Wine & Travel

Snooth User: hilaryannprice

Going to Napa Tomorrow...

Posted by hilaryannprice, Apr 1, 2009.

Suggestions on wineries not to be missed? The crowd is into reds. Thanks!


Reply by Philip James, Apr 1, 2009.

Far Niente has a fantastic tour of the grounds / caves and the car collection, and you get to taste their dessert wine (Dolce) as well. However, you need to book it, and its $50 (ish) per person...

I've been treated very well at Trefethen Vineyards as well - they have lots of library wines. You can probably phone and make an appointment for the next day.

I'd suggest booking at least 2 places in advance, then leaving some free time to just drive around and try and 'drop in' on some of the more casual places.

Reply by Philip James, Apr 1, 2009.

Here are the links to both those winery profiles on Snooth:

Reply by hilaryannprice, Apr 1, 2009.

Awesome! Thank you!

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Apr 1, 2009.

Welcome to Snooth Hillary.!

A few suggestions, based more on the fun of the visit than anything else.

Start with one of the BIG BOYS, Beaulieu Vineyard would be my choice.

Drive north on 29 and swing by Taylor's refresher to pick up lunch then head to

St. Clement. They have a nice line-up of wines and picnic tables for lunch!

Mumm Napa will give you the full sparkling treatment, which may not sound appealing to your red drinkers but can serve as a nice palate refresher!

and end up in Calistoga at Sterling and take the tram up to the winery!

It may not be part of my next trip to Napa but it sure make a fine day trip!

Reply by John Andrews, Apr 2, 2009.

Hillary ... here is a blog I wrote about touring Napa that you might hind some helpful hints in.

You are going around the right time of the year. I agree with the other recommendations and would add the following:

Joseph Phelps - mainstream but smaller - appointment is needed

Viader Winery - A little out of the way but I love the wines (all red) and I love the people there. If you go there and Janet is helping you, tell her that John from Loxton sent you.

Honig Winery - A smaller, family owned winery. Kelly S who works there is great.

Both Cakebread and Turnbull are great.

In any event, I would call ahead to make sure you can bring a group by and be aware you'll pay a tasting fee at most places.

Reply by hilaryannprice, Apr 2, 2009.

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome! It was so nice to get so many helpful responses. I think next time I will have to start planning prior to the night before...good thing I live so close! I am definitely keeping all of the suggestions for the future. :-)

We ended up at:

Larkmead - by far and away my favorite, I really liked their '06 syrah, and their '06 Firebelle blend. We also got to taste their '06 LMV Salon, which wasn't on the tasting list - the best wine we tasted all day, a super complex cabernet blend.

Grgich Hills: A friend recommended their chardonnay. It was a little acidic for me though. Very cool though that it is solar and biodynamic. And our tasting was comped :-)

Chandon: Our last stop because everything else was closed, tried their Etoile tasting menu. My favorite of the three was the Rose. The largest winery on the visit, it looked more like a golf course, but was really pretty.

We stopped at a local sub shop in St. Helena, I was bummed to miss Taylor's because I love the one in the Ferry Building, so I'll have to get there next time.

Thanks again!

Reply by John Andrews, Apr 2, 2009.

@Hillary ... if you ever get 'bored' of going to Napa, and you live so close, you should drop by Sonoma. I work part time at a small winery in Sonoma Valley and I'm the curator for the Sonoma Valley and Sonoma group pages here on Snooth. I can definitely give you recommendations. :-)

Oh yeah, on a side note, the assistant wine maker for Larkmead (Dan Petroski) posts regularly here on Snooth.

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