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Jan 22, 2013 07:44 AM

Weigh in on tastings in Sonoma / Napa...

Hello! I'm stopping through Sonoma/Napa w/ my boyfriend for two days a couple of weeks from now - I've done research here on Chowhound, as well as through friends, etc. I'm pretty set on food, and have one winery down per day we definitely plan to visit and do a full tour. Looking to narrow down to two more wineries per day for tastings. I know I may be setting us up for a lot of driving, which is fine - we're mostly interested in the quality of the wines (and a few points for ambiance, but definitely not above quality). We like fuller-bodied wines in general, but not too over the top - well-balanced and elegant.

We've been through Burgundy, Marlborough and Central Otago in New Zealand - this is our first trip to Sonoma/Napa. We also always love visiting smaller producers and anything special/unique. Herzog in Marlborough NZ might be my favorite place on earth.

Two-day rough outline (in no order) - again trying to narrow down to three total each day:

DAY 1:
Littorai - this is a must (assuming I hear back shortly that our visit is confirmed), went to a winemaker dinner in NYC w/ Mr. Lemon last year and fell in love w/ their wines.
Gary Farrell
Dehlinger - think this may be a no as I just read they're closed to public off-season

DAY 2:
Scribe - have a visit/tour set up already here, a friend visited recently and loved the vibe.
Joseph Phelps
Hess Collection - a friend recommended the museum
Stone Edge Farm - anyone been here? Thoughts? This is one where I'm intrigued mainly b/c it looks like such a beautiful property.

Thank you everyone! I really appreciate any input!

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  1. Wine looks good - where are you eating?

    I like the Hess art collection (especially the Andrew Goldsworthy) and could care less about their wine. If you want some great art in the valley, consider visiting DiRosa Preserve. Other wineries with great art is Ma(i)sonry, Turnbull, Artesa (mostly Gordon Heuether's work) and Clos Pegase (a Henry Moore and some great Greek sculptures).

    2 Replies
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      Thanks! Have a reservation at Redd for dinner one night and thinking a casual lunch at Farmstead/Long Meadow Ranch on Day 2 if time permits. Otherwise probably playing it by ear / grabbing snacks from the local markets. We're coming from NYC and eat well often so not looking to spend too much on food while we're there. Budgetary priorities :)

      1. re: eebnyc

        If on a budget, consider the happy hour at Grace's Table - 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day but Sunday.

        They have a huge menu of appetizers, 75% of which are half off. It is the best deal in the valley for what they offer.

        I'm especially fond of the fish taco, the empanada, the "frickles," and the egg and frisee salad. It is a varied menu that will fill you up without having to spend a lot of money.

    2. Alpha Omega is one of my favorites, pretty space too.

      1 Reply
      1. You have good choices except a word of warning - Pride is basically at the top of Spring Mountain. Driving up there from 29 can take a good 20 minutes esp on your first try.

        Great place for a picnic but you may want to add another Spring Mountain winery instead of trekking 20 + minutes out of your way there and back for one.

        4 Replies
        1. re: goldangl95

          Thank you - I need to eliminate 2 places per day so Pride may fall off for that reason. Anything else you might recommend skipping?

          1. re: eebnyc

            I think Pride is worth the drive and time. For the wines and the view and the ability to bring a picnic lunch and take it all in.

            1. re: maria lorraine

              I haven't found a place as good as Pride for both wine (although in the $60 range) and a view for a picnic. The picnic tables are to the left of this photo (taken several years ago).


              1. re: maria lorraine

                OP keep in mind that the 20 minutes is from the main drag - it's more than an hour from Scribe to Pride. I highly suggest you do something in St. Helena or on Spring Mountain or you ditch Scribe.