How is this for a Napa itinerary?

Old Dec 1st, 2006, 11:35 AM
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How is this for a Napa itinerary?

I'm working on an itinerary for a February Napa Valley trip. Could you review my rough itinerary and let me know if you have suggestions?

Domaine Chandon
Vintners Collective
Dinner - Brix

St. Supery
Joseph Phelps
Lunch - Culinary Institute of America
Pride Mountain Vineyards
Schramsberg Calistoga
Dinner Rutherford Grill

Grgich Hills Cellar
Lunch/Tasting - V. Sattui Winery
Mumm Cuvée Napa
Dinner - Bistro Jeanty or PJs Steak
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 12:12 PM
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I highly recommend a dinner at Domaine Chandon. It was excellent everytime we dined there. We were disappointed with Brix and Rutherford Grill. We never miss Culinary Institute so I am glad to see you are at least having lunch there. One favorite winery of ours is Trefethen
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 12:20 PM
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Personally I love lunch at Domaine Chandon since the grounds are so pretty.
Next time be sure and plan a visit to Sonoma County.......great wines here too......
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Old Dec 1st, 2006, 02:57 PM
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I am a Napa native and you have a lot of great things planned. I would recommend Sterling has a great tram ride up to the winery. I also think the Beringer tour is fantastic...very informative and interesting. Rutherford Grill is excellent and I would recommend Bistro Jeanty for your last night. Have a great time!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 07:02 PM
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You've planned some good ones. My favorite winery is Peju in Rutherford. It is beautiful and a lot of fun. We recently had a good dinner at Brix, but the service is in need of polish. I would recommend Press in St. Helena or Bistro Don Giovanni (north of Napa, between Yountville and Napa) for dinner. Rutherford Grill is good if you are looking for a very casual, less expensive option. Personally, I would skip Sattui altogether. The best thing there is having a picnic, but in February it will be too cold to enjoy. Also, their wines are a disappointment IMO.

Weds - dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni or Press
Thursday - dinner at Wappo in Calistogs, Market in St Helena, or Hurley's in Yountville
Friday - Tasting at Peju (and possibly lunch there - call ahead) or lunch at Rutherford Grill
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Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 07:30 PM
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If you are a Cab fan, Plumpjack wasn't that great of an experience. They were out of Cab tastings when we went two weeks ago. Only a Chard and a Merlot ... mediocre at best. JPhelps has an excellent Le Mistral that can't be missed (I hope they're still giving tastes of that.)

BUT, I can highly recommend the following for dining: Mustards Grill (great menu, great desserts) for dinner, and Bistro Jeanty (order the tomato soup in a bread bowl and/or their pasta with mushroom sauce (I believe a lunch special) was to die for!). Bistro Don Giovanni is also a must - great atmosphere and service and wonderful food. So is Napa Valley Grille - wonderful service and very good food. We were pleasantly surprised with Fume' - and we made reservations two hours in advance.

My hubby and I just got back from Napa about two weeks ago. It was cool weather for sure, so make sure to dress very warmly. Some of our tours were in cellars, which at times seemed colder than the outdoors.

Have fun!! Where are you coming from?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 07:23 AM
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Domaine is definitely pretty! Since you are so far down in the valley, I suggest you also visit Hess that day. They just won several awards in Wine Spectator...the wine is great, prices are fair, grounds are stunning, the people are nice and they have an art gallery that is impossible to describe...altogether a very nice experience. I would also suggest that you visit a tiny winery such as Zahlita or William Harrison or the like. It's fun to get very personal attention and experience a limited production winery. Too often, people just stick to the big places and names they know. Fun to try wines that you'll never get back home. Cakebread does an excellent tour, btw, but there you are on that busy road and V Sattui is a real zoo. Their wine is about visiting Rutherford then driving up the hill for a spectacular lunch at Auberge du Soleil? I'd rather spurge a bit for either a great lunch spot or at least a quieter picnic than sit amid the masses at V Sattui and listen to traffic. here's a cool map that you might enjoy:
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Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 09:23 AM
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You may already be aware of this, but call at least a week ahead for your appointment with Pride. This top class organization will accomodate you, treat you like you're a regular and provide you with some of the best cab/merlot/franc/syrah tasting experience in the U.S. of A.

I also second the recommendations for having a meal at Bistro Jeanty. Their casssoulet is considered the best in the Bay Area. Their pork belly with seared foie gras appetizer is something you'd always be thinking about if you are a foodie. We were just there 2 weeks ago, and, (dammit!), I wish we were back there right now.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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Nice itinerary. Brix and especially Bistro Jeanty were very good when we went. I would suggest, however, that you reconsider V. Sattui. IMO, it's the Wal-Mart of the area. I personally loved our lunches at the Tra Vigne' deli. Right next door is Merryvale so you could do some tasting there. Another alternative would be to visit the Oakville Grocery store for some gourmet picnic items and then visit any of the many wineries with nice grounds to enjoy yourselves. But you will probabaly have to bundle up!

Have a great time!
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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Thanks to everyone for such great feedback. Jazzychick - we are coming from Virginia Beach, Va. We've been to San Francisco before, but never made it out to Napa. Looking forward to great food and great wine. We'll scratch V. Sattui from the list and make some additions...

Thanks again!
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