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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  First trip to wineries - where to go?

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Author Topic:   First trip to wineries - where to go?
posted 07-04-2013 04:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message

Sorry, it is the Mondavi tour that is so great, not Beringer. Sorry for the mixup.



posted 07-03-2013 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Olivia,

Here are some suggestions that I would consider if I were a "first timer". I will take you around the valley so you can get an idea on what you like to help in any future trips.

I would stay at the Stevenson Manor Best Western in Calistoga. From there you can go south on either Hwy 29 or the Silverado Trail. The valley is only about 30 miles long and the usual bottleneck is St. Helena.

Day 1 - I would take one winery tour, I think people recommend Beringer http://www.beringer.com/tours. Appointment needed.

From there, I would go to lunch in St. Helena. Lots of good places to eat including the world famous Gotts Hamburgers and Shakes.
Or you can go to V. Sattui and purchase picnic supplies (and of course wine) and eat on their picnic grounds. The downside is that they are really, really busy. No appointment needed.

After lunch, maybe 1:00 or 1:30, make an appointment at Chase Family Winery on the south edge of St. Helena. Tell them Lee from Tennessee sent you and they will take very good care of you. You will taste among 100 year old vines from the famous Hayne Zinfandel vineyard. Appointment needed.

Then I would suggest that you continue south on Hwy 29 a short distance to Hall Winery. This will give you the flavor of a large winery with diverse wines. Their Cabs are wonderful although a little pricey. No appointment needed.

Then continue south to Sawyer Cellars which will be on your left so you will have to cross lanes of traffic, something that I normally don't do. However, we are getting you a variety. Their forte is their Merlot, plus they have a Cab and a white (Chard, I think). Appointment needed.

Day 2 - Assuming you are staying in Calistoga.

Begin your day with the "Bottle Shock" tour of Chateau Montelena. This is the winery famous for winning the Chardonnay tasting at the 1976 Paris tasting. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It takes a lot of liberties but is a fun movie to watch. The opening scene is magical. Appointment needed.

After lunch, about 1:00, go to Phiffer Pavit, a very small winery south on the Silverado Trail, followed by a tasting in the cave at Charnu Winery. Call Scotti Stark at 707-628-7600 to arrange to taste at both these wineries. Tell him Lee from Tennessee sent you.

Then head back north on the Silverado Trail, go through Calistoga and just a little north on Hwy 128 to Bennett Lane (no appointment needed). A small winery with wonderful wines. In my opinion, they have the best $35.00 bottle of wine in Napa, their "Maximus", a red blend.

That should pretty well fill your two days. If you had more time, I would send you up on Howell Mountain, but then maybe next trip, and I am confident there will be a next one. This area just grabs you!

There are several good restaurants in Calistoga. Try the Calistoga Inn and Brewery restaurant.

Have a great trip and please let us know what you think about the wineries you visit. That is how we all learn.

By the way, when in Napa Valley, pick up a free copy of the Preiser Key which will have a lot of information and very good maps of the area. I believe you can also order it on line.

Another good map is on this web site, NapaValley.com. Click on visitor information and then on the left side, printable map.


[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 07-03-2013).]


posted 07-02-2013 10:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
You will have a car? What sort of wines do you enjoy? What is your budget for hotels? You are planning to spend Thursday night and Friday night or Friday and Saturday nights? I ask because sometimes hotels require a two night stay during the summer.
We typically stay at the Best Western in Napa - cheaper, yet clean and quiet. Our personal opinion is that we are in the hotel only to sleep, so why pay for fancier places when we aren't there to use any of the amenities. But we have friends who really prefer a higher end place - so what is your preference? Hawkeye, another regular here, likes to stay upvalley in Calistoga at the Best Western Stevenson Manor - which is a very nice place in a lovely area.
Yountville has some very high end places to stay, and will probably be fairly expensive - but you can walk to amazing restaurants and plenty of tasting rooms.
If you look back over some of the recent posts, I think you'll find a few suggestions for itineraries. I'll be glad to offer more suggestions - just give us a bit more info as to your interests....


Junior Member
posted 07-01-2013 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Olivia   Click Here to Email Olivia     Edit/Delete Message
Hi all, My fiance will be on a business trip in Sacramento from July 22 to July 25. I will arrive on the 25th in San Francisco and we want to spend the 26th and 27th touring the wine coutry - neither of us has ever done this We will have two days - would appreciate any suggestions on hotels and which wineries to visit - best scenery, etc. Thanks very much for your help. Olivia


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