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Just got back from Napa...

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Atlanta, Georgia
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Just got back from Napa...

Hit 26 wineries in 3 days. We go for the wine, and usually don't do any tours. Here are my favorite wineries, and a couple that were not so good.

Artesa - This place is advertised everywhere, so we figured we had to go and see what the buzz was about. I have to admit, it is a beautiful location. However, we were not impressed at all with the wines.

Frog's Leap - This is the one place we went where we had to make an appointment, and we are glad we did. This turned out to be so much fun. The tour guide, Emily, had great energy. Our wine glasses stayed full during the entire hour, it was very casual, and Emily told us all about the history of how the winery got started. Great story, BTW. So, not only did we enjoy the tour, the wines were fantastic.

Carnereos Creek (being renamed to Mahoney) - Great overall tasting. Down the hill from Artesa.

Sterling - By far, the best wines are here. Every wine I tried made my knees weak. This winery is beautiful, and like I said, these wines are my favorite in the valley.

Clos Pegas - Have heard lots of people talk about this place. They have super dry red wines. If you like tannic wine, this is the place to go. Personally, I don't like really dry wines, but, everyone is different.

V.Sattui - Everyone has to go here for the picinic food, and the wine. We just love their Gamay Rouge. This trip, we made sure we got 4 bottles of it, instead of 1 bottle like we did last time. Besides, the tasting is free, and you can pick up a shipping box for only $5! Cheapest price we have found.

Frank Family - One of the most fun tastings around. The guys over at this place are great. The wine rocks too....

Other wineries that had good overall tastings: Luna, Grgich Hills, Domaine Chandon, St.Suprey, Peju, Cuvaison.

While we were there, we noticed that some folks bring their young kids. How boring for them! Napa is a place for adults, not children. Parents, take your kids to Disneyland, not Napa Valley. I'm sure there are people who will read this and get offended because they have taken their kids to Napa before, or are planning on taking them. I apologize to these people, but I think I speak the truth. Most people go to Napa for romance. They don't go to have screaming kids running around them as they sip wine in the beautiful valley.

Costa Mesa
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1. Re: Just got back from Napa...

I'm so glad to read your message. I will be going to Napa in May with 4 of my dearest friends, all moms leaving the kids with dads! I was wondering do you have any referrals for where to stay?

Thanks again for your recommendations.

2. Re: Just got back from Napa...

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Removed on: 10:31 am, April 25, 2005
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3. Re: Just got back from Napa...

Sound great! We enjoy the Yountvile Inn, it's right across the street from Domaine Chandon. We also really like the Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga. The bungalows are lots of fun and the warm mineral Olympic pool is very nice for relaxing after a day of wine tasting and sight-seeing.

I haven't tried the mud baths yet but hope to next visit! :)

Juneau, Alaska
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4. Re: Just got back from Napa...

Sledge -

Just got back from a week in wine country and did a limo thing for the first time. Highly recommend it. Try Dan at Reserve Wine Tours (www.reservewinetours.com). He will work with you on what you'd like to see and do - we had done the big wineries before so he was able to take us to some places that are not open to the public or by appointment only. He arranged to pick up a lunch tray at Sunshine Market and have lunch at Kelham Vineyards with the winemaker. It seems expensive on the surface but when you break it down between several folks and consider that we never paid a tasting fee and went to places where we were frequently the only ones there....and did some barrel tasting too.....it was well worth the money.

Have fun!!!!

Milwaukee
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for Milwaukee
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5. Re: Just got back from Napa...

26 wineries in 3 days is very impressive. I agree with your comments about kids, with the provision that you meant kids do not belong at wineries, as opposed to "in Napa". I would hate to get on board for banning children from the entire County. I too have seen bored kids at wineries and wonder what the parents are thinking. But if parents just want to visit one or two wineries and enjoy the nature and beauty of the Wine Country with their family, I don't see the problem in that.

Oakland, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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6. Re: Just got back from Napa...

I agree- there are many things to do in Napa County besides wine tasting- shopping, mud baths, picnics, bike riding- and we have done these things with the kids. But we don't take them to B&B's and we don't take them to wineries (unless, like V. Sattuie, there's a store and picnic ground attached.)

Chicago, IL
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7. Re: Just got back from Napa...

I agree with the kid's staying home. However, if you can find pleasure in tasting with your kids along, more power to you. I personally need to escape into my glass and away from the needs of others.

Now for a couple questions...I will be returning on my 9th trip. There will be 6 of us staying in Glenn Ellen and only there for 2 days. We will concentrate on Sonoma Valley only...no time for Napa this trip. What wineries do you recommend? This is a fun group of neighbors who will be leaving small kids at home, by the way :-)

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8. Re: Just got back from Napa...

We recently toured the Sonoma Wine Country. My favorites in no particular order are: Ledson, Blackstone, Chateau St. Jean, Kunde, St. Francis, Sebastiani, KAZ and Imagery. Have a great time!

I would suggest the girl and the fig, Cafe La Haye, The Harmony Club @ the Ledson Hotel, the Swiss Hotel and the General's Daughter for nice places to eat. If you want an outstanding meal, check out the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville. What a gem! Cheers!

9. Re: Just got back from Napa...

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Michigan
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for South Haven, Saugatuck
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10. Re: Just got back from Napa...

Potcake, don't feel bad. This subject has been divided on almost every forum I've read with the exception of WDW. At the wineries one problem you may encounter is that the tasting rooms generally consist of a tasting bar that you stand at. Your child may be bored looking at everyone's legs. Some were posted that you needed to be a certain age. Sometimes there is merchandise for sale that may give him something to do. I noticed some parents (I just returned myself) taking turns. On the tours I think a child could have fun going into barns and caves and vineyards, and if well behaved shouldn't be a distraction for anyone else. I agree that its probably not going to be your childs favorite place but how many cold rainy soccer games does a parent sit thru. A parent has to do what a parent has to do, like you said you don't have choice. While I'm thinking of it there is some sort of Safarri place in the area that sounded kind of cool. There's always going to be kid haters( I'll get in trouble for that but you know who you are) and I'm not putting anyone here in that category, and people who think you're raising them wrong (like my mother) but there are also people who understand. Relax and enjoy yourself.

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