� Hyperlinks allowed for WineCountry.com advertisers only.
� Content intended to lead visitors to other specific properties may be edited or deleted.
� Posts we consider inappropriate will be deleted immediately.
  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Second Opinions

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Second Opinions
Hawkeye
Member
posted 09-23-2011 07:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Writestuff,

What kind of stuff do you write?

Sorry to take so long to reply, but this is a really busy time of the year for me.

Let's take a look at your first list. Kuleto I really don't know anything about except what has been written and I don't believe those were glowing remarks.

We went on the Del Dotto Cave tour but did not have the experience that those who rave about it had. We may have had a bad host or one who was having a bad day, but it just was not worth the cost.

Rocca Family and Long Meadow, I am not familiar with them.

Hall Rutherford . . . if I were to do one tour in Napa Valley, it would be Hall Rutherford. Here is what I recently wrote:

"One of the most amazing wineries that I have visited is Hall Rutherford. They also have another tasting room in St. Helena, but you want the one in Rutherford. By appointment only.

You will travel up Rutherford Hill until you think you are on the top of the world . . . you wonder if you will ever get there . . . then, all of a sudden, you come over the crest of the hill and there it sits. You are greeted with a glass of Chardonnay in a small building that house some of the Hall's art. The Halls love art.

The views of the Napa Valley from that height are incredible. If that were not enough, you are then led down to the caves and the working winery. At the end of the cave was a dinning room with the most beautiful grape vine chandelier one could imagine. The roots of the vine contained the little lights and the Swarovski crystals that provide the light and glitter.

Here you will taste their higher end wines which include some incredible Cabs. A little expensive, but definitely worth it."

Biale I highly recommend. They have some of the most incredible Zins in the Valley.

Frank Family . . . I think others have written that since they moved to their new tasting room it is just not the same.

Chateau Montelena . . . if you are a fan of the movie, "Bottle Shock" I highly recommend their tour. You will see where some of the movie was shot and you will be able to relate it to the movie. You will receive a glass of Chard as you arrive and an autographed DVD of the movie. I did think it a little cheap that they make you pay additional for a tasting of their reds after spending $40 on the tour.

I love Shafer reds. I do think the tasting is a little expensive.

You do know that Pride is clear up at the top of Spring Mountain and unless you have a specific reason for going there, the driving time takes up a lot of tasting time.

Girard is worth visiting just to see their restrooms . . . but the wine is excellent also.

Baldacci, another of my favorites. Lots of different appellation Cabs, and you know how I like those big reds.

Robert Sinskey has some good wine as does Cliff Lede in the same area.

Hope this helps and is not too late. By the way, if you need a map of the area, here is a good on.
http://napavalley.com/visitorsinfo/Napa_Valley_Winery_Map.pdf

-Hawkeye

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 09-23-2011).]

IP: 68.169.184.155

damombo
Member
posted 09-17-2011 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Writestuff,

The list looks terrific.

My thoughts on Chateau Montelena are that you should do the Library Tasting We REALLY like those wines.

Kuleto wines did not please our palates, but the ride there and the views were so wonderful that I didn't care.

I think that Rocca from your list is the only one I haven't ever heard anything about - the rest either we've enjoyed or someone I know has.

Have a great trip and please come back and tell us your impressions!

Cheers!

IP: 96.8.187.200

writestuff
Junior Member
posted 09-16-2011 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for writestuff   Click Here to Email writestuff     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks to all of you who responded, and, yes, Hawkeye, we did get much needed rain. Below is my updated itinery and would still welcome more opinions and thoughts. As well, the only reason I have Frank slated is because they are coming to Knoxville for two wine events that I am co-chair of the week I return, so I like the idea of meeting them in advance. In addition, the trip is as planned but still willing to add/delete:

Kuleto
Del Dotto Cave Tour/Napa
Rocca Family
Long Meadow (for the olive tour)
Hall Rutherford
Biale
Frank
Caymus
Chateau Montelana (thoughts?)

Other being considered:
Shafer (currently booked)
Pride
Girard
Baldacci
Robert Sinskey

I thought, too, that I had already posted on the dining site, so will do so asap to see what your thoughts are on our rsvps. Thanks, again, for your feedback and candidness. It truly helps. Happy Friday and look forward to hearing from you!

IP: 98.70.127.233

Hawkeye
Member
posted 09-09-2011 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Stuff from Tennessee,

I don't know if you got all the rain that we just received (10"+) but we really needed it and it came down nice and easy so that most of it soaked in around here.

We have only tasted at Del Dotto and once we got past their Merlot, which they are famous for, the rest was pretty common. We were added to the end of a group doing the cave tour and it was okay, but I wouldn't pay to do it again.

Don't know about Kuleto, have never tasted there that I remember . . . of course, I sometimes don't even remember what I had for lunch.

I am with Damombo, since Frank Family moved into their new tasting room, they lost all their charm and the wines could not overcome that.

We have been to Merryvale several times and except for their "Map Your Palate" seating, always wonder why we went back.

Mayacumus I am not familiar with.

If you want a cave tour that will blow your mind, take the Hall Rutherford tour. One of the most amazing wineries that I have visited is Hall Rutherford. They also have another tasting room in St. Helena, but you want the one in Rutherford. By appointment only.

You will travel up Rutherford Hill until you think you are on the top of the world . . . you wonder if you will ever get there . . . then, all of a sudden, you come over the crest of the hill and there it sits. You are greeted with a glass of Chardonnay in a small building that houses some of the Hall's personal art collection. The Halls love art.

The views of the Napa Valley from that height are incredible. If that were not enough, you are then led down to the caves and the working winery. At the end of the cave was a dinning room with the most beautiful grape vine chandelier one could imagine. The roots of the vine contained the little lights and the Swarovski crystals that provide the light and glitter.

Here you will taste their higher end wines which include some incredible Cabs. A little expensive, but definitely worth it.

From your list, I would definitely add Baldacci, Biale and Chase.

Hope this helps. Let us know how your trip went.

-Hawkeye

IP: 68.169.184.155

bigsemi
Member
posted 09-07-2011 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bigsemi   Click Here to Email bigsemi     Edit/Delete Message
As far as Del Dotto goes, I've done both. We prefer Del Dotto Napa to St. Helena. Same wine, different setting. The St. Helena is very elegant, the Napa is much more old, musty, and a more of an old time feel. Just depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. The wine is great and yes there is lots of it.

IP: 70.249.152.78

damombo
Member
posted 09-07-2011 07:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi writestuff,

Of the wineries you've listed, I've been to Kuleto, Frank Family, and Merryvale.

For us, Kuleto's setting was the most memorable part of the visit. The wines were not to our liking, but the drive there and the tour of the property were fabulous.

Frank Family was one of our favorites for years. Then they built the new tasting room and the cozy feeling vanished. The wines are nice, but we have moved on to new favorites.

We visited Merryvale, but it didn't leave much of an impression, so I can't help you there.

If you have the time, I would like to suggest that you spend a day on Spring Mountain and explore some of those wineries. Many to choose from and wonderful wines that should please you both.

I've heard that the Del Dotto tour is fun, but some folks refer to it as "Del Blotto" because of the amount of wine poured. I've never tried it, so I can't speak first-hand.

I'll watch the Dining board for your restaurant selections...

IP: 76.31.52.34

writestuff
Junior Member
posted 09-05-2011 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for writestuff   Click Here to Email writestuff     Edit/Delete Message
I'm not a first timer to Napa - have been many times but not in the past 10 years or so, but we are heading out on Oct 3-7 and it's my boyfriend's first visit so want to make it special for him. I've gotten some recommendations from some No. Cal. friends as well as some other friends who've visited recently. Hawkeye, I'm also a fellow Tennessean.

I thought I would run the start of my tentative itinerary by the "regular" posters and those of you who have recently returned from Napa and may have some honest opinions either way.

In my past visits, I've done a lot of the more well known wineries and several that you have suggested in your recent posts. We're both foodies and try new wines almost daily - he's a big cab/zin fan. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I have a broader palate - love chards/pinot gris along with both cab zins and even lighter pinot/syrahs.

I have not really scheduled the majority of our winery visits yet b/c waiting a some recs from a couple of wine industry friends, but so far I'm planning on:

Del Dotto old cave tours
Kuleto
Frank Family
probably Merryvale
Mayacamas
(though none are really set in stone)

I've heard good things about Hall Rutherford, Paraduxx and Maisonry. I went to school w/ Steve Corley of Monticello Vineyards and know Mary and Eric, whom I know a little bit, from Rocca Family Vineyards - but would love if anyone has input on any of these. I think we want to aim for 3-4 a day in order to be flexible should we have time. Biale, Baldacci and Chase all sound like place/wines we might like too.

I did reserve a tour at Long Meadow Ranch primarily b/c of the olive tour - supposedly the valley's oldest olive grove and they do a lunch after w/ wine and olive oil tasting. I loved the uniqueness of that experience but would love any feedback.

As all of you know there's so much to do and never enough time so welcome any/all suggestions.

He's set on doing a balloon ride which is fine b/c it's too early to taste then anyway - plus I get my Domaine Chandon fix in.

I'm also gonna post on the restaurant board to run my current rsvps by anyone who can also offer feedback. Thanks!

IP: 98.70.127.233

All times are ET (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | winecountry.com | Privacy Statement

copyright Winecountry.Com

Powered by Infopop www.infopop.com © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.45c

1. Acceptance of Terms of Usage
Freerun Technologies provides a collection of online resources, including website/portals, bulletin boards and email services, (hereafter referred to as "the Service") subject to the following Terms of Use ("Terms"), which may be updated by Freerun Technologies from time to time. By using the Service in any way, you are agreeing to comply with these Terms.

2. Content
All postings, messages, text, or other material posted on, transmitted through, or linked from the Service, are the sole responsibility of the entity from whom the Content originated. Freerun Technologies shall have the right (but not the obligation) in its sole discretion to refuse or delete any Content that is available via the Service, for any reason.