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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  November visit

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Author Topic:   November visit
posted 10-21-2012 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi ny,

Welcome to this humble Board. We are a bunch of individuals that love wine and each of us has our favorites so you might get 500 suggestions. As far as the Coast, we have stayed in Bodega Bay and loved it. Easy trip to Napa from there.

I would check with each place to see if they would taste your wines. You probably would have a better experience with some of the smaller producers than the big box stores. Just remember, your wine is probably going to be nothing like the Napa wines.

Now to the wine. Given your unusual circumstances, here is what I would do:

DAY 1: I would begin with the tour and tasting at HALL RUTHERFORD (not Hall St. Helena which is owned by the same Hall's, but just a tasting Room). If you do the morning tour, it will be about time for lunch when you finish. Suggestions for lunch, Tra Vigne Pizzeria or Gotts Roadside (great burgers and shakes, an institution), or the Rutherford Grill.

CHASE FAMILY VINEYARDS Home of the famous 100 year old Hayne Zinfandel Vineyard. Call Jeff Blaum at 707-312-0573 for an appointment. They have excellent Zins, the Cab was tasting really well last week, and a Sav Blanc. I'll bet Jeff would taste your wine if asked. Tell Jeff that Lee from Tennessee recommended him.

REDMON WINERY - Lisa Redmon-Mangelson, the owner hosts the tastings herself and gives a very nice overview of how they began . . . in their garage so she knows where you have been. Tell Lisa that Lee from Tennessee recommended her. Call 707-235-0282 for an appointment. She produces a Cab, Cab blend, and Chard. We are wine club members.

Then if you have time, walk into one of the wineries that are open to walk ins. You can find a map at http://napavalley.com/visitorsinfo/Napa_Valley_Winery_Map.pdf that will show if a winery is open or by appointment. Even if it is by appointment, sometimes if you call and tell them you are nearby, if they are not busy, they will invite you in.

DAY 2: To get another flavor, I would go up on Howell Mountain. I would begin at O'Shaughnessy because it is easier to find going up the mountain than coming down. It is a way off the main road, but more than worth the effort. They have incredible Cabs. We belong to their wine club. Again, tell them that I recommended you. I doubt the hostess could tell you much about your wine, but it wouldn't hurt to ask. You will need to take a picnic lunch up on the mountain.

Then I would go BLACK SEARS, a family owned winery at the TOP of the mountain. Contact Chris Jambois at 707-889-1243 for an appointment and tell him I sent you. Like Damombo said, I bet Chris would taste your wine.

Then there is another small winery that we ran into this last time on Howell, SPENCE WINERY. They are former garage winery people and make one very excellent Cab. Contact Jacalyn Spence at 707-965-3416 for an appointment and tell her I recommended her. I'll bet she will taste your wines also.

If you want another stop on the way down, either LADERA or BURGESS both run by tasting room hosts.

DAY 3: There are two tasting rooms in St. Helena that I would recommend. SALON ST. HELENA represents Harris and Jones wineries. Incredible Cabs. Asa Baird is the tasting room manager and can be reached at 707-963-3193

The other tasting room in St. Helena is run by Scotti Stark. He represents 4 wineries including Charnu and Phifer Pavitt which is an incredible Cab. You can reach Scotti at 707-628-7600 and tell him I recommended him.

Sometime you would want to drive on up Hwy 29 to Calistoga to get a feel of the upper valley. While there, taste at BENNETT LANE. Incredible Cabs and just about the best $35 bottle of wine in the valley, a blend called Maximus which rated a 94.

There are many, many other wineries. I would suggest the 4th day that you just free lance up and down the highway. There are over 500 wineries on the valley floor and mountain sides that you could never get to them all. When you are tasting, ask the host for suggestions, that is the way I find a lot of my wineries.

I receive no commissions or incentives from these wineries, I just think they make excellent wines. There is not charge for the use of my name

Have a great trip, and post your finds, likes, dislikes, etc. when you return. We would all appreciate it.


[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 10-21-2012).]


posted 10-19-2012 01:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hi. Just wanted to pipe in with a "second" to Damombo's Sonoma Coast idea. Bodega Bay or Jenner would be great. Then you could also ask some of the Sonoma winemakers for their opinions; I can think of 3 or 4 who would be likely to help; really nice folks who seem to have that mentoring mentality.
We can talk about it on the Sonoma board it you want, so we don't hijack this one.

I had read somewhere that Timber Cove was undergoing a big reno', have you seen anything about it?


posted 10-19-2012 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi nywinelover and welcome,

Are you saying that you are bringing some of your own wine with you and would like opinions from folks in Napa Valley? That sounds very cool! I'm thinking that Hawkeye will have some names of lovely people who have small, interesting wineries. If you contact them ahead of time and ask about having them critique your wine, I'll bet you would find some willing participants.
I could see Jeff at Chase Cellars being gracious and willing to talk with you about your wine. He has some pretty fabulous wine that you can taste, too! Also, Chris at Black Sears on Howell Mountain...

It's been many years since I visited Carmel, but just a few years ago we stayed in Jenner, on the "wild Sonoma Coast". That was gorgeous and rather awesome - as in the ocean and the dramatic coast inspiring awe. Stayed at the Timber Cove Inn - rather funky and very "Rat Pack" feeling. Plus local wildlife was very, uh, friendly So if you want civilization- go for Carmel, but if you want a "wild" time, check out Jenner and the wild Sonoma Coast.


Junior Member
posted 10-19-2012 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nywinelover     Edit/Delete Message
We are planning an after-Thanksgiving visit to Napa, staying in St. Helena. We are home winemakers and would like to visit both large and small wineries and take a tour or two. If possible, we would also like to get a critique on our wines. We favor dry wines, both red and white, and Cabs in particular. We have four days for tasting.

We also want to stay on the coast for two days. Thinking about Carmel-by-the-Sea, but that's not set yet. Any ideas?


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