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other winery recommendations/advice

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Appleton, Wisconsin
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other winery recommendations/advice

I have looked back at many of the other recommendations, and this is really helping us plan our trip. I haven't seen anything or much about Hess Collection, St Supery, Mason, Stony Hill, Trefethen, Joseph Phelps, Pride Mountain, or Shafer. I have a wine book that says the some of the wines to know come from these wineries. Does anyone have any feedback on these places as well? Do they all offer tours/tastings? Thanks so much!!

Destination Expert
for Sonoma
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1. Re: other winery recommendations/advice

A visit to the Hess Winery (www.hesscollection.com) is most definitely a worthwhile venture from several standpoints. We have really enjoyed their award-winning Cabs and Chardonnays and their tasting room is located at an absolutely beautiful property. The drive from the town of Napa to the Hess Winery takes you thru oak woodlands and so, you get a little tour of the natural scenery as well. Their main building is very attractive, combining "old world" materials of stone and wood, but with a distinctively modern and creative design. The upstairs modern art gallery is stunning and worth the visit even if you aren't involved in wine tasting. I will leave it to others to comment on the other wineries you mentioned, but I could not resist recommending a visit to Hess!

Napa, California
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2. Re: other winery recommendations/advice

Hess is worth a visit as mentioned. It is also where Christian Bros. used to make wine (in addition to the old place on Hwy 29 that now houses the Culinary Insititute) \

You might want to check out the Napa Valley Vintners Assoc. website - they have a lot of info on their wineries and tips for visiting. Shafer is excellent, St. Supery is more modern but has "smell-o-vision" displays that teach about the different aromas wine gives off- it's a good learning tool. Good tour too (although no caves...) .

have fun. Let me know if you have any questions.

Napa, CA
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3. Re: other winery recommendations/advice


There are well over 150 wineries in Napa, and most of them are never written about in books (their output is so small that they sell all of their wine from their cellar door each year). Some of these small wineries have gotten so popular that they sell out all of their entire vintage, before it gets bottled! (They offer barrel tastings to visitors and take orders on "futures").

We try to work with each guest, to figure out which wineries they will enjoy most. Do they want a tour? Barrel tastings? Special vertical tastings of the same varietal, going back several years? Do they prefer sweet wines, or dry; red, or white? Are they into some of the more esoteric varietals, like Mouvedre, Grenache, and Viognier? Or are they Cab/Chardonnay fans? There are many more questions, and we have a lot of fun figuring out the best places to send folks.

People visit the wine country for different reasons. Some are here for romance, others for the incredible food, and still others are here to learn about wine and the winemaking process.

Napa lodging establishments are famous for their concierge services (offered at no additional charge). Why not give the place you're staying a call, and have them help you with this? Recommendations from a local can keep you out of the tourist traps and away from the traffic. A local can tell you about little-known specialty wineries, restaurants, and shops-- all of which can make your visit to the wine country a special, memorable experience.

Enjoy your time here-- it's a very special place!

-Russ Herschelmann


Napa Old World Inn