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First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

Madison, Wisconsin
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First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

We will be spending the final 3 days of our honeymoon in Napa Valley. After endlessly researching hotels and restaurants and making reservations, the time has come to create our "vineyard itinerary." Since this is our first time in Napa, this is what I am currently thinking:

SATURDAY

Domaine Chandon

Robert Mondavi

Chateau Montelena

Sterling

SUNDAY

Honig

Franciscan

Cakebread

Frog's Leap

MONDAY

Acacia

Del Dotto Napa cave tour

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Mumm

Please let me know if you think this itinerary is reasonable or over-ambitious. We only plan on doing full tours at Mondavi and Del Dotto. I would also appreciate any thoughts on the specific wineries I've chosen -- any I should consider omitting? If I were to drop 1 or 2, which would you recommend and why? Any other advice? We both love big bold reds like Cab, Pinot Noir and Syrah and tend to dislike Merlot. We prefer tart whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Griogio and generally don't like Chardonnay or sweet whites like Riesling. My wife LOVES almost anything sparkling, granted it's not too sweet.

Other wineries I considered include: Frank Family, Regusci, Artesia, Clos du Val, Grgich Hills and Alpha Omega. Should I reconsider any of these?

Thank you in advance!

Madison, Wisconsin
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11. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

Just a quick update! Spent the weekend making restaurant and winery reservations. I have decided to go with Jarvis instead of Del Dotto and will likely make it our last stop of the trip. I limited Monday (our final day) to 2 wineries, as I've heard that Jarvis serves a decent amount of wine!

SATURDAY AM: Mondavi (signature tour & tasting)

SATURDAY LUNCH: Mustard's Grill

SATURDAY PM: Schramsberg (cave tour), Chateau Montelena

SATURDAY DINNER: Redd

SUNDAY AM: Domaine Chandon

SUNDAY BRUNCH: Ad Hoc

SUNDAY PM: Cakebread, Frog's Leap

SUNDAY DINNER: Brix

MONDAY AM: Kuleto Estate

MONDAY LUNCH: TBD

MONDAY PM: Jarvis

MONDAY DINNER: Terra

St. Helena...
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12. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

You're starting (Kuleto Estate) and ending (Terra restaurant) your Monday mid-valley. Driving over to Jarvis (up a steep, windy road east of Napa) is a bit out of the way ... unless you are trying to do a Napa Valley AVA loop? If that's that case, then note that you'll be driving on very windy roads all day up in the eastern hills. Also note that there are really no lunch dining options along the way, with the exception of Auberge du Soleil, which you could do if you descend the mountain back down to Silverado Trail from Kuleto.

As an option, you could skip Jarvis and concentrate your afternoon in the Oakville/Rutherford area -- plenty to choose from!

Madison, Wisconsin
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13. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

Hmmm OK good point...I guess the intrigue of going to Kuleto was the views and food/wine pairing, while the intrigue of going to Jarvis is the winery itself and amazing reviews here on Trip Advisor.

Napa, CA
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14. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

You could always have lunch at Kenzo Estate which is just a few minutes up the road from Jarvis.

What's with Brix on Sunday? I still don't know why you insist on driving every night to dinner when you could walk to a number of fine Napa restaurants from the Avia.

St. Helena...
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15. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

Kuleto and Jarvis are both outstanding, I just wouldn't do them in the same day ... too much driving on windy roads up and down the mountains -- twice.

Napa, CA
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16. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

Just for everyone's knowledge, the Highway Patrol has started to put DUI checkpoints on Hwy 29 between Yountville and Napa:

napavalleyregister.com/news/local/five-arres…

Madison, Wisconsin
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17. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

Thanks again for all the input guys. Will check out Kenzo Estate, will reconsider all the driving on Monday.

I tried to pick lunch / dinner spots convenient to our winery/vineyard destinations. Brix in particular is decently convenient to our final winery on Sunday (Frog's Leap).

Madison, Wisconsin
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18. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

Alright Supercilious you got me...

After some discussion with the wife, we decided that it would indeed be wise (and fun!) to eat dinner within a short walking distance of our hotel (Avia). My original intrigue with Brix was the al fresco dining overlooking their beautiful gardens. The menu also looked awesome!

Despite this, I now agree that it is definitely worth it to eat in Napa at least one night. I am having trouble deciding between Celadon and Oenotri. While I considered Morimoto, my wife HATES raw sushi (unless it's packaged into a roll). The ambiance of Angele also looks very nice, although neither of us are that fond of French food.

Any thoughts or other recommendations?

Napa, CA
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19. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

Brix does have beautiful views and gardens. But, what time to you like to have dinner? Frog's Leap closes at 4pm.

On Sunday, you are having that huge brunch. You may be in the mood for one of Oneotri's pizzas that night. But, Celadon is a great choice too. You might also like Norman Rose or Grace's Table right near your hotel.

Madison, Wisconsin
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20. Re: First time to Napa -- thoughts on this 3-day wine itinerary?

Decided on Celadon for Sunday (instead of Brix)! We will be arriving in Napa late Friday evening and may be tempted to try Oenotri's "late night" menu, as they're right across the street from our hotel.

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