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First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

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First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

Hello all -

My wife and I are taking our first trip to Napa Valley in a few weeks (Feb 17 - 20) and are trying to put an itinerary together. We are taking platypus tours our second day, and will be driving ourselves the other two days. We have a long list of "recommended" wineries from friends/family/co-workers which I've listed below:

- Sterling

- Robert Mondavi

- Frog's Leap

- Silver Oak

- Pride

- Castello di Amorosa

- Rutherford Hill

- V. Sattui

- O'Brien Estate

- Envy

I know it's not realistic to get to all these wineries in two days, so I would like to get your thoughts on how to narrow down this list. Which of the above would you recommend? Which ones should we tour? And are there any "must-see" wineries that we are missing?

Finally - do we need to have tasting reservations at all wineries we plan to visit? I'm hoping it won't be too crowded since we are coming mid week during the winter.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Napa, CA
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1. Re: First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

No, it shouldn't be too crowded when you visit. Those are great winery choices Most don't need reservations but O'Brien and Pride do as well as Frog's Leap. Check all their websites to see when they give tours and how much they charge, etc.

It's hard to recommend wineries without knowing what wines you like and what wines you drink at home. Also, where are you staying? Which town?

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2. Re: First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

Thanks Supercilious.

We drink mostly reds (cab & pinot primarily), but are looking to try a good mix of reds and whites. We aren't that interested in any of the sparking wines.

We are staying in Napa the first two nights and in Yountville our last night.

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3. Re: First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

Definitely keep Silver Oak. We tasted there last March. In Calistoga, try to get to Chateau Montelena. Have fun! :)

Northern Neck...
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4. Re: First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

We will be in the area at the same time. Our first visit too. I am having a hard time deciding where to go and what to do. I have booked a bike tour that I know goes to Chateau Montelena. Other then that I haven't planned anything else beside lodging. It's all a little overwhelming!

Napa, CA
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5. Re: First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

JGift - It's best to start your own thread. This is the city of Napa forum so maybe ask your questions in the Napa Valley forum if you are visiting the upper Valley.

And, tell us where (what town) you are staying in.

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6. Re: First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

Here's a great web site to help you with your planning, indicating whether the wineries require appointments, what they charge, etc.:


You can sort it by town, by region, and many other ways. It may help you tremendously.

Napa, California
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7. Re: First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

JGift ... you are right. It can be overwhelming. That is why I started my company, HarvestWineTours.com. We produce self-guided tours of Napa & Sonoma to help people decide where to go, without the high cost of a tour company. If you send me info on your bike tour, I will be happy to give you some insight. We have a bike tour of Calistoga as well, and I will be happy to let you know if I think you are missing any of the great wineries in the area.

RG54 ... here are my thoughts for you;

- Sterling - Very nice, and unique. The only winery that is accessible by tram. Beautiful views of the valley. I would keep it on the list, and I recommend the reserve tasting.

- Robert Mondavi - A big name in Napa, but I think you can do better. Unless you are planning on tasting their reserve wines. I think those are wonderful. But I think there are a lot more special and interesting places to visit.

- Frog's Leap - Very nice. Beautiful grounds. By appointment. I would put them on the maybe list, but since they are by appt, you have to commit to include them in one of your two days.

- Silver Oak - Yes. Great wines. If its in the budget, try a vertical tasting. It is fun to see how the wine has varied in taste over the years.

- Pride - Yes. By appt. Commit to that one. It is at the top of Spring Mountain. The views are incredible. It is also unique in that there property is in both Napa and Sonoma. Did you know their wines have been served at the White House. This is a don't miss winery!

- Castello di Amorosa - Very pretty! A chance to visit a real castle. Not the best wines in the valley, but a very nice experience overall.

- Rutherford Hill - Never been. It's on my short list to visit soon, but can't help with that one today.

- V. Sattui - Ok for a picnic lunch, but I think you can do better. It is very busy, and their barbeque lunch is not what is once was. That's what comes with HUGE success. I would recommend buying lunch at nearby Oakville Grocery and heading to a different winery with great wines and a picnic area.

- O'Brien Estate - Never been. Not even on my short list, sorry.

- Envy - Nice. Finally a quaint winery, lol. Nice tasting room, friendly staff. If you send me an e-mail, I will give you the name of two wineries right in the area that I think you may enjoy more.

Have a great trip!



8. Re: First Trip to Napa Valley - Itinerary Help

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