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Jan 18, 2008 06:46 AM

Napa wineries - just need something new

Going up to taste this weekend and I just need some ideas of somewhere new to go. We've been to Havens, Elyse, Sawyer, Cakebread, Groth, St. Supery, Whitehall Lane, Robert Sinskey, Duckhorn, Markham, Stag's Leap, Pine Ridge, Grgich, Plumpjack, Darioush, Dutch Henry, Sequoia Grove, Mahoney, Artesa, and I am sure a few others I can't think of. Good wines (any varietal) is more important that atmosphere.

So what have I misssed?

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      1. Have you been to Caymus, Silver Oak (note: Silver Oak is closed on Sundays) or Frank Family? Your list seems as though you have not been on Silverado Trail as much as Hwy 29? I particularly like Rombauer, Cuvaison for their higher-end pinots, and Mumm for some of their less readily available sparkling wines. There are so many on Silverado, it's hard to suggest just a few.

        Another option is to head over the Sonoma direction, perhaps start with Carneros wineries?

        1. Here are three that I am partial to:

          Ceja (Great family story behind this winery)

          1. Okay, I'll try again...

            Why not consider some mountain wineries? Disclaimer -- THREE YEARS AGO, I worked at one NOT LISTED HERE.

            Spring Mountain: Smith-Madrone, Pride, Keener
            Howell Mountain: Outpost, Neal, Lamborn

            Most need appointments but produce excellent juice.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Carrie 218

              I really enjoyed my visit to Terra Valentine, which is on Spring Mountain.

              1. re: JasmineG

                The Spring Mountain District is an especially good choice: the wines are characterized by clear, direct mountain fruit with a backbone of acidity. Beautiful, really. Spring Mountain Vineyard, Pride, Keenan [not Keener], and Smith-Madrone are all wonderful. I'm especially fond of Pride: their Cab Franc is the best in the valley, and their Merlot is remarkable (not so much a Merlot fan, either!) Spring Mountain Vineyard makes stunning Cabernet; their top wine, Elivette, is worth seeking out. Their Victorian house was the "Falcon Crest" house on television, and is used for tastings. Beautiful grounds and vineyards. Here's the link to the Spring Mountain District, with the wineries listed:

              2. re: Carrie 218

                Or head this way and check out the ones in the Santa Cruz Mountain area:

                Burrell School, Byington, Picchetti, Roudan Smith, David Bruce
                Storrs, Testarossa, Thomas Fogarty


                1. re: Carrie 218

                  Irostron's advice is good. North Bay gets the media coverage, and admittedly is flatter, therefore easier to navigate. But the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA's 55 or so wineries include those that helped make US wine internationally known for Cabernets (Ridge Vineyards at both the 1976 Spurrier "Paris" blind tasting, and its 2006 re-enactment); for Pinot-Noir wines (Martin Ray, now Mount Eden vineyards, also later David Bruce); and even for bad puns (Bonny Doon).

                  “California’s best table wines, whether white or red, may be expected to come from the Santa Cruz Mountains, from the Napa Valley, and from Sonoma County.”

                  -- Schoonmaker and Marvel, "American Wines," 1941.