new one for us.

Unfortunately, we are one of the states that pretty much don't allow wine shipments into the state. Only if the winery sells 'on property' only, can we get it shipped in by the winery. Knocks out a lot of wineries & clubs we would like to be members of. That leaves me with buying while there, and then shipping myself using St Helena Shipping Company.

But, I will check them out when out there later this year.

IP: 72.51.223.101

Hawkeye
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posted 01-18-2011 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
RC, Check out http://www.sojourncellars.com/ in Sonoma, they will have 4 new pinots released in January. Downtown Sonoma tasting room.

IP: 68.169.189.111

yesilovewine
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posted 01-10-2011 10:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Great! I hope you enjoy it. Since you like the process, you might get a kick out of doing a blending class/seminar. Ravenswood offers one and so do several Napa vintners. You create the wine and they bottle it for you to take home! How cool is that??

IP: 98.232.221.183

RC456
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posted 01-10-2011 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Yesilovewine

OK, sold! I just read about it online and I will trust your friends opinion. Looks very interesting.....especially when they use terms like "behind the scenes".....that is right up our alley. We are just as much into the "process" and the operation as we are wines. Love to learn more and more about our interest. Thanks a bunch!

IP: 99.18.70.50

yesilovewine
Member
posted 01-10-2011 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well, I'm going to not play fair and suggest something else all together.
If you want an interesting and somewhat non-conventional tour experience at a large production winery, then I would say try Benziger in Glen Ellen. I didn't think of it before, probably because I don't care for the Benziger wines that I have had, and I have to confess that I have not been there myself, but friends and trusted aquaintences rave about the tram tour and say that they have a much better understanding of the winemaking process after going. Their emphasis on biodynamic farming practices has really set an industry standard and they apparently work hard to explain this without getting too bogged down with the technical stuff. Given the folks I know who've done it, I doubt its too stuffy or sophisticated to enjoy. and it certainly gets good press in the wine magazines that I read.
Since you like Merlot, however, Blackstone may really suit you. Again, I haven't toured there, but we usually stop in and enjoy a tasting at the outdoor patio bar in the back.
What I find interesting about Blackstone is that they have an upper level or two of wines that are just heads above the stuff you find in the grocery and you would never know about it without going to the winery. They make a Syrah that is out of this world( sorry, we bought the last 3 bottles ;0 ) and it was a terrific surprise for us.
Not sure if I really answered you, but this is what I'm thinkin'.

IP: 98.232.221.183

RC456
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posted 01-10-2011 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Yesilovewine

I had thought of taking them to a big producer.....Mondavi seems to get good reviews on one website concerning their tour & facilities (not necessarily their wines). Throwing in Mondavi along with your list, which would you suggest? We will do just one high volume producer.

IP: 99.18.70.50

RC456
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posted 01-10-2011 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Uncorked

I have down the Del Dotto Cave & barrel tasting as well. While you are searching for Napa wineries, look down to the bottom of this topic and look at the suggestions Damombo had given me on 12/19.....Round Pond and the olive tasting has made our list.....something just a little different.

We have Williamson down as a probable as well.

Just rcvd email back from Windsor Oaks (Windsor area) and they are going to hold us an appt during our visit in Sept to do their 3 - 4 hour private tour and lunch. Check out their website to see if this appeals to you http://www.windsoroaksvineyards.com/tours.shtml

Concerning restaurants: We favor Brannan's in Calistoga.....never had a bad meal there and probably have eaten there 4 or 5 times. Guy Fieri's Johnny Garlics in Santa Rosa has the best bacon wrapped shrimp ever! Speaking of food, have you ever gone to the CIA/Greystone in St Helena? We always do one of their hour long cooking demos and then have dinner at the Wine Spectator Restaurant on the north end of the building. We are just as much foodies as we are wineaux!

IP: 99.18.70.50

yesilovewine
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posted 01-10-2011 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
I don't want to mislead you- Imagery and Arrowood are not literally across the street from Cohn, they are a little north and across the street....not far though; maybe 1/2 mile?
The Cohn party was in full swing on one occasion of our visits and I must say it is QUITE a big event.

IP: 98.232.221.183

Uncorked
Junior Member
posted 01-10-2011 07:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Uncorked   Click Here to Email Uncorked     Edit/Delete Message
Yesilovewine--

Thanks for the suggestions, esp about Imagery/Arrowwood---Imagery was one I looked at going to last time we were there, but ran out of time. I'm glad to know it is so close to BR Cohn----i was wondering if I'd be able to sit for HOURS---I like music, but to stay there for hours when so much wine is waiting to be tasted!?!??!

IP: 99.2.140.113

yesilovewine
Member
posted 01-10-2011 12:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Uncorked.
If you'll forgive my kibbutz, try Stephen and Walker Trust Winery when you are in Healdsburg. Their 2008 Dry Creek Valley Zin is wonderful, and I think that they are located pretty close to Williamson. The specific address escapes me, but I know its on Healdsburg Ave. We haven't been yet, but after that taste at Harvest Fair it is a MUST see for me.
Also, on your Sonoma Valley/BRCohn day, if you get the chance or the inclination, skip across the street to Imagery and/or Arrowood. The grounds of each are quite lovely and may make for a pleasant respite from the commotion at Cohn. If you go to Arrowood, see if they have any cabs from the Remick Ridge vineyard. I am reading some good things about that vineyard and would love your opinion of the wine.
Would love to suggest the following to consider for your Dry Creek, Alex Valley Day: Hawkes, Passalaqua, DutcherCrossing, Pedroncelli, Dry Creek Vineyard- all these have sizable tasting rooms, except Hawkes may be too small, and good red wines. Dry Creek Vineyard also makes a nice Fume Blanc.
Also, Jimtown Store is very close to Stryker and would be a great place to pick up picnic lunch supplies to enjoy after your Stryker tasting. They have a very nice picnic area.

RC,
if you need to show Big Brother that you know your wine country, be sure to include a BIG monster producer like Blackstone or Chateau St. Jean or Ledson- all with big impressive facilities that put out thousands of cases, and then a itty bitty gem like Loxton or Kokomo where the whole shebang is in one building. Its those tiny places with really good product that will just blow his mind. You'd have to go to Sonoma County for those, by the way,but you get my drift, I'm sure.

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 01-10-2011).]

IP: 98.232.221.183

Uncorked
Junior Member
posted 01-09-2011 07:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Uncorked   Click Here to Email Uncorked     Edit/Delete Message
RC456

Working on our itinerary as well---would love to get everyone's input...

Day 1---arrive and transported to Hotel Healdsburg---check in---heading to Seghesio for a group 'make your own pizza' dinner---we'll have a private wine tasting, then head to the grove (?) to chose from an assortment of fresh ingredients to build our own pizza, which the chef will place in a wood fired oven---more wine with the pizza and coffee & biscotti to finish.

Day 2---main portion of the day will be at BR Cohn for their 25th anniversary Music festival---not sure of the acts for that day as yet---was told that would be announced this spring

Day 3---heading to Napa---still researching wineries, but a few of our group really wants to do the Del Dotto cave and barrel tasting experience, so we have a reservation that afternoon

Day 4---spa morning for the ladies, then plan to visit Williamson and some other nearby wineries---we may rent bikes----I need to see distances from Healdsburg and what is feasible

Day 5---we'll have a driver to take us to wineries in Dry Creek/Alexander Valley---I'm looking at Wilson and Stryker-Sonoma among others---we have a large group, so some may not work out. Those I really want to visit, my hubby and I will visit on Day 6--

Still a rough work in progress---we'll be heading to San Francisco on Friday and will either return to Nashville late Sat or sometime Sunday.

Haven't really worked out restaurants, but Damambo mentioned some that sounded wonderful---and I'd really like to try those shakes that Mrs. Hawkeye likes at the place in Healdsburg!

IP: 99.2.140.113

RC456
Member
posted 01-09-2011 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Uncorked,

Well, being just 4 of us, we won't drink it all before you get there! We haven't fully decided when we will leave Napa, but either the 23rd or 24th.

We can't wait either. My wife & I have gone to Napa every other year since 2001. Last there in Dec 09 on our 25th anniversary! Great visit even though cold and rainy the whole time. But who can complain when you are in Napa....no matter what the weather!

My brother & wife are finally going with us. This will be their first time out. Brother says he wanted me to be good and familiar with the region before he went with us so it would feel like he had his own personal tour guide!

Btw, just poured 2008 MacMurray Pinot Noir Central Coast.....terrific. Little cranberry with spice....love it!

Back to the September trip......I am doing a lot of prework putting together excursions and winery visits. We plan to meet with my brother in February to go over a rough draft and to get their input as to what they would like to do. The info from this board has been really helpful in looking 'out of our norm' on planning this trip. I really want it to be great since big brother is going.

Let me (and the rest of the gang) know your intinerary....I would like to compare. I will post ours for review & comments after the Feb meeting.

Thanks,

RC

IP: 99.18.70.50

Uncorked
Junior Member
posted 01-08-2011 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Uncorked   Click Here to Email Uncorked     Edit/Delete Message
RC456,

We're going 9/24-29. I cannot wait--it seems so far away. We have a really good group going. We all went together 2 years ago and had a great time. To get ready for that, we started a wine club, which is still going strong. We get together every month to try different wines and educate ourselves

IP: 99.2.140.113

RC456
Member
posted 01-08-2011 07:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Uncorked,

17th - 22nd. Not sure if we will be in Napa/Sonoma the whole time yet. I have a reservation in St Helena right now. There now will be 4 of us.....plan to nail down more details in February. What's your dates for Healdsburg?

I like Cakebread and have them on the re-visit schedule. Will have to try Cliff Lede. Thanks for the tip. Silverado Trail wineries are definitely on for this trip.

IP: 99.18.70.50

Uncorked
Junior Member
posted 01-07-2011 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Uncorked   Click Here to Email Uncorked     Edit/Delete Message
RC456--

When in Sept are you going? where are you staying? there is a group of 14 going to Healdsburg in late Sept. I can hardly wait.

By the way, Cliff Lede makes an amazing Sauvignon Blanc---they are off the Silverado Trail....also like Cakebread Sau Blanc, although I'm mainly into reds---mainly Zins.....

IP: 99.2.140.113

yesilovewine
Member
posted 12-20-2010 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
RC,
I didn't note if you said WHEN in Sept. you will be going, but if you can, do try to coordinate so that you can attend the Harvest Fair Gala in Santa Rosa the last weekend of the month. It celebrates the announcement of the winners for the Harvest Fair competition and is supposedly quite a party. We can't ever make the gala, but have attended Harvest Fair ( always the first full weekend of October) for about 5 years now and I always tell folks to go if they can. There isn't a better chance to taste the wines of Sonoma County in a really convenient manner, in my opinion. The Gala is strictly for the wine and my understanding is that it is just as great a chance to taste all the wines as the fair, without the crowds. - ALWAYS a plus, don't you think??

IP: 98.232.221.183

RC456
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posted 12-20-2010 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
yesilovewine,

I will get back with you as we get closer. September is too far away.....9 months and I am already planing! Can you tell that I am anxious to get back out there?

Appreciate the report on Rubicon....I think it will be on the Sept trip.

Thanks,
RC

IP: 12.189.99.194

RC456
Member
posted 12-20-2010 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye,

Thanks for all of the information. I have added them to my file for the Sept Trip. Never too much info......we only go every other year, so, I like to be prepared and have a game plan. Plus, now as it turns out, my wife and I will have added pressure of having my brother & his wife along with us. They think that since we have been 4 or 5 times that we are pros when it comes to knowing all of the 'best' places.

I had picked up that you were in the Chattanooga area. Just 2 hours north from me. I'm up that way on occasions and will let you know.

Again, thanks for the info and enjoyed your recap of your last visit. Look forward to hearing about your March visit.

Thanks,
RC

IP: 12.189.99.194

yesilovewine
Member
posted 12-20-2010 08:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well, I am more of a Sonoma visitor than Napa so when you get to the planning stage for that area please feel free to ask questions. I may be able to help.
REgarding this post, though I haven't been, "Left Brain" has been to Rubicon with a work related tour and was very impressed by the experience. He was particularly taken by the pouring of $100+ wines for their rather large group tasting and the way that the tasting was guided with an emphasis on the nuances of each wine.
The history of the facility is itself quite
interesting and my understanding is that they have moved most, if not all, of the movie related stuff to the new facility in Sonoma County ( near Geyserville) which leaves the concentration on wine to Rubicon.
At my last check it was $50 just to get on the property so I don't think it gets really crowded like some of the other destination venues.

IP: 98.232.221.183

Hawkeye
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posted 12-20-2010 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi RC,

Welcome to our august group. I guarantee you that you will get a lot of opinions on here. Just remember, wine is in the taste of the beholder and may not necessarily match your taste.

If you are into Merlot, two I would suggest in the Napa area are Shafer who is a perennial Merlot favorite (by appointment). and Duckhorn Vineyards who are known for their Merlot and have a very nice tasting room. You will find others in Napa and Sonoma depending on your taste. If you like the big bodied Merlot's, you will have a harder time than if you like the lighter bodied ones.

Now for Pinot's. We have just gotten into Pinot. Over in the south Napa area you might try Saintsbury. Another place I would suggest that you taste is Girard in Yourntville. They do have a Pinot plus lots of other varieties. If you like experiences, have the private wine and food pairing tasting and ask for Eric to lead you through their wines.

While in Yourntville, check out Jessup for some good wines.

Now for Sonoma for Pinot. I would suggest the Healdsburg area. I have been planning a March trip and doing some research. I have run across some Pino wineries. Check the Sonoma map at this address
http://www.sonoma.com/visitorsinfo/Sonoma_County_Winery_Map.pdf
(there is also a very good Napa map at http://napavalley.com/visitorsinfo/Napa_Valley_Winery_Map.pdf) I do most of my research on WineCountry.com for our trips.

Now, look at the Sonoma map, just south of Healdsburg you will see a group of wineries starting with Matrix and going north through Mill Creek. When I was researching, a lot of these wineries have Pinot but also expect to find a lot of Zinfandel . . . you might even turn into a Zin lover.

If you will go on north on Dry Creek Road, you will see a listing for Family Wineries Dry Creek Tasting. In the same parking area you will see Papapietro Perry tasting room which is full of Pinot. I even found one there that I liked. :-)

I would be remiss if I did not mention visiting the Williamson tasting room in downtown Healdsburg. They do a wine and food pairing and it is FREE. You don't find much FREE in wine country. It is a fun place to visit

And, if you should find that you like Zin's, try Wilson, Mauritson, Mazzacco, etc., etc. That Dry Creek Road area is renowned for their Zin. Try some of the Zins from Rockpile and the Maple Vineyards.

Well, I guess I have unloaded a lot on you. Just remember, this information may be worth exactly what you paid for it.

We are just up the road from you in the Chattanooga area. If you are ever in the area, give us a holler. Have a great trip!

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 12-20-2010).]

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 12-20-2010).]

IP: 68.169.189.111

RC456
Member
posted 12-19-2010 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
yesilovewine,

Thanks for the response and suggestions.

On our last trip out, we did go over to Sonoma for a day, but didn't really explore the wineries too much. Only stopped in @ KJ and Korbel on our trip out to Guerneville, Jenner, & Bodega Bay. I had signed us up for a Platypus Tour just to get us going w Sonoma, but being in December and raining the whole time we were there, cancelled because I didn't think we would get all out of the tour that we could due to the rain. Had a great meal at the Swiss Hotel w a bottle of MacMurray Pinot that night before we headed back to Napa, though!

Yes, I agree that Sonoma wines fit our preferences better and will spend more time there this trip. I will take your advice and research on the 2 websites.

Again, I do appreciate your response and advice. We will definitely explore Sonoma more on this trip.

Thanks,
RC

IP: 99.18.70.50

yesilovewine
Member
posted 12-19-2010 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hi RC. Just noting that you like pinots, sauv blanc and merlot. Have you considered visiting Sonoma county? Especially the Carneros and Green Valley areas? They are prime producers of these very varietals.
The Alexander Valley also gives us some wonderful Sauv. Blanc and Merlots. If you are looking for something different, it's worth your consideration.
You will also find that many wineries in Sonoma offer the type of winery experience you are looking for. In particular, you might really like to try one of the farm to table programs.
You should take a gander at the Sonoma.com website which is part of Wine Country's group and see what's available over there. Then check Wineroad.com for specifics.

IP: 98.232.221.183

RC456
Member
posted 12-19-2010 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
damombo,

Thanks for the welcome!

I appreciate your response and suggestions. It's funny that you would mention the olive oil tasting & tour....last time out, my wife said that she wanted to do just that. So, that visit will certainly be on the list of to do's in September!

We will put both Chase Family & Pride Mountain on the list as well. Sounds just like what we are looking for.

We have visited Sterling and enjoyed. Have some great photos from atop the veranda.

After doing more research this afternoon, other places that are under consideration are: Cakebread Cellars, Peju, Rubicon, Schramsberg, Del Dotto (Silverado Trail), Clos du Val, Silverado Vineyards, and Frog's Leap. Any opinions on these?

Wineries that we have visited/toured: Chateau Montelena, Grgich Hills, Sterling, Beringer, Castello di Amorosa, V Sattui, Domaine Carneros, Rutherford Hill, Hess, plus Kendall-Jackson (had great visit there w Jackson the cat), and Korbel. These are the ones that I can remember right off hand. I only list these so that other people who may choose to respond will know of the places that we have tried. As you can see, most of these are the better known or tourist type places that catches your eye as your driving.

Also, it might be good to know what types of wines we favor: Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, & Merlot.

Again, thanks for the suggestions! I did read your November Trip Reports today and found them very interesting and made notes from them as well.

Thanks,
RC

IP: 99.18.70.50

damombo
Member
posted 12-19-2010 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Welcome RC!

Y'all might enjoy the tour and olive oil tasting at Round Pond. They start outside among the olive trees and then on to the crush pad to talk about the pressing of the olives, then inside to taste the olive oils. Another great place (which we just visited thanks to Hawkeye's suggestions) was Chase Family Cellars. Jeff is quite entertaining and he wanders through the vines with you and has interesting stories to tell. Since you make an appointment, it's usually just you two (or however many are in your party) and Jeff.

Have you been to Sterling? There is a tram ride to the winery buildings (fun in itself!) and then you do a self-guided tour which ends out on a large patio with some terrific views.

On Spring Mountain, Pride Mountain has a great tour of their facility and they encourage picnics. The day we visited was actually rainy, so I stepped in and told them that we would be eating our picnic in the car before our appointment. They said come on in, and set us up in their private tasting area, gave us cloth napkins, silverware and plates, and poured us a glass of chardonnay to enjoy with our indoor picnic! Pretty fabulous!

I'll try to come up with more, and I'm sure the others will have suggestions soon...

IP: 96.8.187.200

RC456
Member
posted 12-19-2010 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Hello everyone!

Have been reading your post for several years now, and finally signed up. I enjoy reading your insights and opinions, making notes for our next visit.

I would like to take advantage of your vast knowledge while planning our next trip to Napa/Sonoma. My wife & I have been visiting Napa area every other year since 2001. While have enjoyed every trip, we have a tendency to stick with the usual places. Yes, we like to do the tastings and buy wines, but really are drawn more to the whole package of a winery: detailed tours, the grounds, ability to walk the grounds/vineyards/caves, and really take in the beauty & workings of the place.

The best winery visit we ever had was to Chateau Montelena. We had signed up for the tour and when we got there, were told that we were the only ones. What was supposed to be a 30 to 45 minute tour wound up being 2+ hours topped off by a tasting in their main room. We went all over the place - with the hostess and without. Truly a great experience and one that got us "hooked". We really got a history lesson from the Host. It was our very first visit to Napa and our very first winery tour. Turned out to be the best one we have ever experienced.

We had a similar tour experience at Grgich Hills one afternoon a couple of years ago, but most have been more herding you through just to get you into the tasting room to make a purchase.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not wanting to just be able to roam wherever we want, but would like more detailed and intimate touring experiences of the entire operation - buildings, grounds, and vineyards.

We visit the CIA every visit and attend the cooking demos which is sort of what we are looking for in a winery visit.....more detail and insight as to what goes on there.

Any suggestions? Or, am I looking for too much?

IP: 99.18.70.50

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