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Napa Valley - one day tour -

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Sydney, Australia
posts: 7
reviews: 2
Napa Valley - one day tour -

Hi, We're travelling to the US for our honeymoon next month and are planning a Napa Valley tour whilst we're in San Fran. We're Australians, so love a good drop of wine and have visited most of the winery regions at home. Our tastes are for crisp and clean sav blancs, pinot grigios, semillons and blends. We're not fans of chardonnays as I find only a good one very ocassionally. On the red side is bold reds - merlots, cab sav and shirazs mostly. My only experience with Napa wines was one that my boss got me, which was not good...very sweet but not a dessert wine. Just a little concerned if the wines will suit our tastes given my only expereince wasn't great! The tour we are thinking of takes us to: Robert Mondavi, Andretti, Franciscan Winery and Folie a Deux. Would really appreciate any advice on the types of wines these wineries offer and if they would suit us? Really want to us to have a great expereince on our day in the Napa...so your advice is would be great! Thanks!

Dallas, Oregon
posts: 5,452
reviews: 300
1. Re: Napa Valley - one day tour -

I think those wineries will meet your expectations -- they're known primarily for their reds, but Mondavi makes a nice sauvignon blanc (actually, they coind the term "fume blanc" to differentiate their style with that grape).

posts: 6
reviews: 45
2. Re: Napa Valley - one day tour -

Go to some smaller wineries. The farther up valley you go, the less touristy, as a rule.

Three we have enjoyed are Von Strasser, Reverie, and Vincent Arroyo - all near Calistoga.

For a beautiful people experience, try Darioush. Definitely not quaint or personal, but fun anyway.

The Healdsburg area is even more agricultural and away from the crowds, and is known for big reds - old vine zin, syrah, petite syrah as well as cab. Christopher Creek, J Vineyard, Hanna, Dry Creek, Michel-Schlumberger. Meet the owners/winemakers (most likely) at Yoachim Bridge a or Nalle.

Many more to choose from.

Napa is not a big Pinot Grigio area - won't see much of it there. Try the unoaked charonnays along with SB. We mostly drink reds while we are there.

Destination Expert
for Houston
posts: 2,111
reviews: 209
3. Re: Napa Valley - one day tour -

Your Sauvignon Blancs have a different style than ours. I love the grapefuit and kiwi flavors and crispness of your (and the Kiwi) Sav Blancs, and you're going to find a different style here, so you may be disappointed. It's not that ours are bad--it's just that they're different.

You'll find plenty of fruit-forward (i.e. "big and bold") Cab Sav's and to a lesser extent, Merlots, in Napa. The wineries you've listed are all decent, but none are really outstanding. I'm not aware of anyone producing Pinot Grigio or Semillon in Napa Valley, but someone else may be able to help.

As far as Chardonnays and Syrah (American word for Shiraz), you need to get over to Sonoma Valley, as they definitely produce better wines of those varietals than does Napa Valley.

Have a great trip, and I hope this is helpful.

Mount Gambier...
posts: 24
reviews: 29
4. Re: Napa Valley - one day tour -

G'day Sal,

Firstly Congrats on your upcoming Wedding & great choice for a honeymoon, you'll both love the States and the people.

We too enjoy our wines & live close to the Coonawarra region, Napa you'll love it's truly gorgeous, if you could squeeze an extra day there you won't be disappointed. My only addition would be Hess Winery, for as well as some lovely wines they also have an amazing art collection that's a must see (I had to be convinced to see art at a winery but loved it).

The other thing you'll notice is unlike Australia you have to pay for your tastings and as pointed out by Gene T, the wine styles are different from what we enjoy in Australia. Our preference is for Australian wine over the Napa wines, but I suspect it's more about the styles we're used to. For Marion & I if you could put Australian wine right through the Napa valley, we'd think we'd just found Heaven.

If you decide to stay overnight check out https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/181602

we stayed here and it was fantastic.

You'll love Napa, enjoy.

Napa Valley...
posts: 15
reviews: 4
5. Re: Napa Valley - one day tour -

It is hard to go wrong in Napa Valley for scenery, wine and unique wineries. Also, hard to single out a few when the area has 400 wineries of all shapes and sizes!

Venerable Beaulieu Vineyards (aka, BV) makes a Syrah and Pinot Grigio as well as outstanding reds. Up valley on the Silverado Trail/Calistoga you might try "B Cellars" for friendly atmosphere and unique blends.

Semillion and blends thereof may be found at Clos du Val (Stag's Leap district on Silverado Trail) and Signorello (just south of Clos du Val, lovely smaller property/views/terrace).

Local tip: travelling up and down the Valley via Silverado Trail is most scenic and you'll bypass the heavy traffic on Highway 29, the other north-south highway.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 7
reviews: 2
6. Re: Napa Valley - one day tour -

Thanks everyone for all your advice! I've done some more research and booked us on a different tour that takes us to smaller wineries and sonoma valley...feeling a lot happier about a decision to see the wine country now we've got the new tour booked in and for all your re-assuring advice...we leave in a bit over a week so we can't wait now :-)

posts: 9
reviews: 230
7. Re: Napa Valley - one day tour -

Congrats on your marriage.

After your trip, please post your experience. I'm going there for a few days in Dec and am looking for a reasonably priced one day tour. I'm also interested in the smaller wineries.

Have fun.

Raleigh, NC
posts: 140
reviews: 55
8. Re: Napa Valley - one day tour -

For a nice Sauv Blanc and some bold reds, try Gamble Family in Yountville. If the weather is nice they have a fun hay-ride tour through their vineyards. Very interesting.

9. Re: Napa Valley - one day tour -

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