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Jul 11, 2007 03:01 PM

Limo in Napa for 5 hours, need itinerary help!

I am organizing a limo wine tour for 8 women for a bachelorette and would love some help in choosing wineries, how many we should go to, etc. We are leaving from Silverado Resort in Napa at 1pm and have the limo until 6pm. The date is for Saturday July 21 so we will need to choose places that still would be open for reservations/private tastings. The bride is a big fan of pinot noir and sparkling wines, but we are mostly just looking for high quality wines and the best overall experience (staff, crowds, location, etc). I would love to avoid the overly touristy wineries. We are all from the SF area and have been to many of the big ones - Mondavi, Sattui, Beringer, etc. So far I am interested in Sinsky, Frogs Leap, Coppola, Domaine Chandon, and Sbragia Family Vineyards. What are the thoughts on these choices and am I missing any "musts"? Are there tasting costs for any of these? How many should I try to fit into one trip? Technically a few relatively close wineries would be our best bet so that we get the most of our trip, but I'm open to suggestions. We are really just looking for places to taste only and not for tours of the winery if that makes any difference. Also, we are going to stop somewhere to pick up sandwiches to take with us - any thoughts on this as well?

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  1. I you're going to be starting from Silverado, you might as well stick to the Silverado Trail side of the valley, which is much less crowded and touristy anyway. If you like sparking wines, Mumm's is on that side, and I've heard good things about visiting there (flights of champagne on the terrace, IIRC). The other thing you can do is skip Napa Valley completely and go to Carneros, where the wineries tend to be more pinot noir oriented. Domaine Carneros is a nice place to go for your sparklers. Starting from the south end of the valley, Carneros isn't really any farther than St. Helena.

    If you want to stay away from the hordes around Oakville/St. Helena, you can stop off in Napa at Genova for sandwiches. Or maybe the resort and/or the limo company would put together a picnic for you.

    Oh, one more thing: a lot of tasting rooms close at 5, so check that out in advance and save the one that closes latest for last or you'll be stuck with half an hour of limo time and nowhere to go.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      schramsberg was awsome! make a reservation.

      1. re: drewb123

        ditto on Schramsberg. Best combo of tasting, learning and seeing 19th century caves on a historical property. More of a personal experience than large groups elsewhere. Plus, the sparkling wine is, imo, much better than Domaine Carneros and Mumm. I would build your afternoon around your Schramsberg reservation.

        1. re: cortez

          I absolutely echo the endorsements for Schramsberg BUT you may want to talk to the limo driver to see if he can maneuver up to Schramsberg. The last time I was up there I saw a limo stuck on their private road, and I hear it's not the first time that's happened. You also may have a hard time getting a reservation for 8 this close to the date.

    2. I second staying on Silverado for the duration. Mumm is beautiful with sit down table service and a flight of full glasses for 10-15 dollars. I've also really liked Clos Du Val and my favorite is Luna Vineyards. They are all within 15 minutes driving of each other but Luna and Clos Du Val are closer to Napa and Mumm is closer to St Helena. Luna makes an excellent Cabernet and Pinot Grigio and CDV has an excellent Chardonnay.

      1. I'm going to second/third/fourth the rec for Mumms and Schramsberg. Mumms in good weather sitting on the terrace drinking flights of champagne is awesome. Schramsberg cave tour is also not to be missed but either you or the limo company must call ahead.

        I'm partial to Vincent Arroyo which has a very down home feel and I was lucky enough to meet Vincent and sample some excellent wine direct from the barrels.

        We did a limo trip with friends one year and after some discussion about our preferences (champagne and red), he set the itinerary which also included stopping at the grocery in Oakville where they had a plate of sandwiches and such ready - I picked out individual desserts and then we had lunch at one of the vineyards. This was a great approach and I highly recommend it.