1week in wine country

Old Nov 20th, 2001, 08:00 AM
boyce sher
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1week in wine country

We are planning a trip to wine country in March and are looking for tips on reasonable accomodations as well as highlights not to be missed. Does 2 nights in the Napa Valley, 2 nights in the Sonoma Valley, and 2 nights on the coast sound like a good plan? What towns are most central for touring?
Old Nov 20th, 2001, 08:07 AM
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For your Napa Valley time consider St. Helena or Calistoga. In Sonoma I would spend time around the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek and Russian River Wineries. A great town to stay in would be Healdsburg which gives you access to all and there are great Bed and Breakfast Inns. Check out the Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza, the Madrona Manor and the Calderwood House. Have lunch at Chateau Souveraine and be sure to go to Ferrari Carano in the Dry Creek area. But don't forget the small wineries. That's where you will have your best incounters. On the coast I recommend Bodega Bay. Either the Bodega Bay Lodge or the Bodega Bay Inn are very nice. If you would like other information, including great bike routes in the area and where you might rent a bike feel free to email me.
Old Nov 20th, 2001, 09:12 AM
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Definately visit Pine Ridge winery. Call in adavace and make reservations for the private tour and tasting. If you want to learn about wine making and the region, this is the place for a lesson, not a sermon.
Old Nov 20th, 2001, 09:52 AM
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Also look at Yountville in Napa Valley. Go to www.napavalley.com Healdsburg is our choice in Sonoma and Madrona Manor can't be beat. Dinner at Madrona Manor is special and the other really good restaurant in town is Bistro Ralph. If not in your budget, try the Camillia Inn. Another town might be Sonoma--nice hotel on the town square is El Dorado if you want historic. Sonoma Mission on town square and the cheese factory.Sonoma was the capital of the "Bear Republic" and has an interesting past. Girl and the Fig restaurant in town square is pretty and has good food. Wineries we like are Ravenswood and Gloria Ferrer Champagne Cellars. Chateau Souverain is a great place for a nice lunch with good wine. I would suggest Inverness on the coast because it's closer to Pt. Reyes Nat. Seashore, but Bodega Bay is OK as well. 10 Inverness Way is a lovely little B&B and Inn at the Tides in Bodega is a nice resort. I think you could spend a whole day at Pt. Reyes--bring binoculars if you like birds and other wildlife--possibly still whales in March. Your timing is perfect, two nights in each place. See if you can schedule the Napa part on weekdays. Don't forget that there is still a possibility of rain in March so plan accordingly. Have a great visit.
Old Nov 23rd, 2001, 07:46 AM
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We stayed at the Applewood Inn in Guerneville and loved it!! If you can, get one of the suites that have their own patio. The restaurant was great as well and we really loved their breakfasts. Also, don't miss the Korbel Champagne tour - beautiful grounds! Have a great time - it's not hard to do!
Old Nov 23rd, 2001, 01:04 PM
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I'd shave off a few nights in the wine country and plan on spending a few nights in San Francisco as well. The wine country is nice, but 7 days of wine tasting can get old even for wine lovers. And the weather can be cold and damp that time of year.
Old Nov 23rd, 2001, 01:08 PM
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The Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley are just over the hill from each other. There is no need to stay in both - Pick a place you like and use it as a base to hit Napa, Sonoma and Alexander Valleys and the finish up on the coast. I'd do three nights inland and three nights on the coast (maybe two on the Sonoma coast and one in Marin County)
Old Nov 26th, 2001, 07:53 AM
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There are so many wineries in the area, you may have to make some decisions.
Do you want:
1. Informative tours
2. Wineries with beautiful grounds
3. A place to eat lunch
4. or are you an oenophile looking for

We, also, stayed at the Applewood and thought the grounds were beautiful,,,but that the property and resaurant are run "amateurish". Perhaps, the original owner sold out.
Old Nov 26th, 2001, 09:05 AM
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I see Napa valley, Sonoma valley and the Sonoma coast as being quite different from each other. Napa is more polished and crowded with more wineries, Sonoma is more historic and rustic with prettier scenery, and the coast is very different--lots of small B&Bs, oysters, wildlife, hiking not a lot of wineries. One really unique little town is Boonville where the natives speak a dialect all their own. Since Boyce didn't mention SF, I assume he's either spent time here in the past or has another week to spend in the city before/after the wine country. If I were to pick only one place in both wine countries, it would be the pretty little town of Healdsburg in Sonoma.

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