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  Trip outline for October

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Author Topic:   Trip outline for October
yesilovewine
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posted 09-19-2012 12:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Yeah, who'da thunk a Grenache Day is a "real" deal, right? But what a yummy idea I think we will have our Bella Grenache Rose that day.
I wish that we COULD extend, but we have already had to cut out 3 days from the original plan due to work...
That work ....it's always getting in the way of having fun!
I think I'm going to cut Quivira out again- too many other choices that get more conistently upbeat reports.
BTW, if you are hustling over from Napa to try and see Everett Ridge or Mill Creek, I think that you will actually come to Mill Creek first. Seems I recall that entrance on the way over to Everett Ridge. If you can find the time for ER, I think you would enjoy them- and that is a twofer as they also pour the wines from their Anderson Valley property...Esterlina I think is the name. VERY friendly folks and good wine, too. Only place we've ever been that offers cheese doodles to go with the wine.
- That is more out-of-the-box than Riesling and Skittles, don't you think?

IP: 76.182.4.159

damombo
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posted 09-19-2012 07:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Did not know about Grenache Day - will have to open one of the few bottles we have: a T-Vine Grenache or a T-Vine Grenache Noir called The F-Bomb!

Haven't been to any of the three you mentioned, but did visit Quivira many years ago - on one of our first visits out there... which means I don't really recall a thing - sorry! I do remember that they were into biodynamic farming...

I did not know that the Ridge facility in Dry Creek is made from hay bales and clay. Very cool, and probably inexpensive! And perhaps the idea was to keep things cool

Yes, you really should just extend your trip rather than cutting out places. You do realize that you are our Sonoma Hawkeye? We like for you to blaze the trail and report your finding back to us - find new and exciting and delicious places for all of us to try. It's very handy for all of us

IP: 98.198.192.251

yesilovewine
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posted 09-19-2012 12:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Ok, gang.
I was looking into Grenache Day activities ( yes, its a legitimate celebratory day set by the International Grenache Society for 9/21...who knew?) and learned that I've got to find room for a couple more Rhone wineries if they are "good spots". Has anyone been to: Mounts Family, Sheldon, or Two Shepherds?
The wines sound great to me, and critic reviews are positive , but I'd like to hear from y'all, if anyone has been. I'm also waffling about Quivira, so if there are opinions, please share.
Did you guys know that the Ridge facility in Dry Creek is made from hay bales and clay? How cool is that?

IP: 76.182.4.159

damombo
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posted 09-14-2012 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Well that has been a fun exercise! And here is what I've come up with...

Napa: Celadon, Fume Bistro for casual

Yountville: Bottega, Bistro Jeanty, Hurley’s

St. Helena: Farmstead, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, Wine Spectator Greystone at the CIA

Calistoga: Solbar

Sonoma (town): Saddles, El Dorado Kitchen, LaSalette

Healdsburg: Zin, Willi’s, Dry Creek Kitchen

Geyserville: lunch at either of these - Rustic (at Francis Ford Coppola), Catelli’s

Santa Rosa: John Ash, Zazu


10. all the rest!
9. Hurley’s
8. Farmstead
7. Saddles
6. Wine Spectator Greystone
5. Bottega
4. Dry Creek Kitchen
3. Solbar
2. John Ash
1. Celadon

IP: 96.8.187.200

RC456
Member
posted 09-14-2012 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
yes,

I am paradox when it comes to food: At home, I'm super easy to please....hamburger or just a plain ol ham sandwich on white bread and I'm happy. Love breakfast or cereal for dinner! Don't go to any trouble for me. But, then again, I do absolutely enjoy white table cloth "fine dining"..... finely detailed, complex, excellently prepared food, and the whole dining experience.

D',

Would love to see your list of Top 10 places to eat.....either county, Sonoma or Napa. May be some on your list we haven't tried yet.

Take care all!

RC

IP: 99.18.69.239

yesilovewine
Member
posted 09-14-2012 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well Hey There, D'.
I think that I unintentionally misled you- our kids are culinary students,working in the kitchens, not owners or anything like that...at least not yet.
We are members at Bella, so a trip up there is a 'must-do' IMO( hope Left Brain sees it the same way) and I want to do the cave tour and tasting this trip. Our experience there was terrific and I hope you enjoy it too. They make a Grenache Rose that is wonderful and they have both Rockpile and Maple Zins, so one might guess that I'd be a fan!
Thanks for chiming in- haven't seen you around much lately...

IP: 76.182.4.159

damombo
Member
posted 09-14-2012 07:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Howdy y'all,

Here is my 2 cents worth (and you know what Hawkeye says about that!): I adored the drive to Jenner - and even more, the drive from Jenner up to the Timber Cove Inn. We drove over from Sonoma along the road RC mentioned but when we left, we drove south through Jenner and Bodega Bay. I don't remember anything scary, but we do love a curvy road - especially in a two-seater with the top down

Your winery objectives are terrific - can't wait to hear which ones you get to and your tasting notes! We have lots of Passalaqua (love them) in the wine room, and a couple of Truett-Huerst (must have liked them), and at least one David Coffaro (I think we got it from a Locals club shipment). We have Bella on our list for this trip, too, so I will be interested to know your opinion.

We have dined at Zin twice now, I believe, and it was lovely each time. Same goes for Dry Creek Kitchen - twice and oh so nice. You know me - I'm with RC when it comes to the food - it's right up there with the wine! Although we do go to three times the number of wineries as restaurants Can only manage to have two-three meals a day - but there is always room for one more winery!

And what is this!? You have restaurants in the family!?! Are you the designated wine buyer for them? Wouldn't that get you into some interesting behind-the-scenes action at the wineries? Hey, if you aren't interested, tell the kids I'm available

IP: 98.198.192.251

yesilovewine
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posted 09-14-2012 04:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
LOL....I thought that the food was #2 reason for going to wine country;I think its the "not going for wine, just scenery" that is considered treason...
Will be happy to post any dining of interest; I am determined to visit Zin as I think that a restaurant named for my favorite wine has to be good, and beyond that we just have ideas of potential stops.
Left Brain wants to devote a whole day to Russian River, so I may try to get a trip to Jenner for lunch out of that day...
But, unlike you, I'm not a real afficionado of food- PB&J or a burger suits me just great, so the food "scene" is wasted on me. LB is really our foodie, and our kids- 2 of them are in the restaurant biz!

IP: 76.182.4.159

RC456
Member
posted 09-13-2012 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
yesilovewine,

About the highway up to Jenner from Bodega Bay....I don't recall being concerned in the hwy, but have only traveled it one time and that was several years ago. We go out to Jenner via Guerneville Hwy (116) that runs along the Russian River.

Hot Box Grill: come off the square on W Spain or W Napa. Turn right on 12 like going back to Santa Rosa. About 1 mile up on left.

Do include where you wind up eating.....as I have stated before, we go just as much for the food/dining as we do the wine. I know that is borderline treason

RC

IP: 99.18.69.239

yesilovewine
Member
posted 09-13-2012 12:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hi RC! Thanks for responding.
We were thinking of going to Jenner for lunch, and may still do that- it will depend on how we are holding up after starting the day "before dawn's early light", but I will keep River's End as a possibility.
My biggest concern with that would probably be the road...isn't that the "stunningly beaurtiful but somewhat scary" section that is pretty steep and winding? I won't be the driver, but even so, I have been known to have an alter ego called Chicken Little on some parts of the coast highways in CA...
Where is Hot Box Grill located? I have heard of it, but don't recall seeing it.
I just read this evening that VJB has re-opened their tasting room and will be serving paninis and pasta dishes, so we may have to try that out.
I also recently read about a place that sounds pretty cool in , I think, Sebastopol. (Could be Graton) Anyway, its a refurbished Pullman Dining Car; Starlight Cafe and Wine Bar I beleive is the name. Reviews are very good and that's not too far from us in Santa Rosa, so I'm holding out for that one night. I'll let you know how it goes.

IP: 76.182.4.159

RC456
Member
posted 09-12-2012 06:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
yesilovewine,

I look forward to reading your trip report after this trip! Many of the wineries you have on the docket are some of the ones that I had penciled in for our next trip. So your insights will be greatly appreciated.

I will chime in on restaurants:
10 - 15 minutes further north of Bodega Bay is Jenner by the Sea. The River's End Restaurant would be my choice. Reservation needed. View & food are great. Suggest ocean view table. Not the swankiest of places - far from it, but the view & food overcame the shortcomings of the property itself.

Healdsburg: Dry Creek Kitchen. Suggest going on Friday night because they usually have a guest sommelier on that night only. Jim Young was there on our last trip pouring his wife's label (Kelley Young) SauvBlanc. Suggest the Chef's Tasting.....can do with wine pairing or without. Pricey, but we thought worth every penny. $$$$. Best wait staff in wine country. My favorite restaurant in Napa or Sonoma. Reservations & its a good 2 hr meal.

In Sonoma: You would think I would go with the girl and the fig or Swiss Hotel....which are very good. But, it's Hot Box Grill. Cali comfort food. Non white table cloth, relaxed atmosphere. Great food!

My 2 cents on places to eat and each one I will return to on future trips.

Have fun!

RC

IP: 99.18.69.239

yesilovewine
Member
posted 09-12-2012 08:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
We have been so busy that I haven't really gotten a chance to iron out details for this visit, and the schedule is pretty crammed up until a day or two prior, but here's the loose outline, anyway.
Based on available wines at a couple places we had planned to make appointments for private tastings, we're down to one tasting and a cave tour at Bella. Tasting will be at Argot, a small Rhone focused winery in Glen Ellen.
Arrival Day- This time we are opting to take the coastal route in to Sonoma County and have lunch in Bodega Bay. If anyone has favorite restaurants there, please speak up.
We're thinking about stopping in at a winery or two on the way to our digs in Santa Rosa, and are considering among Freestone, Balletto/Dutton-Goldfield, Hanna, Merry Edwards and Carol Shelton. Since the day will start around 4am Eastern, we may just skip wineries this day, and since Carol Shelton and Merry Edwards are the only "priority" visits we can change those pretty easily if needed.
Day 2 is also in flux as we can't decide whether its worth the trek to go to Jaxon Keyes ( a Wilson winery in Mendocino County), and if we do that, then that will be the apex of the day's adventure,then down to Valdez in Cloverdale and then we'll focus on Healdsburg; Seghesio, and the tasting rooms of Branham/Hobo, Pezzi King, Williamson, Hawley, and then skip over to Alex. Valley for Hawkes and Stryker if there is time and interest. Since we're out of our Stryker Rockpile I suspect we'll try hard to get there and re-stock.
Day 3 will be in Sonoma Valley with Argot, and we'll try the Wilson property, St. Anne's Crossing, that has just opened. The Harvest Fair grand tasting is that night, so it will be a light day.
Days 4/5- Hitting all the places we want to go in Dry Creek and upper Russian River is so hard; we're planning two days up there this trip. I had over 20 places I wanted to hit in that area, and have narrowed it to the following for the two days: Lambert Bridge, Kokomo, Bella, Passalaqua, Wilson, Mazzocco, Truett-Huerst, Dasche, Ridge, Armida, Frick, David Coffaro, Twomey, Matrix.
We still need to find time/space for St. Francis, Paradise Ridge, Bonneau and Keating!
Napa is now "up in the air"; we'll just have to see...
Remember, these are just winery
"objectives"; I don't expect that we will get to all of them, but they are on the "most likely" list at this point. After the Grand Tasting we almost always make changes...seems like we find about a day's worth of new places to visit after that event. And it helps us weed out places too; so I do have a search list for that event to see if some of these new places are worth a visit.
So that's it, such as it is. Pretty loosey goosey even for me!
Oh, we're open to restaurant suggestons if anyone has any.

IP: 76.182.4.159

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