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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  April 17 - Day 1

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Author Topic:   April 17 - Day 1
posted 04-27-2011 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hey Damombo.
Looks like you had a great start. Look forward to your telling of the Sonoma adventure.


posted 04-24-2011 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
wow thanks Hawkeye! That will certainly keep me busy researching and planning - and it looks like there might be some begging involved... some of those places are pretty much by invitation only.


posted 04-24-2011 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,
I did a google search for wineries where Thomas Brown is mentioned as winemaker. here is the list:
Outpost Winery
Nicholson Ranch
Diamond Terrace
Two Hands
Black Sears
Rivers Marie - His own Label
Jones Family
Harris Estate
Looks like you need to make a trip and taste nothing but Thomas Brown made wines. Cheers


posted 04-23-2011 03:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,
This Board has been very boring since you left . . . maybe it will liven up a little now.

You had a new experience at Chase, meeting Katie, the owner. Was she as knowledgeable as Jeff? Jeff is one of my favorite wine people.

So, you hit Zahtila and Barlow. I take it you liked Barlow best because it sounded like you shipped more of theri wine home. You purchased the Zahtila Barlow Vineyard Cab which comes from the Barlow vineyards. We also purchased that one.

Sounds like day one was a success story.


posted 04-22-2011 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi all. Just basking in the glow of our trip... looking at my email and slowly going into shock at the number of shipment notices I’m receiving

We got to Napa last Saturday evening just in time to check in and get over to Fish Story for our dinner reservations. The place was jumping (as all of downtown seemed to be) but we were seated right on time. The meal was nice, but the service was pretty awful. It took over two hours for our meal to be completed, and it would have taken longer, but we decided against dessert. She had dropped the dessert menu off, but it took her 20 minutes to return for our order, so we decided against prolonging the evening. I’m always happy and willing to try out a new spot, but I’m not sure we will return. Anyway, back to the hotel and bed.

Sunday dawned with a promise of sunshine, and it didn’t disappoint. We had a quick breakfast at the Denny’s next to the Best Western, and headed out for our first appointment. We got to Cakebread at 10:00, they set us up in the members’ area and a charming young lady was our hostess. She explained that it was her 3rd day as she was pouring our first taste. One look at the glass and her “newbieness” was obvious - we each had nearly half a glass! Throughout the rest of the tasting, we tried to hold her back, but wowza - she was determined to give us plenty to taste. Needless to say, we poured a lot out. Unfortunately, our friend wasn’t listening to us and she drank more than she should have - she was about to learn a helpful lesson. We enjoyed all of the wines at Cakebread and ordered a mixed case.

Stop #2 was at Chase Family Cellars - a Hawkeye recommendation which we had visited last November. I thought Jeff was to meet us, but instead a delightful lady named Katie came out to greet us. Turns out, she and her brother are the owners. We had a great visit and walk among the old vines and found the wines to be as delicious as we remembered. We ordered a case of mostly zin, but did get 2 petite sirah.

Lunch was next, at Farmstead in St. Helena. Wonderful burgers and everything else. But trust me, delicious burgers - you should have one!

After our delicious lunch, we headed up to Calistoga for our appointment with Zahtila Vineyards. (ps - Zahtila rhymes with vanilla) The two winery dogs were busy helping another couple with their picnic, so we wandered into the tasting room and met Laura, owner and winemaker. There were a few other people there, and the dogs finally wandered in, so we all had a good time. Our friend, however, was “resting” in the car - she had learned the lesson about pacing one’s self. We were apparently in the mood for cabs, and those were tasting very nice, so we took home an ’05 Napa Valley Cab, an ’07 Barlow Vineyards Cab, and an 05 Rutherford cab.

Next, following my Hawkeye suggestions (Zahtila was his), we headed over to Barlow. We realized that we had noticed their sign many times over the last few years and always thought “maybe we should check them out” - so thank you, Hawkeye, for the shove their direction Barr was a charming and knowledgeable host. It was interesting driving up their driveway and finding yourself at someone’s home. We thought we were in the wrong place at first, but Barr came out and assured us we were in exactly the right place. We enjoyed tasting through his wines and learning a bit about his family and the origins of the winery. We shipped home a case of assorted reds.

By now our friend was feeling much better, so we went over to Sterling to show her those views. The tram ride was fun, as always, and the view was wonderful - a sunny afternoon with puffy clouds and lovely breezes. We did a quick tasting in the Reserve room, but didn’t make any purchases. It was closing time for most places, so we trammed it down the mountain and headed down to Yountville.

We got to Yountville in time to run into NapaStyle and taste Thomas Brown’s Chiarello wines. We are big fans of Mr. Brown and I need to find out everywhere else he is the winemaker - I could be a stalker There will be a case of Chiarello wine arriving next week. The young lady who helped us gave me a canister of truffle salt (since we bought a case of wine or maybe just because I’m so cute) and the sad, sad story is that it did not make it home I hope that the car rental people found it and are enjoying it - I would hate to think that it is just sitting in a landfill somewhere near Oakland - sigh...

We had dinner at Hurley’s and enjoyed it very much. We had an assortment of delicious appetizers instead of an entree and it worked out just fine. A good sampling of the menu and none of us felt too stuffed - which is easy to do in wine country. That was the end of our first day and it had been a lovely one. I’ll get to work on the next installment, but laundry is calling...


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