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Old 08-27-2012, 06:09 PM   #1
Karabee
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Winery advice?

Hi! Heading out to San Fran and the Sonoma/Napa area in early October. I'm hoping to get some advice on the good wineries in that area. I don't want to deal with the tour bus type wineries, and hope to find some good ones that are a little less known. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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We just returned from Napa, and did 3 days of nothing but wineries, and not on a bus tour

We had a fun half day up in Geyserville, and there's several tasting rooms there for some smaller wineries. One happens to be Meeker, which is served in several places at WDW and they come to F&W every year.

We also did a bike tour in the Yountville area...a place called Round Pond was awesome, as was Goosecross. If you're up for doing a bike, I really suggest it..It was so fun riding amongst the vineyards, etc.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply! Which bike tour did you go with? That's something that sounds perfect
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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I live 20 minutes from Napa, we spend many a wonderful weekend day in the area trying new wines.

What you will like will depend on what types of wine you like to drink. My favorite wineries are~

Sutter Home (free tastings to everyone, this is the only wine club I belong to), good wines, many varieties and all have been good.
V Sattui (my fave here is the Gamay Rouge and they Moscato is also very good!)
Goosecross (I like the Chenin Blanc)
Castello di Amarosa (owned by the Sattui family, great wines and an amazing castle but more expensive tastings)
Hegafan
Peju
Domaine Carneros (we like to share a tasting here and get a small plate to go with it, the cheese plate is so good!)
Domaine Chandon (just like the sparkling wines here but they also have good small plates and who can argue with oysters and bubbles? lol

Let me know if you have questions on things like where to eat, I really enjoy our day trips to the Napa/Sonoma area.

I use an app called winery finder, it was free and it gives me discounts on tastings.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:46 PM   #5
deej696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karabee View Post
Thanks for your reply! Which bike tour did you go with? That's something that sounds perfect
We did Napa Valley Bike Tours in Yountville. Our route was about 16 miles and we stopped at Cakebread, Roundpond, Caymus, and Goosecross. The route we took also had Opus One and several other wineries. Our legs were spent by the end of the day, but I'm in pretty lousy shape It was probably our best day in Napa for sure...
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:16 PM   #6
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We liked the Coppola Winery . It was right off of the 101. Had a good restaurant plus the desk from the Godfather movie.. The wine is good too
The Korbel winery gave free tastings for 4 samples.It is west of Santa Rosa.
We stayed in Santa Rosa and both were about 30 or so minutes away.
The town of Healdsburg had some tasting rooms and a good brewpub (Bear Republic)
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:03 AM   #7
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deej696 - I looked up the Bike Tour and it looks as though they have bike rentals as well - this looks perfect for us. Thanks!! I also will be looking at your blog for some San Fran ideas

pixiewings71 - Thank you so much for the list! I also downloaded that app and it looks great As I put plans together I'll PM you for some more insight into places to eat - thanks!

ncc1701 - You had me at "brewpub" - seriously, I might need a cold beer after so much wine - thanks!

I'm so pleased that I can find more than just Disney info on the Disboards
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:17 AM   #8
deej696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karabee View Post
deej696 - I looked up the Bike Tour and it looks as though they have bike rentals as well - this looks perfect for us. Thanks!! I also will be looking at your blog for some San Fran ideas

I'm so pleased that I can find more than just Disney info on the Disboards
We did just the rental, unguided...and it was great. They give you a map and the roads are very easy. When you make your reservation, they send you over a PDF version of the map so you can scout out what wineries to hit. You'll want to make reservations in advance, and I'd only suggest 3-4 wineries. I'll be writing about the full experience in the next couple weeks and will be sure to pass it along.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:48 AM   #9
pixiewings71
Sweet!!! Totally!!!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karabee View Post
deej696 - I looked up the Bike Tour and it looks as though they have bike rentals as well - this looks perfect for us. Thanks!! I also will be looking at your blog for some San Fran ideas

pixiewings71 - Thank you so much for the list! I also downloaded that app and it looks great As I put plans together I'll PM you for some more insight into places to eat - thanks!

ncc1701 - You had me at "brewpub" - seriously, I might need a cold beer after so much wine - thanks!

I'm so pleased that I can find more than just Disney info on the Disboards
Absolutely, I have a few amazing places that won't break your budget, of course I have a few that will break it as well but we aren't well off by any means and we eat amazing food in Napa at great prices. I have a little chocolate and wine place that you might to try as well. Sign up for Napa Groupon, I'm always getting winery deals from there! Oh and if you like breweries, there are 2 places to taste beer in Napa as well.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:14 PM   #10
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Here is some info I had put together when my brother was here..hope this helps...

Here is the info on Napa...

You can pick up gourmet foods (wonderful local cheeses!!!) at Oakville grocer. They are right on 12. The address is 7856 St. Helena Hwy in Oakville. (Oakville is after Yountville and before St. Helena.) this is the most flexible option. There are wineries that have picnic tables that you can use. I know V. Sattui does have a large area...wine is not great there... Anyway, I would bring a cooler if you decide to go with this option.

I would usually go down 12 cut over to Silverado trail at Sterling and go back up. (it runs parallel).

Here are a list of some of the better wineries. They ones with phone numbers require a "reservation" but often you can call from the road and still get in.

The link to the map of wineries is below.

The order I am listing is the ones that you will hit first until you get to Sterling (has a cool tram and really pretty) and then cut over to the Silverado Trail.

Chandon
Cakebread 800-588-0298
Peju
Heitz
Merryvale
St. Clement

On the Silverado trail--
Cuvasion 707-942-2468 (I never had to make a reservation here before...)
Rombauer (wine from our wedding)
Duckhorn
Mumm

http://napavalley.com/maps/Napa_Valley_Winery_Map.pdf

Enjoy!!
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:23 PM   #11
pixiewings71
Sweet!!! Totally!!!!!
YAY for good weather!
It's that Disney Magic, I don't know how it works but it does!
 
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V Sattui does have tables, but they ask that you only use them if you've made a purchase from the winery. They also have a deli, IME it's very good, we've eaten there a few times. And I disagree about their wines not being good, I feel the ones I like are very good. Also, Sattui does a BBQ in warm weather (aka peak season) but I think this will be closed when you go in October.
Personally if a winery requires a reservation for a standard tasting I avoid it, if it's a reservation for something special like a tasting and pairing or a tasting with one on one service then I will do it with no hesitation, but to make a reservation for a simple tasting that isn't private, no thanks.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryANDJessMom View Post
Here are a list of some of the better wineries. They ones with phone numbers require a "reservation" but often you can call from the road and still get in.

The link to the map of wineries is below.

The order I am listing is the ones that you will hit first until you get to Sterling (has a cool tram and really pretty) and then cut over to the Silverado Trail.

http://napavalley.com/maps/Napa_Valley_Winery_Map.pdf

Enjoy!!
Thank you This is perfect to sort it out a bit more and give some sort of organization!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiewings71 View Post
Personally if a winery requires a reservation for a standard tasting I avoid it, if it's a reservation for something special like a tasting and pairing or a tasting with one on one service then I will do it with no hesitation, but to make a reservation for a simple tasting that isn't private, no thanks.
This is really good advice. We actually have some decent wineries here on the east coast and there are a few that require reservations yet they are not that good! Others are better and they just allow you to walk in - I always say they are trying to hard to be like a CA winery I'll be sending you a PM soon about restaurants. I want to run a few ideas by you and also ask some advice for the places that are good but wont break the bank
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:08 PM   #13
pixiewings71
Sweet!!! Totally!!!!!
YAY for good weather!
It's that Disney Magic, I don't know how it works but it does!
 
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You got it, I'm happy to help!
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:53 PM   #14
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And don't forget about the wineries that have a tie to Disney ...

http://www.lasseterfamilywinery.com/index.html

http://www.silveradovineyards.com/

And not in Napa, but north of Santa Barbara is Fess Parker.

Have fun!
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:37 PM   #15
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Some of our favorites, some already mentioned:

V. Sattui, St. Helena
We too like the wines here. Are they top expensive wines? No, but enjoyable and the property is so pretty. I also agree, their deli is nice. Perfect for a picnic.

In that area, we also like Opus One, Silver Oak and Mondavi.

Mondavi has a great property and nice wines, but out of those my favorite is Silver Oak. Some of their Alexander Valley Cabernets are wonderful. They have a nice tasting area.

For food we also like the Oakville Grocery and you have to try Gott's Roadside in St. Helena, it's an institution, always with a line. It's fast food, but elevated. So delicious! A nice place to stop and have lunch or a snack at their picnic table area.

We also love Healdsburg, such a charming tucked away little oasis. Great restaurants too. In Healdsburg, we like Twomey Cellars, it's part of the Silver Oak family.

Kind of out there in Geyserville is a little winery called Sbragia Family Vineyards. My nephew got married there and the location is breathtaking! Nice wines too.

Enjoy! Love this area!
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