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V. Sattui Winery - Napa Valley

Anybody know anything about this Napa Valley winery? I friend of mine buys from them on-line.

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  1. Oh, yes. I've been there in person and it's my friend Linda's favorite to go to in person. It's probably one of the busier/friendlier of the Napa wineries. They have a great gourmet deli and picnic tables so you can eat lunch there on the cheap. Their wines were very nice. A wide range of offerings.

    1. On the contrary! They have some of the worst wines in the valley and cater to busloads of unsuspecting tourists. It really is a dumbed down version of what a proper winery experience should be. Apologies in advance to those that enjoy it!

      1. Totally agree with Husky. There wines should be in boxes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rtmonty

          Their wines are worse than wine in boxes. Their cute little winery sucks in tourists, and then their staff does their best to give every single customer the hard sell and then the cold shoulder when you "dare" to intimate that you're not really loving their wine. Definitely some of the worst wine in Napa.

        2. The biggest cash cow in the Valley, they make their money by selling lots of deli items, letting people have picnics on the grounds, and -- most of the time -- letting buses stop there. Since the wines are only sold at the winery (with very few exceptions), most visitors to the Valley think "Ooh, better get 'em here, or I'll never get 'em again," and voila! the moise from the cash registers are heard up-and-down the Valley . . . .

          With the occasional exception -- their 1997 White Zinfandel (or was it a Rose?) was quite good -- Husky has it exactly right.


          2 Replies
          1. re: zin1953

            For some reason the board is forcing me to reply to an individual post rather than to my original post. Anyway, thanks for the opinions. I'd say that V. Sattui got thoroughly scolded. Safe to say I won't be buying any of these wines. I think I'll try a Priorat. Local store has one in the $20-30 range.

            zin1953, what does YMMV mean?

            1. re: Summerfield

              Click the Reply link in the lower right hand corner of the post you want to reply to.

              YMMV = your mileage may vary.

          2. Agree on all points mentioned however their Gamay Rouge is a great summer picnic wine. But having said that, it's not worth fighting the crowds of people to buy it; there are much better dry roses on the market for far less hassle.

            1. i would second their gamay but don't care for anything else. we do stop in there to pick up some salami/pate/bread/cheese before we start the day

              1. Feels like Disneyland in that joint. Vile. Unless you go with a member of the wine club and can get around those crowds. Some of their wine is actually okay - the family red is the worst thing since thunderbird.

                1. It's a circus and should be avoided unless you're fond of tourist traps.

                  If you must visit Napa, go during the week or if during the weekend, avoid route 29 and tour the Silverado trail.

                  1. It would have to get better to be vile. I called it vee ptoooeee. The wines are undrinkable.

                    1. Call me a tourist, but I was there this weekend with some girl friends and we had a GREAT time. We bought lunch at the gourmet deli (cheeses, charcuterie, olives, mac n cheese, tomatoes & mozzarella balls, bread and a bottle of Riesling) and it was very reasonably priced (about $100 total). Maybe we were already drunk, but there were no complaints from any one. There was also a BBQ on the grounds, but we didn't try that. It was a beautiful to picnic.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: aloha810

                        And you are EXACTLY why V. Sattui is THE most profitable winery in the Napa Valley!

                        It isn't that the wines are bad. They aren't! But when you get the lunch, and a bottle of wine, and have a picnic . . . the winery is raking in the big bucks! ;^)

                        1. re: zin1953

                          Those awful Capitalist at V. Sattui should be ashamed of themselves ! My guess is that most "casual" wine drinkers visiting Napa would enjoy a visit to V. Sattui. Can you picture the tasting room staff at Opus One handling two bus loads of tourists asking for White Zin Fan Dell ???

                          1. re: TonyO

                            I'm not exactly sure what your point is, Tony.

                            No winery in Napa accepts bus loads without an appointment, and IF Opus One were DESIGNED to handle bus loads (and if they made White Zinfandel), I'm sure they would welcome them. Since, however, Opus One was never designed with bus loads of tourists in mind, and since Opus One does not produce a White Zin -- well, it just isn't a problem, is it?

                            Sattui makes average -to-very good wines. Darryl's "genius" has been his marketing. By selling his wine ONLY at the winery*, offering lots of room for picnics, selling all the stuff for said picnic (cheeses, meats, mustards, plates, tableware, etc.,etc., etc.) and -- most of the time -- welcoming buses full of people, he's been able to combine highly profitable non-wine sales with highly-profitable wine sales**, to become the biggest "cash cow" in the valley. That is quite an accomplishment, and one to be applauded.

                            Darryl has (and deserves) his critics, but no one criticizes (and many envy) his commercial success.

                            1. re: zin1953

                              It was an attempt at some humor (albeit one that seemed to miss) ! I was just picturing the bus driver making a wrong turn and being encouraged by a bus load of folks insisting that he stop at _____________ winery and the resulting ruckus that could result. I'm not sure if it has ever happened, but it would be interesting to see how it would unfold.

                              1. re: TonyO

                                Nah . . . it's not interesting at all. I've been on the receiving end of that (unexpected, unscheduled, and quite frankly undesired) busload one too many times!


                              2. re: zin1953

                                Was he the one that prompted the county to outlaw picnic supply sales at wineries? If so, I suppose it is a type of selfish genius, but the success it has given him is more luck than the result of careful planning, since he's got the only joint in town where you can buy everything you need for a meal, feel like you're saving money because you make your sandwich yourself, and end up spending more than you should have for the quality.

                                1. re: SteveG

                                  What a winery in Napa Valley is allowed to sell is based on the year the winery was founded. Sattui's sellling permits are "grandfathered" in -- the older the winery, the more non-wine items, the more "events," like weddings, the winery is allowed to host.

                                  Sattui's wines -- well, they seem to vary greatly -- the ones at the competitions where I judge are never at the winery! Imagine that!
                                  Kind of, um, some "limited" production on those...Hmmm...

                                  As far as Sattui's other winery, Castello di Amaroso, 16 of the 18 wines I tasted were flawed, reeking of volatile acidity. Spend gazillions on a building and make cheap, crappy wine. I could go into "why" this happens, and Sattui's ridiculous penny-wise, pound-foolish winemaking strategy, but I really risk being snarky -- in any case, the wines are horrid -- classic textbook examples of what not to do.

                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                    >>> Sattui's wines -- well, they seem to vary greatly -- the ones at the competitions where I judge are never at the winery! Imagine that! <<<

                                    FWIW, that's been my experience at competitions as well.