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California Wine Country Tip

aacharya Oct 22, 2008 07:18 AM

I am off for my twice a year trip to California for wining and fun. Earlier, I went to Santa Barbara (a first!) and had a great time. This time, I am back in the Napa/Sonoma area.

The twist: Flying into Sacramento, not SF, due to an amazing rate. I land at 11 am,
and so I intend on visiting Napa that day (Friday) to avoid the crowds. I'll visit Sonoma the other two days.

Any recommendations on places to visit on the way from Sacramento to Napa Valley? I always visit V. Sattui and St. Supery, which is on the main drag, but I was
hoping for some other places that I might pass on the way there.

  1. b
    bclevy Oct 25, 2008 02:01 PM

    I live in Davis next to Sacramento, and I cannot think of a single
    winery to recommend before hitting Napa if you follow I80.
    One option, but the road is very twisty, is to take Highway
    128 through Winters and by Lake Berryessa. On this road
    a few miles before hitting the Silverado trail you will find
    Nichelini which makes a good Zin and Petite Sirah.
    You will be hitting the Silverado trail at Conn Creek, which
    in my opinion has one of the better quality to price ratio
    in the area. Not far on the left you will find ZD wines,
    Pine Ridge, Stag's Leap, Clos du Val. On the right you
    will be going towards Duckhorn But most of these are
    pricy wineries.

    The great wine area close to Sacramento is located
    East: Amador, Fair Play and ElDorado. It is better
    known for its Zins, but you will find some fine
    Rhone varieties (syrah, mourvedre, grenache, viognier,
    roussanne) and Italian varieties (sangiovese, barbera).
    You can access this area from the South by driving
    East on highway 16 from Sacramento to Plymouth
    in Amador or from the North by driving East on highway 50
    to Placerville.

    1. Eat_Nopal Oct 22, 2008 09:35 PM

      Not wine... food... given your profile (Acapulqueno & Bayless) consider dining at El Michoacano in Santa Rosa as well as Antojitos La Mixteca in Napa.

      La Mixteca
      2580 Jefferson St, Napa, CA 94558

      Restaurant El Michoacano
      500 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95407

      1. Melanie Wong Oct 22, 2008 04:51 PM

        The wine region in between Sacramento and Napa Valley is Suisun Valley. Here's a link tot the appellation organization, http://www.svgga.com/map.asp . I've not visited any of the wineries there so can't offer a personal opinion now.

        And, yes, this would be discusses on the SF Bay Area board. I've reported it to the mods asking it to be moved for you.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong
          aacharya Oct 22, 2008 07:27 PM

          Thanks Melanie. In fact, I had posted it by accident to my "home" board, which is the Mid-Atlantic one. The mods moved it here.

          1. re: aacharya
            toodie jane Oct 22, 2008 09:12 PM

            next time, check out the Central Coast wine country. The area is just as gorgeous, closer to the coast, some great wineries and wonderful restaurants. From Monterey county all the way down through Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande, Tepesquet, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Rita Hills. Worth at least 2 weeks.

        2. b
          BN1 Oct 22, 2008 02:04 PM

          If you use the search, there is tons of info on the SF Board. I think you will have a great time in Sonoma County, especially around Healdsburg. Be forewarned, you have sinned in the eyes of this forum in just mentioning V. Sattui.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BN1
            aacharya Oct 22, 2008 07:25 PM

            Now that's really funny. The difference for me is that I usually never visit V. Sattui on days beginning with S - I almost never have to pay at V. Sattui, and most of the time, they realize I do know wine (went to school at Cal), and pour a LOT more wines than on the list. Besides, it's close to St. Supery (lifetime tasting pass) and Raymond and Merryvale, which are old favorites.

            I thank pantani for the Lodi recommendation - will look into it.

          2. p
            pantani Oct 22, 2008 01:32 PM

            I don't care for Napa because everything there including tasting costs money and its snooty.
            Yes the scenery is nice and you can get great wine there but it is not cheap.
            I like to go to Lodi, its not far from Sacramento. Tasting is free and good wine is reasonably priced. Mostly they have Zin but other reds as well. Wineries I like there include Oak Ridge, Macchia but there are many many more.

            1. a
              aacharya Oct 22, 2008 01:08 PM

              mods - please move to Wine

              1 Reply
              1. re: aacharya
                Ruth Lafler Oct 22, 2008 01:19 PM

                Actually, this should be on the SF board, which covers Napa and Sonoma.

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