Winery advice?

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by Karabee, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Karabee

    Karabee DIS Veteran

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    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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  3. deej696

    deej696 They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime,

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    We just returned from Napa, and did 3 days of nothing but wineries, and not on a bus tour:thumbsup2

    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.
     
  4. Karabee

    Karabee DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for your reply! Which bike tour did you go with? That's something that sounds perfect :goodvibes
     
  5. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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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.
     
  6. deej696

    deej696 They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime,

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    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...
     
  7. ncc1701

    ncc1701 Scotty I need Warp 10 to WDW

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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.:thumbsup2. 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)
     
  8. Karabee

    Karabee DIS Veteran

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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 :thumbsup2 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! :goodvibes

    I'm so pleased that I can find more than just Disney info on the Disboards :)
     
  9. deej696

    deej696 They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime,

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    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. :thumbsup2
     
  10. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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    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.
     
  11. BryANDJessMom

    BryANDJessMom Mouseketeer

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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!!
     
  12. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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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. :)
     
  13. Karabee

    Karabee DIS Veteran

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

    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 :)
     
  14. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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    You got it, I'm happy to help! :)
     
  15. AnabellaAnaheim

    AnabellaAnaheim Earning My Ears

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  16. minniebeth

    minniebeth <font color=green>I count on y'all to keep me up t

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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!
     
  17. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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    Gott's Roadside is always crowded, it never matters if we drive by on a cold rainy day in January or on a hot sunny day in August, it is always crowded. As an alternative try the one in Napa at Oxbow (I have quite a few places in Oxbow and in Napa that I would recommend for dining), no wait there but the same food. :) This was a place I was going to mention when you were ready to talk about food. :) Also, Hog Island Oyster Bar (either in Napa or SF), Pica Pica, C Casa and my very favorite Bistro Sabor. For higher end dining I'd suggest French Laundry or Cole's Chop House, but both are $300 meals easily (if not more).
     
  18. Karabee

    Karabee DIS Veteran

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    I almost fell off my seat with excitement when I saw these! Unfortunately we won't have enough time to go down that way :( However, it could be a nice way to do another trip focusing on Santa Barbara area and DisneyLand! ;)


    Thank you so much!! Opus seems to be a popular one so that's officially now on our list :) I also love that you pointed out some places to grab a good sandwich - I'm picturing alot of picnics in the wineries :) These are now added to my list which is getting longer and longer! (Oh, and I'm all about good but not expensive ;) )


    Thanks, Pixie! I just PM'd you about some food places :)
     
  19. LeslieLou

    LeslieLou Mouseketeer

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    A tiny winery that we really enjoyed: Casa Nuestra

    Highly recommend the Tinto- a field blend with many varietals, but 2 that even UC Davis couldn't identify.
     
  20. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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    I've been to Silverado, it's a gorgeous winery with an amazing view! It's down Silverado trail so parallel to 29 but easy to get to. If you were interested in going there I can also recommend a few places on the Trail to visit. I wasn't a huge fan of the wines but I loved tasting there and standing on the patio and enjoying the beautiful view. :thumbsup2

    I PM'd you back :)
     
  21. deej696

    deej696 They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime,

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    So I may or may not have visited both the main Gott's Roadside, and the Oxbow location:thumbsup2 Worth the wait, and if the weather is nice, it's a great place to hang out for a bit.

    Also, I failed to mention, it can be a little touristy, but if you make a stop at Chateau Montelena, you'll be in love. They were the subject of a movie called Bottle Shock, so they get more visitors than some of the others, but the grounds are simply incredible. It's an old French chateau...and if you're lucky like us, they will have just wrapped up a "premium tasting" and give you some of the leftovers:)
     

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