Best of FREE wine tastiing in Napa/Sonoma?

Old Aug 16th, 2005, 09:21 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2005
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Best of FREE wine tastiing in Napa/Sonoma?

hi all,

Haven't been to Napa/Sonoma in years. Going there this weekend. I'd like to get a list of some of your favourie wineries, in either Napa or Sonoma, that still offers "free" wine tasting. i'm sure the list gets smaller and smaller each year...

Mine favourite used used to be V. Sattui, but not sure if they still offer the free tastings. They also had a great deli and picnic area.

again, I'm looking for some great suggestions. thanks.
SFO63 is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 07:11 AM
  #2  
 
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Most of the Sonoma Wineries are free or at the very least the tasting fee will go towards any purchases. In no particular order...Ledson, St. Francis, Quivera, Imagery, Preston & Mayo.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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I'm tempted to say "you get what you pay for". My experience has been that the best "tastes" I've had have either been at "pay" wineries or at those not opened to the public, but only by reservation. I do know that there are more free ones in Sonoma than Napa, but more and more as mentioned, they make a charge that will then be credited towards purchase.

About ten years ago, when most of them were free, we got caught in a Saturday madhouse of drunken slobs running from winery to winery to see how much free wine they could drink. Thank god, they've moved away from that system.

Lambert Bridge and Rafanelli are two of my favorite Somoma wineries. I believe both now require reservations, but don't charge for the tastings.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 07:52 AM
  #4  
Kal
 
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Hey Patrick! I resemble that remark!

We took our bikes to Napa Valley one year and stopped by the Yountville Chamber of Commerece to get a map of the Valley.

We bought a nice "cartoon-type" map that listed all the wineries. A very helpful gentleman volunteer took out his yellow hi-lighter to mark all the wineries that offered free tastings.

I laffed and said, "Uhhh Sir, we're on bicycles".

Now, I have to go get in line for "lunch at Costco" before all the retired people come in.

See you all soon.
Kal is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 11:00 AM
  #5  
 
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Are you spending the night? Your concierge at your hotel could help you with some complimentary passes to places in the area. Yountville Inn and the Sonoma Mission Inn were both great about giving us about five or six passes to some great (even Reserve) tastings in the area. ***kim***
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 11:05 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Some of my favorite free wine tasting are:

Cline
Viansa
V. Sattui (favorite, favorite)
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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Cakebread Cellars
yale is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2005, 01:37 PM
  #8  
 
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I agree with Patrick. You get what you pay for, and the majority of the good/great that you are seeking, is in the reserve tastings where there is a fee.
Consider wineries that need reservations
to taste-it's often been my experience you get a nice personal experience-Rafanelli is a great one, as is Nalle both up in Sonoma's Dry Creek area.

Martin Ray (Sonoma County near Graton)is a keeper,be sure to try
their Courney Benham Pinot and the Angeline Chard.

On the Sonoma/Napa county border by the
famous Stornetta dairy is Nicholson Ranch. Nice, big Pinot's.

In Napa, Raymond, Robert Sinskey,
Jarvis (need ressies) and a reserved tour at Del Dotto come to mind.

Please remeber for us locals and other visitors-don't drink and drive. There is a strong presence of CHP in both counties.

R5
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