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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Tasting Mishaps

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Author Topic:   Tasting Mishaps
Kod
Member
posted 03-29-2012 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kod     Edit/Delete Message
I am glad to see that others have had the same experience as me. We were on vacation and got caught up in the whole experience. But looking back, if we were really impressed by the wine, it was great when we got back home. I think we were 80 to 90 % accurate.

IP: 68.45.99.199

yesilovewine
Member
posted 03-28-2012 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
It is funny how some wines will really strike you as great during the visit, then be totally yuk when you drink them at home.
I can't help but think that sometimes its just a matter of "the day"...as with anything else, some things appeal to us on one occasion that aren't so great on another day. Its not necessarily "palate failure", just getting caught up in the visit can have an effect how you taste, I think.

IP: 71.65.250.8

Hawkeye
Member
posted 03-28-2012 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Voelfgar,

You are absolutely correct, it is difficult to get a tasting room license. The ones in recent years have many restrictions placed on them. I know chase Family Winery in St. Helena cannot put up a sign indicating where there winery is. They have a wrapper on their mailbox which just says Chase Winery. If you don't know what you are looking for, you miss it. I remember the first time we went there, we must have driven past 4 or 5 times.

To put up one of the small "Xxxxx Winery signs on Highways or roads, takes several different permits, I have been told. Restrictions are quite complicated.

Now how to find the status (open or appointment) of wineries, I use three things. 1. The map here on NapaValley.com http://napavalley.com/visitorsinfo/Napa_Valley_Winery_Map.pdf

A round dot in front of the winery name indicates it is open to the public, A triangle means that an appointment is required, HOWEVER, not in all cases. For instance a triangle appears in front of Cliff Lede and Robert Sinskey, they do require an appointment, but only for 6 or more visitors.

The second resource that I use is Preiser Key. They have a very comprehensive listing of most wineries in the valley and it gives you information if they are by appointment or not. Many of them state, "Not open to the public", however, that does not mean they are not open by appointment . . . give them a call if you are interested.

The third thing I use, are the web sites. If I have any question, I always check their web site. Some will not give you any information about visiting, but they have a contact email address where you can write (or a number to call) to make an appointment.

One side note, If a winery is "by appointment only", sometimes you can call and if they don't have any visitors, they will take you right in.

Confusing, but worth checking multiple sources.

-Hawkeye

IP: 68.169.184.68

Voelfgar
Junior Member
posted 03-27-2012 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voelfgar   Click Here to Email Voelfgar     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye,

This last september we went to a few wineries that needed an appointment and we were told that is because of their liquor license. Apparently, a few years ago, they made changes to the liquor license for wineries so that they had to have appointments for tastings. Those wineries that already had a liquor license were grandfathered. That's why some do and some don't require an appointment.

Now I will say there are probably some that don't need to have appointments to taste that do. It's now much more difficult to figure out which ones are because of their liquor license or those that want to keep their exclusivity.

IP: 76.199.175.28

Hawkeye
Member
posted 03-27-2012 07:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Kod,

Me an expert? I have probably poured as much wine down the drain as any other wineaux (expensive for wino). I have made my mistakes, and some expensive ones.

Here is how I approach my tastings now: First, I do not swallow, I spit, which is very acceptable. If there are crackers or those hard bread sticks available, I will eat a little of that between tastings. Between wineries, I will have some crackers and water in the car which I use to help clear my palate.

Normally, when I make a purchase, it is no more than two bottles of one varietal or year. There are so many good wines out there that I don't need to order a case of something that I like . . . there will be another just around the corner, maybe better.

I am also beginning to drop some of my wine club memberships. Yes, I know that gives you a discount on purchases, but if you are only purchasing 2 bottles, that does not amount to a lot. Also, I get too many wines in wine club shipments that I would not otherwise purchase so that makes the ones I like more expensive.

I do believe in general that you find the better wines at wineries that require an appointment. Until I began searching out the small wineries my purchases tended to be kind of middle of the road quality wise. Since searching out these wineries, the quality of my purchases has gone up as well as the price point.

I am probably going to reduce our visits to one per year because I find that I purchase more wine on a trip than in previous years. When you make an appointment, I almost feel an obligation to purchase two bottles for taking up their time. However, if there is nothing I like, I will not purchase. We can only drink so many bottles each year.

I guess we all approach tasting and purchasing in different ways and it would be interesting to hear what others have to say.

-Hawkeye

IP: 68.169.184.68

Kod
Member
posted 03-25-2012 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kod     Edit/Delete Message
I have sampled some of my purchases from a visit in November and discovered that in 2 instances our palates were not as sharp as we thought. We went to Vincent Arroyo at the end of a day's tasting, and really liked some of their wines. But when opening up several months later we were disappointed, esp their petite syrah. The same could be said for the reds at White Rocks which was ironically the first stop one day. You know you do not like a wine when half the bottle goes down the drain. Both these wines were tasted at the start of our trip. I think we learned a few things about our preferences as the week progressed.My lesson here is that unless you are more of an expert, like Hawkeye, be careful about how much and what you purchase early on. And never buy wine at the winery that you can get at home.

IP: 68.45.99.199

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