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What are your favorite wineries in Calif Wine Country

What are your favorite wineries in Calif Wine Country

Old Aug 12th, 2000, 06:12 AM
  #1  
Dick
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What are your favorite wineries in Calif Wine Country

We will be visiting the Napa/Sonoma area and would like to get an idea of which wineries to visit. There are so many to choose from.
so far we are considering Stirling, Modavi and Opus. Any first hand knowledge or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks
 
Old Aug 12th, 2000, 07:47 AM
  #2  
drunk1
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Try Francis Ford Coppola's Coppola-Niebaum Winery.
It's the old Inglenook Winery. Nice, tours and sometimes you can catch a celebrity or 2.

 
Old Aug 12th, 2000, 10:23 AM
  #3  
kam
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The ones you have chosen are pretty glitzy as is Coppola's. I prefer the more understated ones. Trefethen, Chateau Montelena, Clo Pegaus, and Souverain in Sonoma. But, it's a matter of what you want to see or taste--almost everyone makes really good wine.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2000, 12:33 PM
  #4  
Kay
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Our favorites are Mondavi, Inglenook and Opus. Trefethen is also good. I can reember when they did their first crush..much improved since then!!!
Stirling has never impressed me, I think they spent too much on their "setting" instead of on their cellar master. Should check out some in Alexander Valley which is just a few miles north of Calistoga. No special one comes to mind. The weather is a bit different than the Napa Velley ,therefore different quality.
I Know you will enjoy any of these.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2000, 04:48 PM
  #5  
DougD
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We found the northern Sonoma valley to be very beutiful, and full of small interesting wineries in wonderful rural settings. Rabbit Ridge comes to mind as a favorite. For a big estate winery in a great setting, go to Fetzer.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2000, 06:51 PM
  #6  
Samantha
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I agree with the above poster about Fetzer. Very nice winery. Their White Zinfandel is the best I've ever had and I've tried many. ;-) Enjoy your time in CA. That area of the state is beautiful.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2000, 07:43 PM
  #7  
Kathy
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Try Ferrari Carano in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County for some absolutely fabulous wines and gardens with a stream meandering through the setting (also a plus in the above suggestion of Chateau Montelena!!--it's lovely, too). Beringer in St. Helena is very interesting for the old, hand-dug caves as well as the incredible, century-old (plus) mansion. For a beautiful setting and a very interesting art collection, go to Hess Collection.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2000, 05:07 AM
  #8  
Mary
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Dick:
My husband and I shop Napa Valley about once a year, and love it! We are leaving next week and will stay a few days this time to explore new wineries and golf.
Both Mondavi and Domaine Chandon give good, informative and fun tours. They're good places to start if you're a beginner because they teach you about wines in general and what to look for when you're tasting.
This year we're planning to visit Mondavi's La Famiglia - they're making "Italian" varieties and we're anxious to find out how a California Italian will taste.
Don't miss Grgich Hills for tasting and buying - they're on the wine road near St Helena's. Their Zinfindels and Chardonnays can't be beat!
Thanks Kam, for the Chateau Montelena suggestion - we'll give it a try. What's your favorite bottle there?

Mary
 
Old Aug 13th, 2000, 10:55 AM
  #9  
kam
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As I recall Mr. (don't remember his first name) Grgich was the winemaker at Chateau Montelena before going on his own. They do a nice Johannisberg Reisling, but their claim to fame is either the Chardonnay--big and long lived) or the Cab. If you visit, it has about the prettiest picnic area of any in Napa but you need to call ahead to reserve. Ducks, geese and swans and beautiful park like setting. We also like most of the wineries mentioned here and absolutely agree that Stirling is just too much Disney and not enough wine. Coppola's makes good wine but the tasting room looks like a boutique in Beverly Hills! Mondavi is super wine but has become the tourists' darling and is always too crowded to bother with. Domaine Chandon's tour is interesting the first time--all subsequent visits, have lunch in their excellent restaurant with various champagnes by the glass. And, do you know about Wente? It's not in Napa or Sonoma but over in the East Bay in Livermore along with Concannon and some other small ones. Very convenient if you're flying in/out of Oakland and a super restaurant and lovely tasting room. Then there are the Santa Cruz wineries and Monterey Co. wineries, and Central Coast, and Santa Inez etc, etc. You can spend every weekend here driving around tasting wine! Each winery has its own personality and it's great fun to visit a cross section. You decide which is the "best."
 
Old Aug 13th, 2000, 02:42 PM
  #10  
gail
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Just got back from Viansa outside of the town of Sonoma. I was reminded what a fun place it is by watching the people shopping and sampling treats in the Italian Marketplace and the arbor covered pic-nic area outside. They have a BBQ area with pasta or a deli inside to purchase lunch. If you enjoy bird wildlife there is a wetland below the complex above.The wine tasting takes place in the marketplace area or you can tast out on the lawn pic nic area as well.
 
Old Aug 14th, 2000, 04:10 AM
  #11  
Dick
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Thanks for all the advice, we will be there this weekend.
 
Old Aug 14th, 2000, 08:23 AM
  #12  
Donna
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Oh definately V. Sattui. They do not have any tours, but the grounds are absolutely beautiful and they have an amazing deli where you can buy all types of gourmet food and wine and sit and eat under olive trees...bliss. Also can't get enough of their gamay rouge, but they do not sell through retail
 
Old Aug 14th, 2000, 08:44 AM
  #13  
kam
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Dick, Keep in mind that the temps in Napa will be a lot hotter than in the city so if you're coming from outside this area, add about 20 degrees to the SF temps or try to find a more local town. It was very hot this past weekend. Enjoy!
 
Old Aug 14th, 2000, 10:37 AM
  #14  
Diane
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A beautiful winery with a very personal tour is Michel-Schlumberger, outside of Healdsburg in "Sonoma." You must call ahead as they don't just take "drop ins," and they don't sell t-shirts, caps, etc. I'll second the recommendation for Ferrari-Carano -- incredible gardens and public rooms. We also thought Hop Kiln was very neat-- the chimneys from the ovens where they processed hops are landmarks. They also had a neat exhibit showing how corks are cut for the bottling process.
 
Old Aug 14th, 2000, 08:12 PM
  #15  
Mary
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Just tagging on to Dick's post again - thanks for the Chateau Montlena info Kam.
This one's for you, Donna. Did you know that V. Sattui has a website? And they offer the Gamay at around $14.00 a bottle. Thought you'd like to know...
Mary
 
Old Aug 16th, 2000, 10:23 AM
  #16  
Tammy
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Here's another vote for V.Sattui. Make sure and go when you are ready for a meal and purchase all the makings a picnic in their wonderful deli. Then sit outside in picnic grounds.

I also enjoyed the Schramsberg winery. Beautiful house and scenic drive to the winery. I think you have to make reservations ahead of time.

Also, I also agree about the Hess Collection. They were very friendly and helpful in explaining their wines.

Stonegate winery is very near Sterling. Nice, small and a great wine I thought.

But my favorite setting was the La Familiga Mondavi winery. It sets up in the hills with a breathtaking view of the valley.

Have a great trip!
 
Old Sep 7th, 2000, 11:26 PM
  #17  
Diane
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If you want a change of pace, try Carneros Alambic Distillery also known as RMS distillery. You can't taste distilled spirits, but the tour is better than any winery I've been to. When we have visitors we go there and to a winery or 2. They all blend together at some point.
If you go to the Alexander Valley up toward the Mendocino coast, check out Husch. Their Chenin Blanc is great and we haven't been able to find it retail.
 
Old Sep 22nd, 2000, 09:09 PM
  #18  
deke
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I like the Mendocino wineries, too. Husch is a nice place to visit. They're really friendly at the Roederer champagne place. The Healdsburg area (Sonoma County) winereis are mellow too. Mark West is good (really good chardonnays, very "pure"), and there's a carnivorous plant nursery on the grounds. If you go to Mark West, you can pick up the Russian River Valley wine map. A lot of these places are good but uncrowded.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2000, 02:30 PM
  #19  
tothetop
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Good info here.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 04:18 PM
  #20  
E
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Cakebread Cellars has wonderful wine...a must try! My aunt loved it so much that it's all she served at her wedding.
 

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