Message Boards: Break Out of Your Rut!

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winetasting2.jpgA recent post from someone who recently joined the Message Boards has fallen into the rut that many of us have when visiting Napa or Sonoma. We visit the SAME wineries we always visit. We've gotten comfortable, it's always a great experience, so why mess up a good thing, right? WRONG. Get out and explore!

Edited Post (see full post HERE)

Have been reading your post for several years now, and finally signed up. I enjoy reading your insights and opinions, making notes for our next visit.

I would like to take advantage of your vast knowledge while planning our next trip to Napa/Sonoma. My wife & I have been visiting Napa area every other year since 2001. While have enjoyed every trip, we have a tendency to stick with the usual places. Yes, we like to do the tastings and buy wines, but really are drawn more to the whole package of a winery: detailed tours, the grounds, ability to walk the grounds/vineyards/caves, and really take in the beauty & workings of the place.

Below are just a few of the suggestions, but why not add your two cents! Sign up to be a member of our message boards.

Damombo: Y'all might enjoy the tour and olive oil tasting at Round Pond. They start outside among the olive trees and then on to the crush pad to talk about the pressing of the olives, then inside to taste the olive oils. Another great place (which we just visited thanks to Hawkeye's suggestions) was Chase Family Cellars. Jeff is quite entertaining and he wanders through the vines with you and has interesting stories to tell. Since you make an appointment, it's usually just you two (or however many are in your party) and Jeff.

  If you are into Merlot, two I would suggest in the Napa area are Shafer who is a perennial Merlot favorite (by appointment). and Duckhorn Vineyards who are known for their Merlot and have a very nice tasting room. You will find others in Napa and Sonoma depending on your taste. If you like the big bodied Merlot's, you will have a harder time than if you like the lighter bodied ones.

Now for Pinot's. We have just gotten into Pinot. Over in the south Napa area you might try Saintsbury. Another place I would suggest that you taste is Girard in Yountville. They do have a Pinot plus lots of other varieties. If you like experiences, have the private wine and food pairing tasting and ask for Eric to lead you through their wines.

Yesilovewine: Try to coordinate so that you can attend the Harvest Fair Gala in Santa Rosa the last weekend of the month. It celebrates the announcement of the winners for the Harvest Fair competition and is supposedly quite a party. We can't ever make the gala, but have attended Harvest Fair ( always the first full weekend of October) for about 5 years now and I always tell folks to go if they can. There isn't a better chance to taste the wines of Sonoma County in a really convenient manner, in my opinion. The Gala is strictly for the wine and my understanding is that it is just as great a chance to taste all the wines as the fair, without the crowds. - ALWAYS a plus, don't you think??


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