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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Oct/Nov Itinerary

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Author Topic:   Oct/Nov Itinerary
Junior Member
posted 10-14-2011 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kmiller     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks, Hawkeye! Your reply is very helpful - I appreciate the sample itinerary. I have a much better sense of timing now. We were lucky enough to secure a reservation at The French Laundry and are really excited about it. Thanks again!


posted 10-14-2011 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Kmiller,

Here is what I do when planning an itinerary - now remember, these are basic principles and may vary somewhat if tours are involved. Just for a tasting, I plan 1 hour, with a tour, add 30 minutes. So, this would be my basic time schedule:
10:00 AM Tasting
11:00 AM Tasting
12:00 noon Lunch
1:30 Tasting
2:30 tasting
3:30 tasting

If there is some additional time between, you don't like the wines at a place, or the tasting room is too full, etc., there are so many wineries around that you can just pick one to walk in to it.

There are many wine tasting rooms in Yountville. You may want to hit a couple or three on Sunday and reserve some time for others on another day. There is Girard (open late), Jessup, Hill Family, Cornerstone, Chiarello, Hope & Grace, etc., etc. All are within walking distance of your lodging.

Several wineries on your list are by appointment. On Tuesday by appointment are Stags Leap Wine Cellars and Baldacci. Personally, I would skip Stags Leap Winery. In that area you might also consider Steltzner, they have a nice cave tour.

Now, let's address your statement, "My concern is drinking in Napa and then driving to Yountville". First, the wineries pour you a taste. Many of us share a tasting so we will not "over drink" which is really hard to do just tasting. Also, the tasting rooms provide a "dump bucket". It is to dump any unwanted wine from your glass. They do not take this as an insult but approve of you showing responsibility. Be sure to take plenty of water with you and crackers to drink and eat after each tasting. You should consume more water than wine. Now, I will get off my podium.

If you really want to "drink" wine, dinner is the time to imbibe. There are many Michelin rated restaurants in Yountville, one of our favorites being Bistro Jeanty. All of these restaurants are within walking distance of your lodging so you can drink all you want. Also in Yountville is the world famous French Laundry restaurant, which is very expensive and difficult to get a reservation.

Ask questions, taste responsibly and have a great trip.



Junior Member
posted 10-13-2011 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kmiller     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Everybody –

Our trip is right around the corner! I have most of my itinerary done but would love to hear your opinions and suggestions. Note that I have not overly packed this schedule as I don’t want to feel rushed and too much in a timeframe (it is supposed to be vacation after all). That said there are still a few holes here. One question I have is how long should I plan for each winery? When you all build your itineraries, do you leave two hours between appointments, one hour? How much can or should you do in a day? Anyway here we go…

Sunday 10/30 –
Check out of San Francisco hotel around 9:00am? and head to Napa. We are staying at the Villagio in Yountville. Check-in isn’t until three, so I figure we will walk around Yountville and check-out some of their tasting rooms until we can check in. Girard is on my list, but what else? Any recommendations? My other thought was that on our way into town we will stop in Downtown Napa, check that out, have lunch and then head to Yountville. (I haven’t figured this part out yet) My concern is drinking in Napa and then driving up to Yountville. I am not comfortable with a lot of drinking and driving…or really any for that matter. We will have a driver for the next 4 days so my thinking is to take this day when we don’t have the driver and explore Yountville where we can walk. Either way we will check in at 3 and then we have dinner in Yountville at 7:45.

Monday 10/31 – (Carneros)
Today we have a driver and are headed to Carneros. We have a big affinity for Carneros’ Pinots. Anaba and Bouchain are on our list. But that’s it so far. If we don’t do downtown Napa the day before, we will go there in the afternoon. Dinner is in Yountville at 7:30. What else should we do?

Tuesday 11/1 – (Stags Leap)
-11:00 Sinskey (light lunch)
-Stags leap winery
-Stags leap Wine Cellar
-7:45 dinner at in Yountville

Weds 11/2 – (St Helena)
-Maybe start with one or two places on Howell Mountain (I hear they have good Cabs?)
-8:45 – Big dinner in Yountville.
- Is this too much for one day? Too far to cover in one day with Howell Mountain?

Thurs -11/3 (Rutherford)
- Sequoia Grove
- Swanson
- Cakebread?
- Round Pond?
- 7:45 Dinner in Yountville

Friday – 11/4
- Check out and head to airport.

Well that’s it so far. I would really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks in advance!


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