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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  How high are you willing to go?

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Author Topic:   How high are you willing to go?
posted 03-24-2011 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
OK.....NOW do y'all see why we are Sonoma folk?
There are few tasting fees of $20 anywhere in Sonoma county( at least that we have encountered), and in our experience it is RARE that the fee is not waived with purchase. Come to think of it, it's the big places that are very showy that didn't; More "Napa-esque" venues like Ledson.
Usually its $5 or $10 bucks for tastings and it is not unusual to pay for a "flight" of say 5 tastes and end up being offered several more as the server gets to know your likes!!

I'm sure that Napa's high fees probably stem from the desire to curb the tendencies for folks looking for a free drinking spree, but as you say Hawkeye, if someone is buying why in the world make them pay to taste AND purchase..it seems that the second should negate the first. That is like having to pay to test drive a car!

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 03-24-2011).]


posted 03-23-2011 07:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Richard,

Welcome to our little corner of the world.

We purchased one tasting fee (we share) at Del Dotto which I think they are showing at $30.00 (I don't remember paying that much) and as we were completing our tasting, our host was going to lead a small wine cave tour and asked us to join. Didn't cost us a penny. We did purchase a bottle of their amazing Merlot. I believe they are showing that cave tour now at $50.00.

I guess I would not mind paying $25 or $30 for a tasting if they would waive it if you purchase. If you are out to just taste (and not purchase) I guess you should have to pay a higher fee. However, don't gouge us both ways. Cheers!


posted 03-23-2011 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichardSE     Edit/Delete Message
I agree that price for tastings seems to be going up (oh for the days when they were all free).

I think the highest we've paid for a tasting was also $40 for Del Dotto but before our last trip to Napa, I was willing to pay $45 for Shafer but I waited too long to schedule it.

I've paid $175 for Halo, but I find it hard to justify spending that much for a bottle of wine outside of a restaurant or auction.


posted 03-13-2011 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
I will admit that our limit has ooched upwards over the years - as experience has grown and our palates have developed. We will occasionally shell out around $100 for a special bottle kept for a special occasion... I no longer wince at $70 for an excellent cab, but I do prefer to find a bit lower price
As far as tasting fees go, we have just gotten into the habit of asking if the fee is applied to purchase. If not, we usually split or just don't go there. If it is, we will always find at least one bottle to purchase.
The highest we've encountered was at Shafer. $45/person for a seated tasting (which is quite wonderful) but it was waived because we are on their mailing list. I forgot about Kuleto - it was $35/person and wasn't applied to purchase. The tour and views were magnificent. The wines not so much. I did feel just fine about the expense because I really enjoyed being on that amazing property - but we weren't able to find a wine to even consider purchasing (that I recall, but you know how iffy memory can be!!)
It is just a guess, but I think we probably average around $40/bottle.

[This message has been edited by damombo (edited 03-13-2011).]


posted 03-13-2011 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bigsemi   Click Here to Email bigsemi     Edit/Delete Message
$40 pp at Del Dotto for a tasting and the cave tour was very much worth it for me. Normally nothing over $10 unless there is food or interesting cave tour included.

As far as buying wine, the most I've spent in Napa is $91 for the 2001 Reserve Merlot at Ruthford Hill. An other worldly Merlot. Normally the cut off is about $50 for a nice bottle. Average is about $30-35.


posted 03-13-2011 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Tasting fees in Napa are skyrocketing. I was told by one winery that their tasting fee was $50.00 pp refunded with a purchase of 6 bottles (12 bottles for the 2 tastings). I was told by another winery that their fee was $100.00 per person, but credited toward the purchase of 6 bottles of wine. It was my understanding that this was tasting only and did not include any food pairing. A little out of my price range. I even hesitate and refuse at most wineries paying a $25.00 fee. I will have to know their wines and like them a lot. I can sometimes justify a fee of $25.00 by sharing which then makes it a $12.50 per person tasting. How is that for reasoning.

What is your ceiling? How high are you willing to go?

On this last trip, I purchased a bottle of 2002 Hartwell Stags Leap Cab at $140.00. I did this for the special occasion of our 54th anniversary in August. Needless to say, we liked the wine. Normally, my hesitation factor is around $70.00, but will go a little higher if it is a special wine.

What is your ceiling? How high will you go?

This should be fun . . . join in.


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