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  HELP..visit to Napa next week

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Author Topic:   HELP..visit to Napa next week
damombo
Member
posted 10-03-2012 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Wonderful! Sounds like you are having an excellent trip and are really enjoying all that Napa Valley has to offer

IP: 98.198.192.251

ajack43
Junior Member
posted 10-03-2012 08:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ajack43     Edit/Delete Message
GOOD MONRING NAPA!!
Thank you for the recommendation of Greystone. I will check into that today.

Yesterday was wonderful! After a beautiful ride up a long mountain road, we arrived at our first stop of the morning at Hall Rutherford. We were greeted by TOdd, who poured us an early 9:30am glass of white, and we proceeded to the veranda to take in the views and watch the grapes being delivered. The smell was unforettable. I must say, Hall was a great recommendation. Todd asked us how we heard of them, and i told him that I had been stalking the Napa Blog Board for months, and Hall was highly recommended. THis was by far our most enjlyable tour and tasting. we purchase two bottles and joined their wineclub. we simply loved it. Everything we envisioned, and Todd was a pleasure to work with.
After almost 2 hours their, we drove over to Rutherford Hill and enjoyed a tasting. My hubby liked their Syrah so we purchased a bottle.
By now we were hungry as it was 1pm, so we drove over to V.Suttui. we enjoyed lunch under the shady trees, drank plenty of water, and basked in the day and our morning experience. We enjoyed a tasting here as well.
By 4pm we were "tasted out" and checked in at the Maison Fleurie. What a quaint place. We enjoyed a bottle of wine on their rooftop patio and welcomed our friends from Florida who just arrived.
Dinner at Bistro Jeanty was deliciousm of course. I am not a fan of french cuisine, so i ordered their Sole, which was heavenly.

Now it is off to another very busy day!!

IP: 173.8.146.101

RC456
Member
posted 10-02-2012 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
ajack,

yesilovewine has a good idea about Greystone and cooking demo. On weekends they have an hour long cooking demo (followed by tasting of what was prepared) presented by one of the instructors or chefs. My wife and I will always stop in and do that if there on the weekends. If you are into foods & cooking, then milling around in their store can keep you occupied for a bit as well. Check their website for times: http://www.ciachef.edu/california/

RC

[This message has been edited by RC456 (edited 10-02-2012).]

IP: 74.143.160.114

yesilovewine
Member
posted 10-02-2012 05:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well, I was thinking that if you were on your own while the other half is "conferencing" that a trip to deRossi or Oxbow Market might be a fun way to while away a few hours.
If the timing is right, even a cooking class or exhibit at Greystone, if you are into that sort of thing.

IP: 76.182.4.159

ajack43
Junior Member
posted 10-01-2012 08:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ajack43     Edit/Delete Message
@ yesilovewine....no we dont have any particular am plans for fri/sat/sun mornings yet. do you have a suggestion???? i am all ears! thanks

IP: 173.167.113.229

ajack43
Junior Member
posted 10-01-2012 08:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ajack43     Edit/Delete Message
After a beautiful ride from San Francisco to Napa Valley yesterday, we just finished our first day in Calistoga. Last night we ate at Barolo. We had an amazing meal and great service. THeir chicken piccata was heavenly and they served a delicious Heirloom salad.
This morning we awoke early, went to the Wine Stop to get sandwiches for lunch, packed the cooler and headed out for Bennett Lane Winery. This was our first tasting on our first visit to Napa, and we couldnt have been more pleased. Richard gave us his undivided attention, and took us on a mini-tour of their facility. We liked the Maximus, but we loved the 2009 Cabernet better. He provided us with a great educaiton and recommendations for our visit. Overall great experience.
Next, we took the gondola ride and tour at Sterling. We loved the views of course, and the self guided tour was perfect. We were lucky to see truck loads of grapes arriving as we toured. We didnt care for the wine we sampled, but it was a good tour for 2 beginners.
Next we drove over to Castillo Di Amorosa. We ate our packed lunch under a shady tree which was a pleasure since it was something like 97 degrees today. We took the tour of the castle and cave with Joey MIles. This was by far our favorite tour today. The castle,caves, and views were stunning. We learned so much from this tour that we were thankful to have done it on our first day.
After a little down time at the hotel, we dined at Brennan's. We shared the chicken caesar salad and the Salmon burger, which were both very good. We almost walked out because they had a limited menu of lamb and other items we dont care for, but in the end it was a good meal.
Now i cant wait for tomorrow....Hall Rutherford, V. Suttui, and just wandering around Rutherford. LOVE NAPA

IP: 173.167.113.229

RC456
Member
posted 09-26-2012 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Welcome ajack!

Just a couple of chime ins:

Brannan's in Calistoga is good, not great. Have eaten there a few times....best was a Sunday brunch with eggs benedict w sauteed grapes. The grapes were terrific.

Agree with D' & Reb....you can over tour during a trip. We love the "back story" of vine to bottle, but any more than 2 is a little much for me.

And D', impressed with the malolactic fermentation reference! MLF them Chards to get that buttery taste, yeah baby! (trying to do my best Austin Powers impersonation, lol)

RC

[This message has been edited by RC456 (edited 09-26-2012).]

IP: 76.177.149.57

yesilovewine
Member
posted 09-26-2012 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
I have a question.....
Do you have plans for the mornings when DH is busy with his conference?

IP: 76.182.4.159

OMRebel
Member
posted 09-26-2012 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OMRebel   Click Here to Email OMRebel     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Ajack,

These two really know what they are talking about so I would listen to what they have to say.

We just got back from Napa Valley in late August and did the Mondavi signature tour and I would suggest just skipping it, as you will get most all the information from your other visits and it just wasn't worth it to me.

Let us know how your visits go and can't wait to hear your report on your trip.

Cheers,

Reb

IP: 12.34.246.81

ajack43
Junior Member
posted 09-26-2012 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ajack43     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks to you both so much!!!!! Great advice that i will certainly use! I did think that i had too many reserved tourings, but i didnt want to miss out on my first time there, and who knows when we'll be back. It's not easy leaving 3 kids behind for 10 days! Although i am excited to be on an adult trip. I heard its been very warm out there. oh, and the "Stomp" is just what it sounds like. Its at Schweigner VIneyard in St Helena. We'll be picking and stomping grapes. Yes, i am an I Love Lucy fan....so we had to give it a try!! hahaha!! I will post as we go.....

IP: 208.96.179.95

damombo
Member
posted 09-25-2012 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi ajack, and welcome!

OK, I'm curious (or just nosey) - what is this Harvest Stomp?

Sterling will have a DIY tour, which leads out to a spectacular view. Then you go back the way you came to go to the tasting room - sit outside if there is room, it's lovely. (and there might be a coupon for $5 off on their website)
The Castle tour is unique and wonderful - they will touch on making wine, but there is plenty of other stuff to make it a very worthwhile experience.
We have a reservation for the Hall Rutherford tour in October and I am looking forward to that!
Depending on what you have signed up for, Cakebread will also walk you around through their winemaking process and to see the vines.
By the time the Mondavi tour comes around, you may already know everything you want to know about oak barrels and malolactic fermentation etc.
I have never taken the Mondavi tour, but people do say that it is very informative and an excellent way to learn - would it be possible to go on that tour earlier in your visit? Are you also doing tours at Stag's Leap and Sawyer? If so, then, yes - way too many. Just do a tasting those places.

As to restaurants - I can't vouch for Brannan's, but I know first hand that the rest are amazing! Great choices!

As to walk-ins - Madrigal is between Bennett Lane and the Castle, or at least close by. They are a favorite of ours, so by all means go there!

Check with the hotels you are staying in when you get there - often they will have tasting passes for free tastes at any number of wineries. Plus there will almost certainly be a magazine called Wine Country This Week at the hotel - there are usually coupons in the magazine and there is an excellent map in the middle of the magazine. Grab the tasting passes and see where they are on the map - see if any are near the places you have reservations and drop by. A note about appointments - some places, even if they are appointment only, will give you an appointment when you walk in the door. Or you can call while you are on the road - that magazine has phone numbers for most wineries.

Good luck! Have fun!


IP: 98.198.192.251

Hawkeye
Member
posted 09-25-2012 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Jack,

Please don't tell me your husband's name is Jill. Sorry, couldn't resist that one.

Here is a map that may help you. http://napavalley.com/visitorsinfo/Napa_Valley_Winery_Map.pdf If the map shows a black dot in front of the name, it is walk in. If it has a magenta triangle, it is an appointment visit. However, don't let that deter you. Sometimes you can sit in their parking lot and call to see if they have an immediate appointment and many times they do.

It appears that you have a stellar itinerary. On Sunday, Sterling is a nice tram ride but you will find that the wines are nothing to write home about. If you want some scenery, take the tram. Frank Family used to be a "Fun" stop, but it no longer that way.

Personally, I would skip Frank Family and go to the Up Valley Vintner's Tasting room at 1371 Lincoln Avenue in Calistoga. They offer 5 different wineries and I can personally vouch for Barlow and Dyer. No appointment needed. If you have more time. there are other tasting rooms in downtown Calistoga.

Monday, Bennett Lane is great. They have excellent Cabs and just about the best blend, Maximus" for the price in Napa Valley. $35.00 is a great price for a 95 point bottle of wine. The Castle is a great visit, but don't expect too much from the wines. The Castley is the draw, not the wines. You have plenty of time for walk ins at other places.

Tuesday, Hall Rutherford will be one of the highlights of your trip. Just seeing the chandelier in the cave room is spectacular, the Cabs are wonderful, the prices, up there. You will find some good wines at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. While in this area, stop in at Clif Lede and Robert Sinskey. Both have triangles in front of their name, but reservations are required for a group only. You can walk in and it is worth the time. Bistro Jeanty is gread for dinner, one of our favorite places.

Wednesday, Cakebread and Sawyer are good choices. Why not spend some more time in Yountville and visit Hope & Grace, Cornerstone, Jessup, Girard, and a host of others, all walk in so you can stop whenever you want.

Hope this helps you some. I know others will have suggestions and will chime in. We all have our favorites.

Sounds like a great trip so please write us a trip report when you return.

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.28.86

ajack43
Junior Member
posted 09-25-2012 07:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ajack43     Edit/Delete Message
My husband and I will arrive at SFO on Saturday, spend the night and some part of the day on Sunday seeing San Fran. We plan to leave San Fran on Sunday afternoon and head to Calistoga for 2 nights. Then to Yountville for 2 nights, then to the Meritage Resort for 4 nights, where my hubby is attending a conference fri-sun am's. I have an itinerary, and i am looking for advice. My two concerns are feeling too rushed and spending too much on the tours. Can you help with suggestions. Do we need to do tours or would tasting suffice....here is my itinerary..
Day 1(sun) see Sterling and Frank Family in the afternoon, on our way north. we do not have reservations.
Day 2 (mon) Bennett Lane 10am reservation. and then Castello Di Amorosa 1:30 reservation.Dinner at Brennans Grill
Day 3 Hall Rutherford 10am reservt'n. Stags Leap Wine Cellars 2pm reservt'n. Dinner at Bistro Jeanty
Day 4(wed) Cakebread reservation 10:30. Sawyer/Foley reserv'tn 2pm Dinner at Mustards Grill
Day 5(thr) Harvest Stomp from 10-2. Then Town of YOuntville in the afternoon. Dinner at Hurley's
Fri/Day 6 Massage and relax time at the resort. Then Mondavi Signature tour in the afternoon. dinner at Redd
no plans yet for sat or sunday afternoon. Sunday we'll have to drive to San Frn.
My biggest concern is spending a lot of money on touring each of these places. maybe i can cherry pick a few to tour, and then just do tastings at some others.
And if there is time to add a few walk-ins, where and when>>>>
thanks for any and all advice/suggestions.
so excited!!

IP: 208.96.179.95

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