wine tour in november
I will be visiting the area in Nov all the way from NJ and am planning out my ideal culinary vacation. I was hopeing to find out if anybody knows if all the local wineries still offer tours this late in the sesaon or for that matter if any of the attractions, farmers markets or destinations are affected by the late season?
bak7701 didn't mention locations, beyond "local wineries." Bear in mind the 9 Bay Area counties include hundreds of wineries clustered in distinct regions (AVAs). Though Napa Valley is the best known and Sonoma County a close 2nd, some of California's best-regarded wines come consistently from other regions (e.g. Monte Bello cab. from Ridge in Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz Mtns AVA; current pinots noirs and Alsatian varietals from the unusually cool Anderson Valley AVA in Mendocino County). Past postings on this forum and the Wine forum have many concrete recommendations and details.
Regarding Passport days etc., they seem to bring big crowds to the more popular areas, whose wineries are easy to visit at other times anyway, whereas for smaller wineries not usually open to public, Passport days are a chance to visit many in one trip. (I've noticed that the Santa Cruz Mtns AVA has many wineries like that, and its Passport events have not been over-crowded in my experience.)
"Any and all of the various *Wineroads* and *Passport Weekend* events are zoos and are best avoided by a first time or seldom visitor."
This is nonsence, there are so many winerys and you wont find hugh crowds at all....coming from NJ/NY area it will be considered empty to you.
Do not hesitate to attend you will enjoy.
Here's a nice event in November:
11th Annual Wine & Food Affair "Tasting Along the Wine Road"
November 7 & 8, 2009 ~ Saturday & Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm
A Wine & Food Affair is the premier event for the Wine Road, Northern Sonoma County!
Join us for a weekend of wine and food pairing in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys.
Any and all of the various *Wineroads* and *Passport Weekend* events are zoos and are best avoided by a first time or seldom visitor.
Fun if you can visit the area frequently since wineries usually have special tastings, barrel tastings, foods, etc. but they are very popular and the area is usually jammed, often with the limo crowd and groups of the hard partying variety.
Great if you like crowds, but not if you're looking for anything like a relaxed, tranquil atmosphere.
I think there is a real differentiation between the events. In my view, the Dry Creek Passport event has become overcrowded and overpriced. On the other hand, the Russian River Wine Road Barrell Tasting in the spring is lots of fun. I haven't been on the particular event mentioned so I can't comment on it.
In any case, November should be a good time to visit. Harvest will be over but there may still be some winemaking going on -- which is always fun to see. While there may be some wineries that are only open on weekends, there will be plenty of places to visit and get tours at every day of the week.
It's a great time to visit the valley. Farmer's markets have pretty much gone away, but there are still plenty of fun things to do and the wineries are open and gearing up for the holidays with beautiful decor. The crowds of summer and crush season have subsided, and reservations are easier to obtain at the most popular restaurants. Some places that were packed just a couple of months earlier will be easy to go on a walk-in basis. The Fall color can be really pretty here in the vineyards .