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May 24, 2010 03:31 PM

Tastings in Napa Valley on Monday

Well, I have done a lot of research and am sure that by now, everyone is tired of giving info about this. However, I have another question to ask my fellow hounds. I am trying to plan a day of tasting for Monday the 31st. I have a pregnant wife (3 months) with me who will be my DD. We are staying at Avia in downtown Napa. I have scheduled a 10:00 tasting at Pride 1st. I was thinking of going to Barnett after the Pride tasting.
After these initial 2, tastings, I wanted to try to fit in 2 to 3 more, which I know is a lot and I don't know if it will just be WAY too much. I have been to Napa a couple times already so I know it will be crowded, especially during this weekend. The 3 that are in the running are Frog's Leap, Robert Sinskey and Silver Oak. What would you choose?? Any other ideas or places that I have to try. The view is a bonus considering the wifey isn't drinking! I really like reds (Cabs, Pinots, Zins), sparkling wines as well as dessert wines and Rieslings. I am so conflicted right now because I have to plan everything!! Any help would be extremely appreciated. Cheers.

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  1. Considering how the traffic is going to be that day, there is no way I would try to taste at Chandon at 10:00 and then get to Pride by 11:15. Go for the earlier tasting there if you can. Considering you are on the mountain, consider getting an appointment at Smith-Madrone; they make a kick-ass Riesling. You might be able to taste Smith-Madrone's riesling on the way up to Pride and be a lot less rushed than trying to get to Chandon.

    The other Must-Do visit for lovers of dessert wines is Praeger Portworks; it is just north of Dean & Deluca and on the hidden side, but worth a stop.

    Honestly, Silver Oak would be on the bottom of my list as they really only make one good wine worth tasting. At least at Sinskey or Frog's Leap, you will get the advantage of tasting lots of other great wines, my preference goes to Sinskey.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      Thanks Carrie. I just decided to cancel the Domaine Chandon tasting and I moved the Pride tasting to 10. I already called Smith-Madrone a couple days ago and talked to Stu and he said they weren't doing tastings that day because of the holiday. (I really wanted to try the riesling!!). Thanks for such a quick response!

    2. If I was going to deal with wine tasting on a three-day weekend, I would pack a picnic lunch to eat after tasting at Pride, then schedule afternoon tastings at Terra Valentine and some other wineries on Spring Mountain. That way, maybe it wouldn't seem as crowded and touristy as it will be on the valley floor. Also, Terra Valentine is miles ahead of either Frog's Leap, Sinskey or Silver Oak.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ThirstyReader

        Thirsty Reader makes a GREAT suggestion. Once you are up the mountain, stay there...

        1. re: ThirstyReader

          We just did a tasting at Terra Valentine and thought it was very nice. It isn't just tasting, but a physical and historical history of the vineyard, the facility, and the previous owners odd quirks. Wonderful wine and tasting room hostess to boot!

          1. re: ThirstyReader

            On Spring Mountain, Cain is also great (and free), but they only have 2 tastings a day at 10:00 and 11:00.


            Make an appointment. Whites are Amazing!

            Cakebread for reds! make an appointment.

            1. I'm pretty sure that Siver Oak only makes Cabernet, one from Napa Valley and the other from Alexander Valley. Frog's leap is a fun tour. Sinskey is nice if you can do one of the tastings that come with food pairings (Robert's wife is a well known Chef). Caymus,Quintessa and Shafer are great for reds, but they are kind of expensive.

              1. We hope you had a wonderful day in Napa today and found everything you were looking for! Out of curiosity; did you happen to contact the hotel's concierge for this information?
                Just wondering what was your experience was like?