Vineyard Touring in Napa/Sonoma
My wife and I love full, dark and stormy reds (Zinfandels mostly). A few questions:
1) Which is better to visit- Napa or Sonoma?
2) Any suggestions on vineyards to visit and tour in Fall 2007 and places to stay in Napa and/Sonoma?
3) Good food?
I second Husky's post. If you love Zins, Dry Creek is the place
you want to be. You may want to research which wineries are producing beautiful ones. I love Zinfandel's flavor
combo of forward cherry fruit with a black or white pepper snap at the back of the month. Have fun, and drive safely...
This question gets asked quite often on the San Francisco Bay Area board. You should do a search there for both Napa and Sonoma and you will find many, many helpful suggestions already there for you. The general thought is that the wineries in Napa are typically bigger, more formal and a little more touristy than those in Sonoma. Obviously, there are many exceptions to that presumption.
The SF Chronicle newspaper has very good Food & Wine supplements that are published weekly. They have an excellent database of information for visiting wineries (called Wine Country Guide) at:
They also have a number of restaurant reviews at:
Just a quick note: Questions of lodgings and accommodations are off topic for Chowhound. Please concentrate on wineries and food in your answers.
I live in Napa, and I'd recommend Sonoma County (not to be confused with Sonoma City) for zin tasting. Ridge, Martinelli, Unti, and any number of the small wineries in the Dry Creek Valley area would be up your alley if you're into zins.
Napa is more commericial, in a way - the wineries go farther to create the total wine tasting experience that the northern Sonoma places. This can be good or bad, depending on your mood. If you hit Napa on a sunny Saturday, some wineries can be really crowded and rowdy, with lots of people who are about getting drunk and not about enjoying the wine.
Healdsburg is a great food town up in Sonoma - try Ravenous (or its smaller sibling, Ravenette), Dry Creek Kitchen, or Cyrus if you're feeling spendy.