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Sep 18, 2009 04:01 PM

One day in the valley

Hi there... I'm visiting SF next weekend, from Mexico, and I'll take a rented car to Napa on Sunday... We made a res at Brix to have brunch and we plan to visit Carneros to a wine tasting... Any other spot in the valley you recommend?... I'd avoid more than one wine tasting in order to not drive back to the bay very very happy... Tnx!

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  1. So are you looking for dinner or another winery?

    You might consider Ubuntu for dinner.

    1. unless you're going to a place with a ridiculous amount of tastings or extremely generous pours (or unless you're absolutely tiny with no tolerance), you should be fine going to a few tastings as long as you don't do them all at once

      2 Replies
      1. re: vulber

        yes, think you're right... a decent option for a second tasting?

        1. re: miltonnotbradley

          I can handle about 5 tastings. Part of that is size, but there are secrets to surviving a day of tasting.

          Do not drink all of what is poured; don't be afraid to throw away wine. The pours they give - you really only want about 1/3. After the first wine or two, the winery person will notice and give you smaller pours. If you're travelling with a partner, buy one tasting between the two of you. They don't love this policy, but they don't seem to mind too much. There are few wineries where I don't end up buying a bottle, maybe that attitude shows.

          Another strategy is start off saying "I'm only going to taste two wines here. What are we starting with?" because, in reality, the winery really knows their top 2 wines. They'll talk you into 3 or 4, but the opening bargaining position of 2 cuts to the chase. At that point they'll ask you what you like and be more engaged, instead of the robotic pour-and-schpiel. And your blood-alcohol-content lives to fight another day.

      2. There are many wineries near Brix, if you're interested. The Carneros is another option,
        though generally the only wines you will find are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

        What are your favorite kinds of wine? That will help narrow the options.

        You can probably do two wine tastings and be fine. You could even hit a little cafe or resto as your last stop and have coffee or tea to enliven you for the trip back.

        3 Replies
        1. re: maria lorraine

          I'm definately more of red wines, but my gf loves whites... at least we're agree with dislike bubles and sparklings... anyway, we're open to try, any recomendation for another tasting and about the coffe or tea before to drive back?

          1. re: miltonnotbradley

            In Yountville and some of the best in all of Napa Valley:
            Gemstone -- phenomenally beautiful reds
            Kapscandy -- very beautiful reds
            Goosecross -- among the top Chards in the valley, and famous for them
            Keever -- some of the most beautiful reds in the valley
            Dominus Estate -- about 2 minutes down the road from Brix. Talented winemaker Christian Moueix. Unusual, extremely modern building (I love it). The Napanook label of wines from Dominus is well-priced.
            Pina -- lots of flavor, many good reds, former grapegrowers turned vintners. Lovely, salt of the earth people.
            Silverado Cellars -- A stunning setting with good reds and a great Chard. The view is amazing from their outdoor terrace.

            Even though I've touted the red wines at some of these wineries, that does not mean they don't make white wines. It's just that I don't know about them. Google each of the wineries to learn about visiting. You may need to make an appointment, but that will get you a better visit. (Some wineries can only allow visitors if they make an appt -- it's a legal regulation.)

            Coffee, anywhere. Just stop in a resto and sit at the bar.