Post # 1
Fiance and I are trying to decide on honeymoons. Our wedding is in September but due to finances and vacaiton days we have to postpone the honeymoon until March. I’ve always wanted to do wine tasting etc. in Sonoma or Napa Valley.
Any bee’s ever visit/live in the area?
Best and affordable places to stay?
Best wineries to visit?
Would love as much info as I can get!
Post # 2
We just got back from a trip to Napa about 3 weeks ago! We stayed at the River Terrace Inn iN napa and it was nice, but a little pricey. I think Sonoma is a bit cheaper in general and feels a little more like what we imagined “wine country” to be. Our favorite thing was the Napa Valley Wine Train. We sat in the vista dome, had an amazing lunch and tons of wine. It was a great intro to Napa on our first day there.
Post # 3
I live in SF Bay and do frequent day trips to wine country. I prefer Sonoma over Napa, it’s more laid back and not quite as touristy (fun fact: they allow open wine bottles in the town square, so go have a picnic). Viansa winery is beautful, situated on a hill with lots of patios to sit and sip your wine, and doing tasting and a tour of the wine caves at Gloria Ferrera is good. The Wine Shop in the town square has affordable tastings of lots of local small vineyard productions.
If you do Napa, go on the Silverado trail, it’s a wonderful drive with lots of wineries on either side. Napa town center is much bigger with more restaurants, so that could be good to just walk around.
I don’t have a lot of experience far as hotels, but March should be cheaper than September since it’s not as close to harvest season. Lots of boutique hotels in the immediate area, and you can also check out other areas like Calistoga for their spa hotels, many of which use the geothermally heated mineral water in their spa treatments and even their jacuzzis.
Post # 4
I’m NO help at all, LOL! But I used to live in Sonoma county 10 years ago and I’m SOOOO jealous of you!! There is SO much good food there and in Napa. I preferred Sonoma, too, but I am biased. It’s just that it was less busy (back then anyway). In Napa you will see a line of cars along the main road Hi-29 (I think it is) all going to different wineries. Sonoma you won’t really see that much activity. Ferrari Corano is really pretty. Kendall Jackson is smallish, but my sister works there so stop by and say Hi! Lol! I thought Korbel Champagne Cellars was really pretty and they had a decent tour and interesting history. Plus I love champagne! Napa has the bigger (??) wineries where they have longer tours ie: Mondavi. Sterling Vineyards in Napa has a tram that takes you to the winery, that’s kinda unique. I’d pack a lunch and picnic on the grounds of one of those places (preferrably Sonoma). Sonoma also has the coast so if you have some extra time you could go there. The water is COLD, but the views are spectacular! If you go through Bodega Bay it’s where they filmed The Birds and some of the buildings are still there which is kinda cool if you like history and old movies. If you happen to like Guy Fieri he has 2 restaurants in Santa Rosa (Sonoma) called Johnny Garlic’s and Tex Wasabi’s. I was going there before he was famous because I liked them, had no idea who he was yet! The towns of Sonoma and Healdsburg are CUTE. They both have a little plaza with shops around them. They are small towns though. Okay, I’m rambling. Sooooooo jealous!!
Post # 5
If you DO go to Calistoga (known for their spas and it’s just a cute town) DON’T go to Dr Wilkinson’s! It’s famous because it’s the first spa ever, in the 60s? 70s?? It’s just kinda old and dumpy. There are nicer places. This is where I went for spa treatments a couple times:
TONS of cute B&Bs all around, too.
Post # 6
I live about 30 minutes from Napa. There are sooooo many places to choose from. I would recommend visiting wineries that craft wines that you enjoy drinking!
Are you interesting in just wine tasting or learning more about the wine making process? I would skip the larger places like Mondavi and Chandon – which in my opinion, really aren’t that great. There are so many better places to visit… If you want bubbles go to Schramsberg or Domaine Carneros.
Another thing to keep in mind is that wine country is pretty big, so you can spend a lot of time traveling from one vineyard to another. You probably want to stick to a certain area each day and visit wineries that a close by (this will require some planning and remember certain places require reservations.) FYI – Traffic can be a nightmare there! Also 3 (maybe 4 wineries) a day is max. And plan to have a driver!<br /><br />
I really like Frogs Leap and Swanson Vineyards. Check them out – the Swanson Tasting is a little pricey, but it is really cool and worth it (the pair some really tasty items with the wine and the tasting room is very cute and intimate.)<br /><br />Def plan to have lunch at Auburge one afternoon. Don’t make a reservation for the restaurant. Show up when they open for lunch and go to the bar and request a table on the outdoor patio – there are amaing views overlooking Rutherford Valley (plus the menu items and tastier and cheaper in the bar v. the restaurant). There are other really great restuarants in Napa too, but they are pretty $$$….I’m not really sure what your budget is.
And make sure to stop at Buchon Bakery in Yountville for some tasty treats.
Lastly there are really great shops to poke around in Calistoga, Healdsburg and the Downtown Square in Sonoma.
Have a great honeymoon!
Post # 7
I haven’t been to napa but we’ve been to sonoma a few times. we’ve heard sonoma is much more laid back than napa. One wine-o told us in sonoma they actually drink the wine, but in napa they taste & spit. NO idea if that’s true or not…. We loved the Francis Ford Coppola winery off Hwy 101 in Sonoma. It’s a huge italian looking building with a gigantic swimming pool and you can rent cabana’s for the day. They have a few restaurants, poolside service, bandstand outside by the pool, and a super neat museaum with alot of Coppola’s memoribilia from his films.
Here’s a few of our pics:
The Godfather display
Apocalypse Now Display
And here’s a google pic of the actual building & pool: