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Oct 16, 2006 02:43 AM

If you had to visit just one winery in Napa Valley, which would it be?

We have one day to visit Napa Valley and we don't know where to start. None of us are really big on wine but we would like to visit the area and get to see how the wine is made. So if you had to pick just one, which would it be?

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      1. Well, gee, this is such a difficult question to answer. I live
        in Napa Valley and work in the wine industry. The wineries really aren't in competition with each other; we really do look
        at all the wineries here being part of a larger community.
        That said, who is the best? Well, you might ask who gives
        the best tours on wine-making, since you're not into tasting wine. What I'd recommend is that you NOT come on a weekend,
        so that your experience can be more of an intimate one with the winery and tour guide, and you can feel free to ask questions
        and the winery and tour guide have the time to answer them.

        Maybe you want a big winery where you'll be part of a large tour group, like Mondavi or Beringer, or perhaps you want a smaller family-run winery. Maybe you'd like to see the building, grounds and fabulous car collection at Far Niente, or the art collection at Hess Collection, or the Michael Graves architecture at Clos Pegase. No real winery stands out as having "the best" tour. Each winery offers different things, and the individual tour guides at each winery each have a different personality and style.

        I personally like the smaller to medium-sized wineries because of the possibility of a lot of personal interaction with the winery. Right now is harvest wine, so the grapes are coming in, being de-stemmed and crushed, then put into fermentation tanks. The process is pretty similar at all the wineries.
        Have a wonderful time here...

        1. Beringer for the caves, the Rhinehouse and the reserve wines (but only if you like oaky wines)

          1. if you want to get a good straightforward understanding and fun, i'd go to benzinger, which is actually in sonoma, not napa