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Napa Valley [all categories]
Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
October Napa & Sonoma Itinerary
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posted 09-05-2012 10:01 AM
And we will be there from Oct 27 - Oct 31 (in Sonoma for two of those days). It's a relay!! I will try not to drop the baton.
I'll be interested to hear about your experience at Silver Oaks. The staff could not have been less interested in us when we visited their Geyserville location. It seemed like we were not part of the cool kids, so it wasn't worth their time to be polite to us. That always amuses me - since we can probably afford to buy more wine than those young whippersnappers Needless to say, (but I'll say it anyway), we did not buy any of their stuff. Too many great wines around there to waste money on a less than wonderful experience.
posted 09-04-2012 08:18 AM
You must have a school break in October. If you go to Chase, tell Jeff I referred you. I think the three of you will hit it off.
Kelham is a little expensive, in my opinion, at $40.00 tasting, but for one time it is worth it. I am going with the specific purpose to purchase the 2001 Cab so hope I don't have to pay for a tasting. It is a pretty place.
I have always stated on this Board that Bennett Lane Maximus Cab blend is the best bargain in the valley at $35.00. Glad you agree that it is good.
Have a great trip.
posted 09-03-2012 05:40 PM
Looks good. Wish we were going to be out there at the same time. We are heading out Oct. 19-23. Will have to try Kelham and Chase, and go by Bennett for sure to get more Maximus, it is a great wine.
posted 09-03-2012 03:06 PM
It won't be long before we will be on the road through Napa. ( couldn't figure out how to work in "the Yellow Brick Road" so you get what you get. Since we will be spending only one day in Sonoma, I am just going to list it here since there are only 3 wineries. Some of our group opted out of the Sonoma side, so I probably won't do it again.
THURSDAY - FIRST DAY OF ARRIVAL
VENGE FAMILY VINEYARDS - I discovered this winery on our last October trip. I purchased their 2009 Bone Ash Estate Cabernet and the Family Reserve Cabernet. We have had a bottle of the Bone Ash Estate Cab and it blew me away, so I am going back to purchase their 2010. I have not tried the Estate Cab yet, but will do so prior to the trip.
BENNETT LANE - A must for us to purchase some of their 2009 Maximus Red Feasting Wine which just received a 94 rating and at $35.00 per bottle, I have said for several years that it is the best wine in the valley for the price. Their Cabs are not too shabby either.
FRIDAY DAY - FIRST DAY WITH GROUP - SONOMA
PEZZI KING VINEYARDS - We visited here last October and purchased some Zinfandel futures so will pick those up while tasting.
EVERETT RIDGE WINERY - We visited here a couple years ago and thought the Zins were very nice.
MILL CREEK VINEYARDS - Same as above.
I left some time in the afternoon if members of the group wanted to visit some other wineries on their own.
SATURDAY - GROUP IN NAPA VALLEY
CORNERSTONE CELLARS - Last October we visited here and did the Wine Sensory Evaluation Tasting. We had such a good time that we decided we would bring the group here. Their Howell Mountain and Napa Valley Cabs are very good.
HOPE AND GRACE WINERY - Just across the street from Cornerstone in Yountville, we have tasted at this winery before. Matt Beverly was our host and he was engaging and informative. He even went so far as to open a bottle of their Stags Leap Cab for us to taste even though it wasn't on the schedule for that day. We came home with that and some of their St. Helena Cab.
MIDSUMMER CELLARS - Rollie Heitz is the owner and the most congenial host. This is one of those small wineries that are fun to visit. Here you will find three Cabernet's that are not "Priced through the roof". The Canon Creek Cab is $44.00 per bottle, the Tomasson Creek Vineyard Cab is $40.00, and the Clark Claudon Vineyard is $40.00. These are all excellent wines receiving 91 and 92 points.
THE TERRACES AT QUARRY VINEYARDS - We did this one last October also and purchased the Zin and Cab. They take you for a ride around the vineyards in a 4-wheeler and stop for a tasting of 20-year old Balsamic Vinegar. Their Cab and Zin found space in one of our cases for a ride to Tennessee. The hosts are the owners and it is a delightful visit.
SUNDAY - UP TO HOWELL MOUNTAIN
O'SHAUGHNESSY ESTATE WINERY - We found this one (literally) last October. It is not easy to find, but more than worth the search. Last year they had a 94 point Howell Mountain Cab and a 98 point Mount Veeder Cab that were out of this world. We joined their wine club to ensure that we would receive their wines. I know that some have tried to visit and found they were out of at least one of the Cabs.
BLACK SEARS WINERY - Clear at the top and at the end of a road, a great find. Chris the vineyard manager and husband to the daughter of the owners, is very entertaining. We found them last October and wanted the group to experience the wines and hospitality. We will be taking a picnic to enjoy on this visit.
SPENCE VINEYARDS - I discovered this winery on the Howell Mountain winery map and really enjoyed their website. So this will be my first visit. This is one of those wineries that produce one varietal, Cabernet. They are in the mid-price range. I am really looking forward to this visit.
LADERA WINERY - This is one of my favorite Cab houses. They have three Cabs ranging from $41.00 to $75.00 and you can't go wrong with any of them.
MONDAY - BACK ON THE VALLEY FLOOR
SILVER OAKS WINERY - This is one I have not visited previously although, I have a couple bottles of their Sonoma Cab in my cooler that I have not tasted.
BALDACCI VINEYARDS - One of my favorite Stags Leap wineries. They have a couple 94 point Cabs that are excellent. The only Cab varietal I have tasted here that I did not care for is the IX Sons. They do a pretty good Zinfandel also.
CHASE FAMILY CELLARS - One of my favorite stops, period. Jeff Blaum, the winery manager, is always happy to see us. He is an outstanding host. Here you can stand beside 100+ year old Zinfandel vines and taste their wines. Prior to Chase beginning to make their own wines from this vineyard, Helen Turley used to make one of her famous Zins from this Hayne Vineyard. Jeff does a pretty good Cab and Sauvignon Blanc also.
ANOMOLY VINEYARDS - Another of those one varietal wineries. They produce a Napa Valley St. Helena Cabernet. Mark Porembski is their winemaker and along with his wife, Jennifer Williams (the winemaker at Spottswoode, one of our top favorite wines) make their own Cab under the label of Zeitgeist Cellars. Mark has agreed to meet us here so we can pick up a couple bottles of their Cab.
REDMON WINERY - Another of our top wineries, making three wines, a Chardonnay, Cab, and a Cab blend. Lisa Redman-Mangelson is the owner and she is a very pleasant hostess. Another winery where the owner pours your wines. We like it so much that we are wine club members here.
TUESDAY - our departure day. On the way to Sacramento we will make a couple stops prior to our annual visit to Buffalo Shipping Company.
CHARNU WINERY - Just off the Silverado Trail, this will be a new stop for us. I selected this winery because Mark Porembski is the winemaker here also. They make two wines, a Cab and a Cab blend that they say is for drinking NOW. This is they type of wine I need, because at my age, I probably don't have 10 years to lay one down.
KELHAM VINEYARDS - I saved this one for last to see how many spaces I have to fill up in a case. Their 2001 NV Cab is my second very favorite wine and I want to bring several bottles home. Their tasting fee is a little stiff at $40.00 but I am hoping that they will just let me in to purchase the 2001.
That, boys and girls, is our trip. At the first stop at Venge, we will raise a glass to each and every one of you . . . after that, you are on your own.
All times are ET (US)
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