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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  October Itinerary - Part 1

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Author Topic:   October Itinerary - Part 1
posted 06-01-2011 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Carjeff,

You are correct about Tom Rinaldi. Where I got otherwise, I do not know. My one error for my lifetime.


posted 06-01-2011 06:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carjeff   Click Here to Email carjeff     Edit/Delete Message

Sounds like a great itinery. Just like you , I am also a planner. I have already been planning our trip in Nov for a while now - one of the wineries I contacted said I set a new record for earliest appt.

Out of your list, I've been to Girard, Chiarello, and Kelham. Both Girard and Chiarello were excellent wines. Kelham I could have done without. The wines were good, but our server was more interested in spending time with his 2 female friends than us, barely gave us the time of day.

I'm curious to hear what you think of the Terraces. Sounds like an interesting place. We have an appt with them in Nov, but I may replace them with Burgess. Not sure if I can squeeze both in.

I thought Tom Rinaldi was Winemaker at Provenance. He has done a few local tastings here in NJ. Great wines..

Anxiously awaiting the rest of the itinerary!


posted 05-29-2011 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
I'm eagerly awaiting!

We have not been to Guilliams, but since I see that it is on Spring Mountain, we will get there for sure - one of our favorite areas.

We do carry all those bottles back to Houston to dump into the recycling cart - I live in fear that one week the truck will slip and all of our discarded wine bottles will cover the street! What would the neighbors think? Actually, it wouldn't be much of a surprise to several who have been gracious enough to receive our shipments when we aren't home...

Tonight will be a leftover feast from last night's BBQ of brisket and beans and potato salad - I'm thinking another zin...


posted 05-29-2011 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,

If you think the first three days were good, wait for the next two insatllments.

You really opened a lot of bottles . . . I can understand why they are your friends . . . I would be too, if I lived closer. Do you have you own wast management truck?

Last night we opened a 2005 Guilliams Winery Cab Spring Mountain. WOW, the more you sip, the better it got. One of those that grows on you. Have you visited ther? We did in March (I think) for the first time and they took us to their cellar for tasting and had 4 vats of Cab grapes cooking. We got to stir them a little. I did notice after we stirred, they wne back and re stirred. I remember it as a very nice visit.

Tonight we will open a bottle of 2006 Girard Prichard Hill Cab to go along with our New York strip off the grill. Cheers, and have a great weekend.


posted 05-29-2011 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Wow Hawkeye - that sounds terrific! Perhaps I'll just invite us along with you I love that you have found some Thomas Brown wine to try - I will have to go there on our next visit!

My dear hubby is off all the pain meds and we have enjoyed getting back to the business of savoring our wine. First opened was a Biale Black Chicken - always a good choice.
We have had some folks out to the lake this weekend and last night we managed to go through a Madrigal Sauv Blanc (which was delicious), a Schweiger Sauv Blanc (also delicious), a VJB Primativo (delightful), a Chase Hayne Vineyard Zin (fantastic), a B.R.Cohn SyrCab (2006, big mouth feel, lots of plum and dark fruit), ending with a 2006 Shafer One Point Five Cab (wonderfully big Stags Leap Cab). All of our friends enjoyed the evening thoroughly

Happy Memorial Day!


posted 05-28-2011 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
If there is anyone out there to read this, I will be surprised. I think the world ended and I was not told!

I am what you would call a habitual planner. In my prior life, one of my job responsibilities as executive assistant to the Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine was to plan Continuing Medical Education meetings for physicians. In that position, I was always working 1 to 2 years in advance. Well, this isn't 1 or 2 years, but for some, 5 months in advance for a trip to Napa Valley might seem strange. A couple of the wineries I called did laugh a little. But one that I really wanted, Spottswoode, was already booked up.

Our October trip will be in three parts: Part 1 will be for Mrs. Hawkeye and me to do tastings, Part 2 will be a Friday and Saturday for a group of 10 daylily friends to taste, and Part 3 will be back to Mrs. Hawkeye and myself.

So, here we go with Day 1

Arrive at Sacramento International Airport at 11:00 AM. Pick up rental car and head for Napa. Many of you know that I like to ferret out the small, family owned wineries to visit as opposed to the big boys.

2:00 PM - Dyer Straits Wine Company on Diamond Mountain. Owned and operated by Bill and Dawnine Dyer who do most of the work at this small winery. They make one wine, the Dyer Diamond Mountain Cabernet. I met Dawnine by email and am looking forward to meeting the two of them on this first visit.

3:30 PM - Harris Estate Vineyards, north of Calistoga. Owners are Mike and Treva Harris. They make 2 Cabs from their vineyard, both having Thomas Brown as their winemaker. When I called for the appointment, I spoke to Treva and she asked why I wanted to taste their wines and I said, because Thomas Brown is the winemaker. Her answer was one word . . . understandable. This will be the first of 5 tastings on this trip where TB is the winemaker.

4:30 - Bennett Lane Winery. Just wanted to drop in and taste their new 2008 release of their Cab blend, Maximus which in the past I have considered to be the best $35.00 Cab blend bottle in Napa.

Check in at the Stevenson Manor Best western Inn in Calistoga.

Day 2
10:00 AM - Paradigm Winery in Oakville (pronounced par-a-dime). Paradigm Winery is owned and managed by Ren and Marilyn Harris. They are known for their Cabernet and Merlot and make small lots of two other varieties. Their winemaker is Heidi Peterson Barrett. A first visit for us.

11:00 AM - Elyse Winery just south of Yountville. We tasted at this winery several years ago and look forward to doing so again. Ray Coursenis is the Winemaker & Owner. They make several varietals under the Elyse label, plus they make three reds under the Jacob Franklin label.

1:00 PM - Chiarello Family Vineyards in Yountville. I am taking Damombo's advice on this one. Plus, this is another label where Thomas Brown is the winemaker. A first visit for us.

1:45 PM - Beau Vigne Winery in Yountville. This is one that we have never tasted. Kirk Venge is the winemaker. They make a variety of Cabs and Cab blends plus, I saw one Chardonnay. A first visit for us.

2:30 PM - Girard Winery in Yountville. This is one of our favorites and we belong to their wine club so we always receive a private tasting with our friend Eric Jensen who always does an amazing job. They probably produce as many varietals as any winery that we will visit. We especially like their Cabs and Zins.

3:30 PM - Hope and Grace Winery tasting room in Yountville. Visited maybe 3 years ago. Charles Hendricks is the winemaker. They have some Cabs that we like plus several other varietals.

4:30 PM - If we can make it that long, Cornerstone Cellars in Yountville. The winemaker is Jeff Keene. Cornerstone produces premium wines and at previous tastings, we thoroughly enjoyed their Cabs. However, they do produce several other varietals.

Day 3
After Day 2, this will be a short day.

10:00 AM - The Terraces Quarry Winery on the Silverado Trail. The winemakers Wayne Hogue and Timm Crull are also the owners. They make 3 reds, a Cab, a Zin, and a Petit Sirah and 2 whites, a Chardonnay and a Reisling, all reasonably priced. This will be a first tasting.

11:30 - Kelham Vineyards just off the Silverado Trail on Zinfandel Lane. They produce 8 varietals, 5 red and 3 white. We have chosen to do the "last Cab of the Day" tasting (even thought it is still morning) that will give Mrs. Hawkeye some chocolate to go with the wines. Am I smooth or what . . . just sayin'. Another first tasting.

2:00 PM - Joseph Phelps Winery just off the Silverado Trail. We became members of their wine club this spring so we will have a private tasting. They make 3 high end Cabs and a couple of whites. I am looking forward to receiving my "Insigna" in the fall. We have already tried their 2008 NV Cabernet Savignon and liked it a lot. We can't quite affort their Backus Vineyard Cab. This will be a first tasting for us.

4:00 PM Provenance Vineyards on Hwy 29 just south of St. Helena. We like the wines from here very much. Their NV Rutherford Cab is one of our favorites. Last time we tasted ther, they had it on sale at 50% off. WOW, what a bargain. The winemaker is Damian Parker. Maybe they will have another bargain this trip.

Well, that is the first 3 days. All of our days this trip will be spent in Napa Valley by choice. we are finding some new, and we hope, exciting small wineries. Looking forward to your comments. Life is very, very good. Cheers.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 05-28-2011).]


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