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Feb 12, 2007 05:07 AM

Napa wineries ... something new/fun?

We're on our way to Napa in March, a trip we've made a few times before, but this time we've got a baby (yay!). We'd like to try a winery or two that we've not tried before, but that would be ok with the baby (most are, I realize, but we've been to a few where it was very quiet, etc. - like Caymus). We've been especially thrilled with Farrell, Miner, Pine Ridge, Sinskey, BV, ZD. Any thoughts on something with similarly good wine, easy-going atmosphere? Thanks very much in advance for any and all advice.

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  1. Dutch Henry is about as casual as it gets

    6 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom

        Oh -- so you're one of those are you? Want your wine and drink it, too?!?!?! ;^)

        The wines can indeed be quite good.

        My suggestion, however, would be "Sonoma."

        1. re: zin1953

          Yeah, crazy me, I actually want it to taste good too. Any place in particular you'd recommend in Sonoma? We've been there numerous times too, and are not averse to the drive, just want to try something new. And since my mind is currently blanking out, I can't think of which particular wineries we've been to in Sonoma, which probably helps you not one whit.

          1. re: LulusMom

            What kind of wines do you like/are you interested in?

            Several just in and around Healdsburg, Geyserville and the "Russian River Wine Road" include David Coffaro (great reds *and* affordable!), Gary Farrell (awesome Pinot, SB, Zin), Frick (Rhone-esque wines), Nalle (Zin), Preston (Petite Sirah, Zin), A. Rafanelli (great Cab & Zin), Ridge (although they're actually in the Santa Cruz Mtns, they have a second facility in Healsberg), Siduri (great Pinots -- modern style), Joseph Swan (Pinot, Zin, Syrah), Unti (Grenache, Barbera, etc.) . . . and many more.

            Check out http://www.wineroad.com/wineries/ for more info.

            1. re: zin1953

              We love the Russian River wines we've tried, and are big Farrell fans. I think Ridge is a fantastic idea, and will look into your other suggestions. Thanks very much.

      2. re: TonyO

        Agree , nice people too. The reserve wines are quite good.

      3. There are great wines in Napa and it's easy to get around. I'd stop at Cliff Lede for sure, great wines, beautiful tasting room, Yountville Crossroad and Silverado Trail. Head north to Calistoga and then further north, hit Bennett Lane, Summers, Calistoga Cellars, all casual and very good. Head back down the Silverado Trail and stop in to August Briggs, wonderful wines and you just might get a free barrel tasting, happens all the time there. Dutch Henry was mentioned and is right in that area, stop in and have a good time and drink some fine wine.

        Over on 28 there's Rutherford Grove, good wines and the fireplace is almost always burning on chilly days. Look up Augar-Martucchi, wonderful. Elyse and Havens on Hoffman Lane are both wonderful, casual and outstanding wines.

        Have a great time, you'll be there at a great time of the year.

        1. Paraduxx winery has a terrific tasting program and a pleasant room in which to lounge. If the weather it nice, the back courtyard is delightful. The $10 tasting was well worth it with snacks provided, including dry jack cheese, spiced nuts and parmesan crisps. Good, juicy reds with lots of Cab & Zin.
          They are on Silverado Trail, near ZD, Chandon & the like.

          1. There is this story in the New York Times about Quixote winery in Napa.


            >HISTORICALLY American fans of the wildly eccentric artist and designer Friedensreich Hundertwasser have had to board a plane to get their fix. But for those who do make it to his colorful, biomorphic public housing masterpiece in his native Vienna, or to his sparkling, off-kilter incineration plant in Osaka, Japan, his revolutionary aesthetic tends not to disappoint. Trees are considered tenants and grow out of their own windows. Flat floors are forbidden; an uneven walking surface is “a melody to the feet.” Residents can lean out of their windows and paint anything within arm’s reach. The roof? A minor wilderness.

            Starting this weekend Americans can get a taste of that aesthetic when the Quixote Winery in Napa Valley, the only Hundertwasser building in the country, finally opens to the public. Another place to swirl a glass in Northern California would scarcely be news, but this is not just another place. Tucked up in the golden hills, away from the stately villas and incongruously ornate mansions, sits what might seem the creation of a beautifully demented child.<

            1 Reply
            1. re: EdwardAdams

              I saw this in the paper myself, and was intrigued. We've seen the guy's work (the architect) in Vienna - loads of fun. Anyone know anything about the wine?

            2. i am also a fan of the silverado trail...some great wineries with less traffic. we also follow the trail that leads to ch. potelle. again a little more secluded. if you want something a little different..... mrs and i enjoy visiting a portworks- praeger.

              :( i really miss being 30 min from sonoma :(