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  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Going to Napa Valley in August

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Author Topic:   Going to Napa Valley in August
RC456
Member
posted 07-01-2012 01:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye,

You're correct.....services Sonoma county. I stay in Santa Rosa most times, so missed that they only serve that area.

However, here is another that offers pick up service and is based in St Helena: http://www.premierwineshipping.com/

I think this and the St Helena Shipping Co are one in the same.

Appears that they serve both Sonoma & Napa county areas.

RC

[This message has been edited by RC456 (edited 07-01-2012).]

IP: 99.18.69.239

Hawkeye
Member
posted 07-01-2012 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Richard,

Thanks for the info on Wine Country Shippers. It appears, looking at their website, that they do not pick up at hotels in Napa. Is that true?

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.28.96

RC456
Member
posted 07-01-2012 07:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Rebel,

I live in Alabama and have the same issues with shipping. There are some - very few - wineries that will ship direct to you. Ask and they will let you know. As Hawkeye stated, ship them yourself through Buffalo or St Helena Shipping Co by purchasing as you go and then dropping off for shipping.

However, on my May trip discovered that Wine Country Shipping, Inc (www.winecountryshipping.com) will pick for you at your hotel. Usually free pick up with a case. I shipped a mix of 3 cases back to Alabama via a cold storage truck for $240 or $80 a case. The cold storage fee was $13 of the $80 a case, but given the heat well worth the additional cost. One winery shipped a 1/2 case direct to me and the wines were cooked. I asked them to wait and not ship until fall, said they would, but they didn't.

Process is very easy.....just go to the hotel front counter, ask for the Wine Country Shipping form. Once you have the form filled out, gather your wines and take them back to the front counter. They will store them safely for you and contact for pick up. Wines are securely boxed and shipped. I didn't have any problems and will do this method shipping from now on.

Hope you have a great time!

RC

IP: 99.18.69.239

Hawkeye
Member
posted 06-30-2012 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Rebel,

When I walk into a tasting room, I normally ask, "Is it okay if we share?" and normally the answer will be yes. The only place so far that I have heard "No" was at Freemark Abbey and that was a special cabernet tasting.

Richard and "Yes" have some good ideas. The Preiser Key is excellent. I have not tried any of the tasting tutorials myself so have no opinion.

Now to your question about shipping to Mississippi. Us southerners are a little slow coming into the new century and Tennessee just began allowing "direct" shipping from a winery about 2 years ago. Prior to that, we were able to ship to ourselves. We collected our bottles during our tastings and at the end went to Buffalo Shipping Post in Napa (very easy to find) and shipped the wine to ourselves. I would suggest you email them or call them at 707-226-7942 and ask them directly. Their website is http://buffship.com/ They do show in their pricing shipping to Mississippi. A little expensive, but you can get it there. They furnish the shipping boxes, etc. A hint, keep a list of how many bottles, the name of the wine, the type of wine and the price. You will need to list all of this on the shipping information. I do not take the extra insurance and have never had a bottle broken. Hint: If you arrange to have it shipped to a UPS office near your home, and then pick it up, you will save a little on shipping. They charge extra to ship to a residence because a person over 21 had to be there at delivery to sign.

I normally print off their shipping sheet from their website before leaving home and fill it in daily as we purchase. That way, we are all ready when we do go to ship. There are other shipping companies around, but this is the only one I have used.

Don't worry about being "newbys", the wineries are all used to it and the better they treat you, the more often you will come back. That is their livelyhood.

Relax and enjoy the experience and the juice.

-Hawkeye

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 06-30-2012).]

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 06-30-2012).]

IP: 173.247.28.96

yesilovewine
Member
posted 06-30-2012 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
There are lots of wine tasting tutorials available on line. I like the way winecountrygetaways.com has organized their information- look under the Tasting Room key.
Cheers2Wine also offers a tutorial under Wine 101.
As for your question about sharing- it is absolutely ok and actually encouraged at many places. Why spend the money to pitch your wine out? You will garner plenty of information to decide to buy with a shared tasting. But even if you share, its a good idea to spit...those little sips had up!
The shipping question is a bit more difficult. Being a no-ship state may make things harder and more expensive for you...I suspect you may have to make arrangements with a relative or friend in a neighboring state and have it shipped there. Or else plan to take wine back with you as luggage....by any chance are you in a frequent flyer program where you may get luggage allowances? We did that once and it was great- took 3 cases home with us on the plane!
Long ago, before NC allowed shipping we worked through a restaurant to get some wines we wanted. It got pretty expensive as they tacked on surcharges and "other fees" to do the favor, so I would say only do it if you can come to a good agreement with the restaurant.
If you do end up bringing it back your- selves, there are companies that will help you pack for airline travel...I think Hawkeye mentioned one he has used ....Hawkeye???

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 06-30-2012).]

IP: 71.65.254.43

ssala
Member
posted 06-30-2012 07:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ssala   Click Here to Email ssala     Edit/Delete Message
My standard advice- get a copy of the Preiser Key, http://www.preiserkey.com/. This will give you a wealth of information. As to tastings, my wife and I always share, because you really only need one healthy mouthful. There are a number of books about wine tasting. I like Jancis Robinson's book "How To Taste", but there is a wealth of information on the internet. You might also search in your area to see if any of the wine shops do tastings or even encourage them to try it. At our favorite wine shop in Denver, there are tastings on Friday and Saturday and we can get into extended, relaxed conversations about wines and wineries. I describe my wife and I as "avid beginners" but I've been saying that for years. Cheers, Scott

IP: 75.70.79.148

OMRebel
Member
posted 06-30-2012 07:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OMRebel   Click Here to Email OMRebel     Edit/Delete Message
First of all, thanks so much for all you that have been posting to this site and the sharing of your ideas. I have really learned so much from just reading through the posts here. Some of you I feel like I have gotten to know you by reading your experiences. You truly have me so excited about my trip that I can’t wait.

Since this is really our first trip to Napa Valley(why did we wait so long?) we will probably do a few tours. I have several questions: 1. Hawkeye it seems that you typically will share a tasting with your wife and I think that is the way to go. My question is this: Is it okay with the wineries for me to do this? 2. We live in Mississippi and it is a state where shipping of wines is not allowed. I believe it is called a controlled state. Is there a way to get around this? 3. We are not educated tasters. Is there a class or seminar or tour we could do to get us up to speed. I have been drinking wine for many years but I am not learned, in the ways of you folks here, on the correct ways of wine tasting.

Again thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.


[This message has been edited by OMRebel (edited 06-30-2012).]

[This message has been edited by OMRebel (edited 06-30-2012).]

IP: 12.34.246.81

Hawkeye
Member
posted 06-28-2012 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Rebel,

You certainly are getting a good start by staying in Yountville which I like to think of as the Gateway to the Napa Valley. From there you can go north or south, east or west and probably never be out of the sight of a winery.

You could actually spend a day in Youtville just walking to tasting rooms. There are some good ones there, Girard, Jessup, Cornerstone (try their sensory tasting), Hope and Grace (say hi to Matt), Hill Family, Chiarello, and I could go on and on. PLUS, you have some of the finest restaurants in the Valley in Yountville including the famous French Laundry. Unless you already have a reservation there, you are out of luck as they take reservations only at 3 months out. But never fear, Bistro Jeanty is there and it is excellent along with several others.

You will not regret Howell Mountain. I used to think that the Stags Leap appellation was at the top of my heap, but it has been replaced with the Howell Mountain fruit. Black Sears, Outpost, O'Shaughnessy, Ladera, and Burgess are mighty good. On my next trip in October, I will be trying Spence.

Now if you want a day around St. Helena, start with Chase Family which produces one fine zinfandel and a very good sauvignon blanc (tell Jeff Blaum, winery manager, that Lee from Tennessee sent you). Their zin comes from over 100 year old vines that Helen Turley used to make one of her zins from. Then almost backing up to Chase is Ladera (but you have to go around to get there). They only produce one cab, but it is delightful, my type of operation. Then for lunch, go to Kelham for their meat and cheese platter with their wines. Be sure to taste their 2001 cab which is just about the best that has ever crossed this palate. Then continue with Redmon. Lisa Redmon Mangelson, the owner will guide you through their tasting of two reds and one white (tell her Lee from Tennessee sent you). She is very passionate about her wines as well she should be. Then finish up at Salon St. Helena. They pour Harris and Jones wines, both red and white. Both wineries use Thomas Rivers Brown as their winemaker who I think is just great. Harris' Jake's Creek Vineyard cab is at the top of my list.

Okay, I could go on and on, but I think this will keep you busy for at least three days. One day should be spent freelancing. Just drive up and down Hwy 29 and stop at places that look interesting to you. There is a map printed in the magazine Wine Country that will show you if a winery is by appointment or not. Pick one up almost anywhere. Or if you want to look at it before you leave, go to http://napavalley.com/visitorsinfo/Napa_Valley_Winery_Map.pdf

Have a great trip and remember to give us a trip report.

By the way, I do not own any stock in any of the above wineries nor do I receive a commission. Just wanted to make that clear.

-Hawkeye

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 06-28-2012).]

IP: 173.247.28.96

yesilovewine
Member
posted 06-27-2012 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
I'm not really a Napa person, but I have found some really good articles on Napa and surrounding areas by reading articles in Wine Spectator and Sunset Magazine. You can check the online archives for each. There are also good resources here at winecountry.com. You might find the sample itineraries helpful.
You can order the Preiser key on line, and that may help you get oriented...and the Preisers assessments carry a lot of weight with visitors.

IP: 71.65.254.43

OMRebel
Member
posted 06-26-2012 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OMRebel   Click Here to Email OMRebel     Edit/Delete Message
I will be in San Francisco in late August and will go on over to Napa Valley for 4 days. My wife and I will be staying at Bardessono in Yountville and after reading this board for a few days have started putting together some wineries to tour. My wife is a white wine drinker and I love cabs. I want to go to Caymus and Cakebread and the Howell Mountain tour as suggested by Hawkeye. Wife also loves champaign. This is not our first time to Napa but we were only here one other time 21 years ago for just a day. I want to make up for lost time. Got any other suggestions.

[This message has been edited by OMRebel (edited 06-27-2012).]

IP: 12.34.246.80

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