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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Our April 2012 Trip Report

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Author Topic:   Our April 2012 Trip Report
posted 04-25-2012 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Jeff! How you doin? I'm gearing up to plan our November trip - I've decided it's fun to go with a group on one trip and then have a trip that's just the two of us next. Or maybe that's just a good excuse to go twice a year


posted 04-25-2012 01:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carjeff   Click Here to Email carjeff     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,

Glad you had another great trip. Thanks for sharing. You gave me some ideas for our next trip (whenever that may be!)


posted 04-21-2012 07:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,

Great trip report, thanks. Jeff at Chase is one of my favorite people in wine country. Always willing to give of his time.

Regusi, I have never been able to get into their wines. Their serving bar is amazing, though. Like an old timey western bar bar. (can I do that?)

I do enjoy Chateau Montelena's ambience and history, but have never been a fan of their wines.

I am glad you had a great time with Chris at Black Sears. They have some very good wines. Outpost, just back up the road a little way, also has TRB as it's winemaker and he makes several of his other wines there also.

Welcome back, and enjoy the fruits of your trip.



posted 04-20-2012 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Our “first” day started with breakfast at the Oxbow Market.
(I say “first” because the day before we had been tasting with our daughter and our “spare” daughter - her best friend, and we went to several wineries that they had wanted to see)
We had a group of 8 - us, a friend who has visited with us before, the daughters and 3 newbies. Our first appointment of the day was for a tasting with T-Vine. They were new to us and haven’t opened their tasting room yet, so they hosted us in an old (1878) building on the Regusci property in Stag’s Leap. Beautiful property (got to meet a champion pig who seemed to be as big as a truck) and an interesting old building. Learned a little history about the property. The T-Vine wines were very nice - we shipped home a mixed case. Here is their web site if you’d care to read about their wines: http://www.tvinecellars.com/wines

Since we were visiting on Regusci’s property, we did a tasting there as well. Came home with a couple of bottles - a cab and a zin.

Next stop was for a picnic at Chateau Montelena. Got our picnic supplies at Palisades Deli in Calistoga and enjoyed a lovely, but a bit chilly, lunch on the lake. Stopped in for a tasting after and have decided that the wines poured in Chateau Montelena’s tasting room are not nearly as nice as the ones poured in a Library tasting.

After lunch, since I didn’t want to wear out the newbies, we stopped in St. Helena and looked around a bit. Wandered through a few olive oil stores and the Woodhouse Chocolate shop. Then it was time for our next appointment - Chase Family. We were met by Jeff and had a fun walk through the vines and then a delicious tasting. We sent home a mixed case and most of the rest of the group walked away with something. It’s always a fun tasting at Chase - great folks there.

Last stop of the day was in Yountville. Hubby and I and our friend who has visited before all went into NapaStyle to taste the Chiarello wines. The rest of the group was tasted out (wimps!) so they just wandered around the area enjoying the pretty landscaping. We sent home the Eileen and Bambino Cabs and the Giana Zin - deeeelicious!

Dinner was at Hurley’s. Wonderful meal with excellent service and not a blink of the eye when we asked for separate checks at our table of 8.

Day two began with breakfast at Oxbow again. One member of our group has Celiac and has to eat gluten free - the C Casa cafe in Oxbow serves all gluten free so it was perfect. Two of our party (the daughters) left to spend the day in San Francisco and then head home, so we were down to 6. First appointment was at Cakebread. Since we are members there, we had an appointment for a private tasting, but when we arrived they had upgraded us to the reserve tasting. It was delightful. We really enjoy their wines and the lady doing the pouring was terrific - good personality and full of great information. Everyone left with a few bottles.

Next stop was Madrigal. I really like Madrigal - nice folks and delicious wines. We had a very relaxed tasting - they have a long couch to sit on - and enjoyed their wines. Actually ended up sending home two cases! We had a bottle of the Merlot the other night and it was amazing. A zin lovers Merlot! Very fruit forward and jammy. Glad we came home with 6.

Then we headed down the road to Farmstead for lunch - found out about Farmstead from Jeff at Chase a couple of years ago and now have to stop for lunch every trip. Burgers are fabulous and should be split between two people - that way you can have a side or a salad along with and not have to be rolled out of the place.

After lunch we headed over to Rutherford Hill - two of our party took a break and the rest of us split tastings. Pretty property with a beautiful view of the valley, but the wines didn’t wow us. The hubby did like the port (but he likes all port, seems to me) so we came home with one bottle.

Final stop of the day was Black Sears. What a drive! We had a few moments of doubt , but persevered and finally found them. For us flat-landers, you have to understand that a winding drive up a mountain is a wonderful thrill and part of the fabulous experience! Anyway, we were greeted by two eager dogs and a few minutes later by Chris. A charming, funny host - we had a wonderful tour of the cave and the vineyard and even met the baby goats. We learned that their winemaker, Thomas Brown, actually uses their facility and one other to make all of the wines he makes. Interesting! Great place to hang out! Enjoyed the wines, especially the 09 Zin. Sent home a mixed case of zin and cab. Probably spent about an hour with Chris, then headed back down the mountain and over to Sonoma for the rest of our visit.

I will continue the travelog on the Sonoma board...


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