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Best Winery To Visit In Napa Valley
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I was just wondering what everyone felt is the best winery to visit in Napa if you could only visit one.
 
Posts: 1646 | Location: New York | Registered: Apr 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You can probably get a hundred different answers here, but I can tell you that a couple of weeks ago my wife and I went with no prior plans and had wonderful tasting experiences at both Signorello and Sinskey. Wonderful wines, wonderful customer service and both gladly waived tasting fees with purchase.
 
Posts: 147 | Location: Monterey, Ca USA | Registered: Dec 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hess Collection - actually up the hill from Napa, but well worth the visit. Particularly if you like art.
 
Posts: 366 | Location: W. Michigan | Registered: Dec 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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best tasting at a winery i've ever had was at Ramey. Bar None. But they're in Healdsburg. You taste their entire lineup, and they ain't stingy. Smile

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Posts: 1510 | Location: Napa, Ca | Registered: Jun 30, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have to chime in with Del Dotto. I spent a week in Napa early this year (and the previous two years) and my wife and I both agreed, without a doubt, the cave tours at Del Dotto are first class, and the best time.
Close seconds for me were Spring Mountain and Pride.
Incidentally, we had a great time at Signorello also. I don't know if it was a normal time, as we hit it late in the day, and the individual working there happened to be from the same area as us. It was a great afternoon, and he closed the gates and we sat out on the patio, drank wine, and told stories.... Wink
 
Posts: 552 | Location: Napa | Registered: Dec 21, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've said it before and I'll say it again - Hendry. Just a really nice guy who gives a fascinating, educational tour (two hours!) followed by a 10 (12? - can't remember) wine tasting of some great stuff.
 
Posts: 127 | Location: Summit, NJ | Registered: Apr 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SFbaybum:
You can probably get a hundred different answers here, but I can tell you that a couple of weeks ago my wife and I went with no prior plans and had wonderful tasting experiences at both Signorello and Sinskey. Wonderful wines, wonderful customer service and both gladly waived tasting fees with purchase.


IIRC Last time I visited Sinskey they were pouring 4 wines costing around $20-$30 each and wanted $10 to taste, which I consider excessive. Plus the service was a bit brusque, but to be fair it was a weekend.

My vote goes to the little guys, like Casa Nuestra and Van Der Hayden. You get more attentive service and you won't find the wines easily elsewhere.

But if you can visit only one, you might try Family Wineries in Sonoma Valley. There are 6 different tiny wineries in one location, such as Mayo, Sunce and Deerfield Ranch, and they pour about 30 different wines of all kinds - for no charge.
 
Posts: 7218 | Location: Santa Clara Valley AVA | Registered: Jul 02, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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REPEAT After me;
NEAL FAMILY Smile....NEAL FAMILY Smile
 
Posts: 274 | Registered: Aug 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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David Arthur.
 
Posts: 2395 | Location: Windsor, CA | Registered: Dec 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Depends what you're looking for, but I've always liked having a picnic at Montelena. Beautiful estate.

That's funny. The first one didn't post. Perhaps it's caught up in the server someplace and it will post twice.
 
Posts: 3020 | Location: Rocky Mountains | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Since there are hundreds of wineries in Napa-Sonoma counties, the answers will simply reflect the experiences at a small percentage of visits from each person.
I would just say that as one who does business with many of the wineries, I see firsthand the efforts most of them make toward friendly attitudes and a good tasting experience for the consumer.
There is extreme competition for the consumer dollar, so most wineries will offer a decent experience, Those who don't will suffer and they know it.
Having said that, I just spent a full day on Spring Mountain and you could do far worse than choosing a bunch from that area to visit.
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: Dec 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Neal, of course, but Mark and Gove do have day jobs, so we all ought to keep this quite ... Smile

Paloma (on the top of Spring Mountain, just down the road from Pride, across the valley from Neal on Howell Mt) is also a great experience - and very different from most. Mrs. Richards is a wonderful older lady - great to sit on her deck, drink her wine and gaze at her wonderful hillside vineyard and views of NV.
 
Posts: 54 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: May 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Von Strasser Winery on Diamond Mountain. Tremendous Cabernet Sauvignon.
 
Posts: 1641 | Location: Santa Rosa, CA, USA | Registered: Mar 07, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Anywhere but Opus-
What a frightful waste of time-

Roll Eyes
 
Posts: 1121 | Location: Nashville / Nebraska | Registered: Feb 15, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As a general rule, since I've been to Napa and Sonoma many times, I would go to wineries that are difficult to find where you live. It is lots of fun to go to some of the wineries like BV, Stirling etc because they have interesting tours, but it is easy to find their wines anywhere. Pick some wines that you would really like to try and see if you can go to those wineries. You will probably not be able to get their best wines as they have been sold out or are allocated, but you never know. Besides, you can normally sign up for thier allocation lists at the winery.

For example, here in MD it is almost impossible to get Martinelli so the last time I was in Sonoma I went there and am now on thier allocation list.

When in doubt, open another bottle.
 
Posts: 2614 | Location: Silver Spring MD (Near DC) | Registered: Nov 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Opus is worth a drive through. The architecture is beautiful, just drive right through and don't go into the tasting room. Big Grin
 
Posts: 411 | Location: nyc | Registered: Jul 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is hard to pick just one winery to visit!

The smaller vineyards are much more generous and personable.

Von Strasser. They opened about 4 or 5 bottles of awesome wine just for my wife and I. We did a full tour of the facility and met the Von strasser family. Needless to say I left with a trunkful of their wine.

Neal Family. A gorgeous little vineyard with a true personal touch. Mark certainly cares about the wine and was more than generous with a personal tour and some wine theiving of his next batches. Again I left with a case or so.

If you like the strong stuff these are great places to go.
 
Posts: 19 | Location: Boston area | Registered: Apr 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would like to recommend two wineries:
Guilliams (on Spring Mountain) We were there a couple of years ago. John Guilliams passion for his wine was very refreshing, the wine outstanding and the price very reasonable.
AND
Dutch Henry (in Calistoga on Silverado Trail) is a very friendly and informative small winery with great ambassadors (the dogs). WSJ picked it as one of the best wineries to visit.
 
Posts: 11 | Location: Arlington Hts, Il, USA | Registered: Jul 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Best view: Sterling
Best tours: Mondavi
Best Hosts: David Arthur


But if you really want to see how wine is made: Saddleback.

Only the mediocre are always at their best.
 
Posts: 384 | Location: Wheaton, IL. USA | Registered: Dec 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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DAVID ARTHUR

Other exceptional choices...

Polamo
Ramey
Pride
 
Posts: 764 | Location: twin cities | Registered: Oct 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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...yeah...yeah...yeah...now that we are in the top 10 from the Spectator you guys are over us. I will remember that. Razz

www.deldottovineyards.com
 
Posts: 559 | Location: napa valley | Registered: Nov 06, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The hell with Spectator's Top 10 Wink, here is my Top 10 in alphatical order.

Buehler
David Arthur
Del Dotto
Gemstone
Lewelling
Neal Family
Seavey
Sherwin Family
Pride
Viader

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2004 Whirlwind Tour

[This message was edited by pyang on Jul 23, 2004 at 03:33 AM.]
 
Posts: 7001 | Location: HKG - TPE - TAO | Registered: Sep 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One?

David Arthur.

(IMO - The view from the new caves rivals Sterling, but who's looking Cool)

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Posts: 2214 | Registered: Nov 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have to agree with Dave Tong. Casa Nuestra is fantastic. Also of note is Vincent Arojo's place. Cool as hell with wines that are to die for. Check out Zahtilla just out side of Calistoga for Zins and some pretty heavy weight Cabs. Grazier for another refreshing blast from the past. And I also like Goosecross for their stainless steel Chardonnay, which I deem to be a real treat these days. Miner is also worth a look into and Robert Sinsky has a Pinot Blanc and a Vin Gris that are must haves for any white wine fans.

Okay... that's it for now.

CD

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers." Henry V, William Shakespeare

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Cal-Duck,
 
Posts: 215 | Location: CA | Registered: Jul 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Currently, am planning to visit David Arthur, Schramsberg, and Pride. Would visit Neal, but am going to a Neal tasting at the end of this month so it seems as if it would be too duplicative. Will definitely add 2 to 3 others as time approaches. Any new suggestions?

Also, what is the etiquette when making appointments for wineries. How obligated are you to buy right then and there? In the past when visiting wineries, I've always bought a couple of wines, but I've never been to places that require an appointment, so I'm wondering if there is a different etiquette. I'm not cheap, but I'm also not someone who can afford walk away with a case of $75+ wine on an impulse buy.
 
Posts: 1565 | Registered: Nov 24, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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