(Closed) Trip to Napa Valley – Advice?

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 4
Hostess
11167 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

May is a beautiful time in the valley so good planning. While the tourists will start to trickle in towards the end of the month it won’t be too busy.

I think the best way to recommend things would be to have a better idea of what you like. Do you like fancy wineries or smaller boutique wineries? Do you love red or white wine?

Also, will you be staying in Napa (city)? Or somewhere else in the valley?

If you are staying in Napa I would suggest starting with wineries towards the Calisotga area and working your way back. That way you are closer to home later in the day (when the wine kicks in).

Post # 6
Member
869 posts
Busy bee

Take your camera!!  And make sure the battery is fully charged – mine died at the first winery 🙁   Such a beautiful place!!!

Post # 8
Hostess
11167 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@AnnieAAA:  

Okay so bigger, more detailed wineries might be nicer for the special trip.

For Shiraz there is Darioush (amazing!). http://www.darioush.com/

Other amazing wineries with great ambience and unique aspects are: Castello Di Amorosa (a bee or two have gotten engaged here), Peju (my personal fave), Clos Pegase (amazing wine caves), Domaine Chandon (champagneand pretty gardens), Opus One…I could go on and on.

Here is a great listing with details on all the wineries and their aspects in case you are looking for something more unique or specific:http://www.napavintners.com/wineries/unique_architecture.asp?offset=0

For food I highly recommend stopping at Pizzeria Tra Vigne in St. Helena. I worked there for three years and I still love it (drooling at this moment). It is right next to the Merryvale tasting room so you can kill two birds.

There are great restaurants in Yountville too (Bouchon is amazing!) and it is a cute town to walk around in.

http://castellodiamorosa.ewinerysolutions.com//index.cfm

http://www.peju.com/

http://www.clospegase.com/

http://www.chandon.com/

http://www.opusonewinery.com/

Post # 9
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@Treejewel19:  You nailed it!

All I will add is that the most wineries I’ve hit up in one day (and we’re talking a 10am start) was five.  And that was ambitious.  We usually see three or four.  You end up getting *ahem* tipsy sooner than you realize!  haha

Post # 10
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’m always seeing limo wine tour deals on places like Groupon and Living Social.  I’ll keep my eyes open for them and keep you posted…

Post # 13
Hostess
11167 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@Luv2BeachIt:  Yeah four wineries in a day would be pushing it considering they all typically close at 5 pm (probably start out around 9-10 am?). Plus you need to leave time for food at some point or you will be swimming home.

When we do wine outings we plan on two awesome wineries and you can push it to three with a great lunch. Another idea I just thought of is go get food and eat it at a picnic area at a winery. For example; my Fiance and I are always grabbing a pizza to go at Pizzeria Tra Vigne and heading over to V. Sattui (also the owner of Castello Di Amorosa) and eating on their lawn area (Sattui used to come in all the time to the restaurant, wierdest pizza combos ever).

If you don’t want to worry about driving you can book a wine tour but I would almost recommend going at your own pace so you can stop at anything interesting you see along the way. I can recommend a few tour companies if interested (My FI’s uncle actually works for a great one).

Post # 14
Member
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

It’s been years since I’ve been there, and I’m not a wine drinker…. but I loved the Calistoga area!  I’d been told by countless clients (I was a travel agent for years) about Sterling Vineyards (click for a link to their website) and the aerial tram ride they offered.  It was so beautiful and fun to go on!  

I also very much enjoyed visiting the Old Faithful of the West Coast that isn’t too far from Sterling Vineyards.  It was fascinating to learn that there are 3 geysers in the world considered to be regular enough to be given the title “Old Faithful” and that one of them was so close!  http://www.oldfaithfulgeyser.com/

I’ve also heard high praise for the Napa Valley Wine train.  I’ve never been on it, but again, it’s something that I heard about and had requested all the time when I was a travel agent!  http://winetrain.com/

Post # 15
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@Treejewel19:  I know, right?  You start thinking you have time visit like 6 wineries, then before you know it, you’re a little drunk at it’s 4:45pm.  HA!

Not to be thread hijacker but I’d love to know the companies you recommend.  🙂

Post # 16
Member
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Also, if you have AAA and enough time, you can see if AAA Southern California still offers their Napa Valley Winery Map.  I’m pretty sure they still do since it was a hugely popular map!  

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