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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  First timers to Wine Country (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   First timers to Wine Country
damombo
Member
posted 03-31-2011 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Lcv- as you no doubt know, everyone's taste in wine is different. While we may all be wild about one winery, the next may thrill one's palate and make the other wonder why...
That being said, we enjoy Sterling wine, but we do go to the Reserve wine side - since we are members there, it's free to visit and taste. We visited Kuleto last November and thoroughly enjoyed the drive there, the tour and views, but the wines were not at all in our palate range (if that is even a phrase).
So go and enjoy the experience of being in wine country. Taste at the places you've decided to try and take some notes - like "wowza, gotta come back here next time" or "yeah, not so much" - and then when you plan your next trip, you will know which ones to revisit and which ones to pass by, on your way to another new and exciting find (oh there will be another trip, and another.... and - well, you get the picture)

IP: 98.198.194.134

Poohh66
Member
posted 03-31-2011 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Poohh66     Edit/Delete Message
A gal I used to know recommended that book to me recently, I am going to go get it

War Eagle !!!!!!!!!!!

IP: 173.168.214.16

yesilovewine
Member
posted 03-31-2011 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Terrific! Look forward to hearing about your plans when the time comes. I enjoyed your report on TA previously.
LCV- Highly recommend that you read "Judgement of Paris" on your way out....its an interesting story that the "Bottle Shock" movie is based upon.

IP: 98.232.221.183

carjeff
Member
posted 03-31-2011 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carjeff   Click Here to Email carjeff     Edit/Delete Message
We are going back in Nov. We will be running a 1/2 marathon in Calistoga. Good excuse for a trip to wine country! 2 nights in Calistoga, and 1 night at the Lodge of Sonoma.

lcv - as Hawkeye said, you should check out "Bottle Shock". Since you will be staying in Calistoga, I would also highly recommend Chateau Montelena. A beautiful winery, great wines, and the history of the Paris Tasting. The Bottle Shock Tour sounds interesting.

It sounds like a good plan to see a little of everything. And don't worry, if you can't make it to every winery on your list, you'll just have to make a return trip!

IP: 155.178.5.10

yesilovewine
Member
posted 03-31-2011 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hi carjeff.
This is great overall advice.
When is your next trip?

IP: 98.232.221.183

lcv915
Junior Member
posted 03-31-2011 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lcv915   Click Here to Email lcv915     Edit/Delete Message
Carjeff - great advice. Thanks! My hope was that we'd see a little of everything. Although I suspect I'll prefer the smaller wineries, my bottom line was that I wanted to see a variety. Caves, cellars,big shiny operations with aerial trams, small family operations with cozy tasting rooms, breathtaking views and some with just a homespun feel. And wine. Lots of wine. :-)

Thanks!

IP: 199.136.69.155

carjeff
Member
posted 03-31-2011 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carjeff   Click Here to Email carjeff     Edit/Delete Message
lcv - I don't think yo uare driving everyone nuts. This forum is for asking questions and giving suggestions.
A good way to narrow down your winery list is to figure out what you are looking for a a winery. Is it
1) the wines
2) the size of the winery - large, or small (family owned)
2) can you get the wine at home
3) Views, gardens, etc
4) Tasting vs tour - do you want to be educated in the wine making process, or just taste the wine. I would suggest doing at least 1 educational tour
Read each wineries website, and also these sources:
yelp
tripadvisor
napawineproject.com
the book "a moveable thirst"
All the above should help you get a feel for each winery.
Make a tentative list. Don't try to over plan. Schedule a few per day that are "must-see", then several possiblities. At least have a plan of your driving route, so you are not going back and forth and wasting time.

As far as your current winery list, I have only been to Rubicon and Raymond. Both very large ,commercial wineries. We had a personal tour by their winemaker (who we met at a local wine tasting here in NJ). He is no longer there, so I probably wouldn't go back. We are more into the smaller wineries.

IP: 155.178.5.10

lcv915
Junior Member
posted 03-31-2011 08:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lcv915   Click Here to Email lcv915     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye - Are you kidding?! Did I say something to offend? I am totally eating up all your suggestions and appreciate your time and advice! Sorry if that's not coming through!

The only thing I had set in stone on our itinerary (and I thought I said this initially but, maybe I didn't?) were the ones Joe wanted: Sterling, Kuleto, and Rubicon. So, I was building on those, based on all your suggestions. If you think Yountville can be worked in, I would do that. Maybe we can combine Rubicon with Kuleto and do Yountville on the last day.

I haven't made up my mind about much. You should see the pile of notes I'm taking and all the changed I keep making (even since my last post). If Whitehall and Raymond aren't ones people here suggest, we could fit Chase Family in on Day four...

And, my question is totally sincere - do you think Chase Family Cellars and Rt 29 is a better route back to SF? I don't know anything about Stags Leap (but thought I'd read something positive about it in here).

Believe me, all the advice I'm getting is totally appreciated! Sorry if I'm driving you nuts.

[This message has been edited by lcv915 (edited 03-31-2011).]

IP: 199.136.69.155

Hawkeye
Member
posted 03-31-2011 07:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
It seems to me you already had your mind made up. I wish you would have indicated that and I would not have spent the time I did on suggestions.

IP: 68.169.189.111

lcv915
Junior Member
posted 03-31-2011 06:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lcv915   Click Here to Email lcv915     Edit/Delete Message
Wow. Day 3 (our transition day from Sonoma to Napa) is looking too full, now! Since Sterling, Rubicon, and Kuleto are the only ones hubby requested for the entire trip, those need to stay. But, how do you all suggest I pare these days down to a more manageable itinerary? We're definitely staying 2 nights in Calistoga (Stevenson Manor).

Day 3:
Stryker
Hawkes
Hannah
Alexander Valley
Sterling
Barlow
Zahtila
Bennet Lane

Day 4:
HALL Rutherford
Rubicon Estate
Sequoia Grove
Whitehall
Raymond

Day 5:
Kuleto
Stags Leap
Regusci

IP: 199.136.69.155

lcv915
Junior Member
posted 03-31-2011 05:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lcv915   Click Here to Email lcv915     Edit/Delete Message
Is it awful to admit I've never even heard of the movie, Bottle Shock? I guess we'll have to put that on our Netflix list!

Speaking of lists, I'll definitely add Alexander Valley (which yesilovewine also recommended) and Hannah to our transition day from Sonoma to Napa. We'll also try to fit Zahtila in! We planned on Sterling Vineyards just for the change of pace; tram ride.

The following day (Day 4, now that we've extended our trip a day!) we were planning on HALL Rutherford, Rubicon Estate, and Sequoia Grove...with the possible additions of Whitehall and Raymond. Now that you've mentioned all those wineries in Yountville, you've got me wishing we cound extend yet another day! Joe really wants to go to Rubicon estate, though (I added the others), so Yountville looks like it may have to wait for our anniversary trip! :-)

Day 5, after we check out of the hotel, we were thinking we'd go to Kuleto Estate then drive down the Silverado Trail to Stags Leap (and possibly Regusci). Do you think going down Rt 29 and hitting Chase Family Cellars is a better idea? I've no clue...and am thrilled I've found a forum that can help guide us!

[This message has been edited by lcv915 (edited 03-31-2011).]

IP: 199.136.69.155

Hawkeye
Member
posted 03-31-2011 05:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Sorry, this fell through the cracks. There are definitely more places to stay in Calistoga than in St. Helena. I think you wrote on the Sonoma side that you were going to stay at the Stevenson Manor Best Western, which is our personal choice.

As you come over from Healdsburg, your Stryker (not one of my favorites) Hawkes are two of the many choices you have. I would definitely add Hannah for the views and Alexander Valley Vineyards have some pretty decent wines.

A couple miles north of Calistoga on Hwy 128 is Bennett Lane Winery. In my opinion, a must stop. They have a Cab blend called Maximus that is excellent and at a good price point.

Sterling has a nice tram ride and a decent self guided winery tour, but the wines just do nothing for me.

If you are a fan of the movie "Bottle Shock" you might want to make an appointment and take the Bottle Shock tour at Chateau Montelena. I am not sure when it is offered. They charge $40.00 but that includes an autographed DVD of the movie autographed by the real Bo Barrett and a split of their Chard. I think it is tacky, but they charge an additional $10.00 to taste their reds.

One you might add on this day if you have time is Zahtila (by appt). They have a nice selection of varietals.

An alternative for day 3 - Spend the day in Yountville. Tasting room suggestions: Girard, Jessup, Hill Family, Hope & Grace, Chiarello, and several others. There are many restaurants to choose from for lunch.

On your way back to SF, make an appointment and stop at Chase Family Cellars just on the south edge of St. Helena. Jeff Blaum gives an interesting tour plus you taste some amazing Zins. Then, if you have extra time, just stop at one of the many wineries along Hwy 29.

Hope this helps. Have a great wedding and honeymoon. Cheers.

IP: 68.169.189.111

lcv915
Junior Member
posted 03-30-2011 08:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lcv915   Click Here to Email lcv915     Edit/Delete Message
My (new) husband and I are planning a (honeymoon) trip to Wine Country and could use your advice.

Day 1 will be in Sonoma

Day 2
Stryker
Hawkes
Sterling Vineyards
Barlow

Any other suggestions for red wine lovers there? If you were taking this trip would you stay in Calistoga that night or continue down to St. Helena?

Day 3
HALL Rutherford
Sequoia Grove
Rubicon Estate

Day 4
Kuleto Estate before we drive back to SF

Any other suggestions?

[This message has been edited by lcv915 (edited 03-30-2011).]

IP: 199.136.69.155


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