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

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Author Topic:   Napa Trip
carjeff
Member
posted 03-05-2012 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carjeff   Click Here to Email carjeff     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Scott,

Good luck in the Silverado Trail 1/2 Marathon. My wife and I made plans to run it last Nov, but they ended up cancelled the event a few months beforehand - that just left us more time for wine!

Your itinerary looks good. Many that we had on our list for that trip (but ended up re-arranging and saving Calistoga for next time).

IP: 155.178.4.10

ssala
Member
posted 03-05-2012 07:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
To recap...My wife and I are running in the Silverado Trail Half Marathon on Sunday, April 22nd. We are planning to do a little tasting on that Saturday and a little on Sunday afternoon. So (with one possible exception) I was looking for wineries close to Calistoga. Making the cut so far...
Chateau Montelena- I don't know how I missed the movie, Bottle Shock, but finally rented it. Fine cast, script has some weak points.
Vincent Arroyo
Madrigal- We've been here before.
Rombauer
Zahtila
Benessere- We've been here as well.
Baldacci- We may pop down here as well. Loved our tasting and purchases the last time.
We will be traveling over to Sonoma on Monday and Tuesday so I will post that itinerary on the appropriate board. Of course, any comments will be most appreciated. Thanks, Scott

IP: 75.70.79.148

ssala
Member
posted 02-23-2012 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks. We visited Sawyer on our last trip and had a great time chatting and took home a couple of bottles.

IP: 174.51.146.45

vsattuiwinery
Junior Member
posted 02-22-2012 11:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vsattuiwinery   Click Here to Email vsattuiwinery     Edit/Delete Message
Sawyer is GREAT! I agree they make a Cab lovers Merlot. They also have a fabulous Bordeaux blend, "Bradford Meritage." Candace and Natalie are great hosts!

Most of the places you listed require an appt. So be sure to call in advance and let them know you are coming!

Have a wonderful time in the Napa Valley!

IP: 75.147.128.109

ssala
Member
posted 02-20-2012 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
And another very belated thank you, worthy folks, as I haven't checked in until now as we are planning another trip in April.

IP: 67.176.104.13

Hawkeye
Member
posted 03-23-2011 03:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
ssala, Well now Pilgrim, it sounds like you are hooked. We make two trips each year, March and October, and wish I could throw in a couple more between. I like 5 days in wine country, 2 in Sonoma/Dry Creek areas and 3 in the Napa Valley. Being a Cab person, I just don't find the Cabs of Sonoma, in general, meet my criteria. We go to Dry Creek for the Zins. Probably one day over there would be plenty. We normally stay in the Calistoga the whole time as it is a good jumping off point. You can go south on Hwy 29, south on the Silverado Trail, west over to the Sonoma/Glen Ellen area, and north to the Dry Creek area which also travels through the Alexander Valley.

Next time, try ferreting out some of the smaller guys, that is where the fun is. Cheers!

IP: 68.169.189.111

yesilovewine
Member
posted 03-22-2011 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
just say the word and I'll do what i can...

IP: 98.232.221.183

ssala
Member
posted 03-22-2011 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
I will definitely hit you up for advice when we do!

IP: 67.176.82.17

yesilovewine
Member
posted 03-22-2011 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Sounds like a great trip! You will need an additional 3 days for Sonoma, next time....just to get your feet wet!

IP: 98.232.221.183

ssala
Member
posted 03-22-2011 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
And dinner at Bistro Jeanty was the best!

IP: 67.176.82.17

ssala
Member
posted 03-22-2011 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for all of the fine advice. We did the tour and tasting at Palmaz ($60 per person) which was a bit steep but worth every penny. The Palmaz daughter, Florencia, spent several hours with us, as we were fascinated by the gravity-fed system. The wines were marvelous. The next day we visited Madrigal, Benesserre, and Sawyer and bought wines from each. We decided two days is just not enough and need to make it a standard 3 day, 2 night trip. Sonoma is at the top of our list for our next visit.

IP: 67.176.82.17

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-28-2011 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
ssala, sounds like a good plan to me. You might even have time to "walk in" a few others. There is a map on NapaValley.com that shows many of the wineries in the Valley. Also, if you pick up a FREE copy of Wine Country (I think that is it) while there, the map is printed in an enlarged form. These maps show the location of the wineries and if the name has a magenta triangle in front of the name, it is by appointment. A black dot indicates they are open to the public.

Our son has run the NV marathon a couple times, the last a year ago when he qualified to run the Boston Marathon which he has run maybe 5 times. It sure would be a pretty run, but that is far beyond my capabilities. I will just settle for bending my elbo . . . it needs a lot of strengthening.

Sounds like you are staying in Yountville, maybe at the newly renovated Hotel Yountville (formerly the Yountville Inn).

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 02-28-2011).]

IP: 68.169.189.111

ssala
Member
posted 02-28-2011 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks, Hawkeye!
We will be there for two days. As we are coming from San Francisco I was thinking that we would hit Palmaz, Vintner' Collective, and Silenius and possibly Domaine Chandon which is walking distance from our hotel. On Sunday we would zip to Madrigal, and work our way back south to Benessere and Sawyer before catching an evening flight out of San Francisco.
We are almost exclusively red wine drinkers and these were recommended by a local wine buyer/blogger/sommelier.

IP: 67.176.82.17

ssala
Member
posted 02-28-2011 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
You go! And here's a story...My wife and I ran the Napa Valley marathon a number of years ago. The next day we limped over to the Mondavi winery but were told that we would have to go on a 45 minute tour before we could go to the tasting room. We wouldn't have made it, but they were kind enough to send us up to one of their smaller wineries (La Famiglia) where we could walk right into the tasting room. A lovely Sangiovese and we were hooked!

IP: 67.176.82.17

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-28-2011 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi ssala,

Welcome to the Boards. Grab hold of the reins and hang on. There are a lot of knowledgeable people here. Just remember, wine is a personal thing, and tastes do vary by person.

We have been to Sawyer. They are known for their amazing Merlot. Most Merlot is a little too light bodied for me, but this one is more of a Cab drinkers Merlot. Actually, they have a pretty good Cab also. The others I have not visited. As Damombo suggested, check to make sure if you need an appointment.

One other comment, you itinerary will involve a lot of driving. Unless there is some reason that you want to visit these wineries, I would suggest that you look for wineries in a cluster so you don't have to drive as much . . . especially after sipping, sipping, and sipping all day.

Also, have you checked the webpages to see if your selected wineries have the kind of wine you like. I noticed that one did not make a Cab, and if you are a Cab drinker, that is not good.

Have a great trip. My wife and I will be there next week.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 02-28-2011).]

IP: 68.169.189.111

yesilovewine
Member
posted 02-28-2011 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
I LOVE your term "avid learners"! May I steal it? What a perfect description of our own 'style'.

IP: 98.232.221.183

ssala
Member
posted 02-28-2011 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks. Great story. I do have an older copy of the Preiser Key to Napa Valley which does list whether or not appointments are necessary. I was a tad reluctant to make appointments at first as we are not big buyers, super-sensitive tasters, or filled with encyclopedic oenological knowledge. We are avid learners, however, and the folks who staff tasting rooms seem to appreciate that.

IP: 67.176.82.17

damombo
Member
posted 02-28-2011 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi ssala - welcome to the boards!

The only one that we have visited is Madrigal, and I highly recommend them.
We visited several years ago before they had built the tasting room and were seated at the dining room table with Chris Madrigal - pretty fabulous!
Last September, we dropped by without an appointment, only because we found ourselves needing to kill some time before a scheduled tour at the Castle, and I didn't realize that you were supposed to make an appointment. I thought that with the new tasting room, one could just come on by... There was a rather substantial group there - a limo with with maybe 6 couples. The 4 of us walked in, and instead of turning us away, the guy behind the bar got on the phone and the WINEMAKER himself came over to walk us around and do an impromptu tour. Then he poured his wines for us to taste and discussed each one with us. Again, pretty fabulous!! We not only enjoy the tour/tasting experience, we love the wines, too.

About appointments - we have learned that many of the smaller wineries do ask that you make an appointment. There is some legality that I don't quite understand (the county requires them to make appointments) but sometimes they just add you to that appointment book when you walk in However, since Madrigal has a website http://www.madrigalvineyards.com/ where their phone number is listed, perhaps you should call and find out about appointments.

IP: 98.198.194.134

ssala
Member
posted 02-28-2011 07:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
Hey Fine Folks,
My wife and I will be in San Francisco for an upcoming science education conference and will be spending the weekend in Napa (our 4th trip). We were thinking of this line-up and any advice would be most welcome.
Sawyer
Benessere
Madrigal
Palmaz
Silenus Tasting Room
Vintners Collective

IP: 67.176.82.17

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