Napa and Sonoma recommended Wine destinations

My wife and I have had a number of very interesting trips in Napa and Sonoma and I have been asked about them a few times so I thought I would add them to my blog in case it helps other people.  So here is a list of destinations that have been visited by Angela and I at least once and we enjoyed a great deal.  None of this is simply OK or somewhat good but better than that.  Be aware we almost never go to Winery’s just to taste wine.  There needs to be more there for us.

  • One of my favorites is Castello di Amorsa - this is one of the most interesting tours.  Their winery is a castle.  But it is not a facade or just where the tourists are.  It is a full on castle.  The owner even has a small torture equipment collection in one of the dungeons.  I recommend the tour quite strongly, and the wine a little less.
  • The Wine train is a little touristy but it is still pretty fun and great views of the area.  I suggest doing it during daylight.  I also suggest hanging around near the back of the train outside.
  • Another great tour is a Long Meadow Ranch tour.  They have very good wine, and very good Olive Oil.  We did the Full circle experience so we had breakfast and lunch with them, and the tour is up in the hills consisting of a working ranch, winery, and Olive Oil production place.  So amazing food and tour.
  • Another strong tour recommendation is at Mondavi.  Some people say they are too commercial, and the wines are not as good as they used to be.  But everyone will agree they do some of the best education.  We did their Wine and Chocolate tour / education and it was great and they have others.  The tour of the facility itself is pretty nice too and we tasted some great wines in the Chocolate event.
  • One of the best agriculture type wine tours is at Beringer.  They have been around a long time and do a great job of growing things.  And I do like the wine, particularly the Chardonnay, and the port is outstanding.  They have great underground stuff so make sure to take a tour so you can learn about what and how they do.  This is one of the best examples we have seen of a healthy and balanced growing ecosystem.

For  great wine (Zin and Chard) and no tour you can visit Rombaur.  If you know someone there you can get a small tour.

Our thoughts are that picnics and walking in Napa are somewhat frowned upon.  So we did a four or five day hike in Sonoma and it was magic.  Great walking through grape growing areas, woods, old roads and it was wonderful.  The people that did it - Wine Country Treks - moved our luggage each day for us, and we were treated like royalty at vineyards we visited - because we had walked to see them.  The actual trek we did was this one.  The walking was not hard, and there were interesting stops at along the way.  Very good trek.  We are looking forward to do this one again!

I hope that this helps, and I will keep it current with any other trips or visits we do.


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