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would LOVE your thoughts on our Napa Itinerary...

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Hey all - would love your thoughts on our first-timer Napa itinerary.

We've received recommendations from friends, and I've scoured a lot of your earlier discussions - huge THANK YOU for all that great info.

We love wine (big reds vs. white/sparking) and live in NYC so are more interested in local restaurants vs. Morimoto, etc.

What are your thoughts / additional ideas / changes to this itinerary?

Arriving on 9/17
- Driving from SF to meet driver (any recommendations for driver?)
- 11:30 appointment at Caymus
- Lunch TBD
- 2 pm at Paraduxx
- Thinking of stopping by Chimney Rock and Plumpjack
- Dinner TBD, reservations as of last night at Redd Wood and Bistro Jeanty

9/18
- Breakfast at hotel
- 10 am at Quintessa
- noonish stop by Chateau Montalena (picnic lunch or Gotts Roadside?)
- 2 pm at Jordan
- 4:30 pm at Frank Family
- Thinking of stopping by Envy, August Biggs if time allows?
- Dinner @ Bottega (9 pm reservation currently, were hoping for a bit earlier? is that too late in Napa?)

9/19
- Breakfast at hotel
- Maybe a morning hike in Bothe-Napa Valley park
- No scheduled appointments, waiting to hear from Nickel & Nickel
- Thinking of Domaine Chandon, Pride, hot air balloon, or driving into Napa for the day (Oxbow Market)
- Dinner @ Farmstead (8 pm)

9/20
- Breakfast at hotel
- Depart for Sausalito, but can spend time around Napa as we have no set plans for the day/afternoon

A friend is trying to pull a few strings to get us a reservation at French Laundry, and we were interested in Redd - but we waited a bit too long to make reservations. oops. Would be interested in any of your recommendations for wineries, lunch, dinner, etc.

It's also my husband's 35th birthday, so if there are any special ideas for that, would love to hear them!

Thanks all!

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  1. Pride is at the end of a long mountain drive - I would stay on the mountain longer and visit other wineries if that's what you choose to do.

    Most of your winery choices are large brand name wineries. I would do one smaller, low-key winery just so you can see that side of Napa too. Corison is a good choice for this but there are many we can suggest.

    3 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      Thanks so much for the recommendation. Would love to try a smaller winery or two - any other favorites?

      1. re: Nicolle

        This is leaving some out:

        Also, on the valley floor:
        Trespass (last time I was there - there was no bathroom fyi)
        Ehlers

        Otherwise you need to go up into the hills or mountains

        on Spring Mountain (where Pride is):
        Smith Madrone
        Keenan
        Paloma
        Terra Valentine

        On Howell Mountain:
        Viader
        Neal
        Outpost
        O'Shaughnessy
        Ladera

        Other random places:
        Neyers
        AltaMura
        Jarvis

        1. re: goldangl95

          Would second Terra Valentine

    2. My first question would be: do you know that Jordan is outside of Healdsburg in Sonoma? Having just done a preview of their new Estate Tour and Tasting, I'd recommend that, but it seems far from many of your other options. That said, here are others here who could offer more comments on the drive.

      2 Replies
      1. re: absc

        Good catch. Would absolutely not recommend heading out to Sonoma unless you are going to spend the whole day there.

        1. re: goldangl95

          Thanks for the thoughts!

          We are aware that Jordan is well out of the way, but would prefer to shift the rest of the day as needed since it's one of my husband's favorite wines.

          Will look to add in one of these wonderful small winery recommendations. Thanks again for your feedback...

      2. It's a shame that you'll miss Sonoma Valley. The wineries tend be be smaller, more personal, and you often have personal contact with the winemaker. I would encourage you to go to Envy winery. Would skip Chateau Montalena to do it.