Napa Sonoma Trip October 2014

Day 1- ZD was first on the agenda.  What a pretty entry to the tasting room! The cabernet franc was delightful.

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Next I drove up the winding road to Silverado Winery.   The sangiovese rosé was perfect for the 97 degree day. Views ftom the top of the hill were gorgeous.

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A 3rd stop at Clos du Val -informative, knowledgeable staff.

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Final stop of the day was at Domaine Carneros.  Being a huge fan of bubbly, this was  a fantastic way to end the afternoon.   Met many wonderful people and had an absolutely wonderful selection of both sparkling and still wines.

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Day 2- Took a lovely drive up to St. Helena,  to the Raymond Winery.  A truly biodynamic enterprise.  An eclectic melange of rooms,  exquisite Baccarat crystal…and of course,  superb wines!

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The Miner Winery was next on my itinerary.   I has the good fortune of meeting the winemaker!  He told me his favorite wine to make is the pinot noir because it is the most difficult.    His pinot noir was delicious.   I also found their sangiovese rosé wonderful.

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Last stop was to Frog’s Leap.   A  unique, laid back, friendly vineyard.   The gardens include vegetables,  an orchard, flowers, and a beautiful lily pond filled with koi!

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Day 3 – Slept in a bit this morning, then headed back to Napa. First stop was to the Charles Krug Winery. A spacious, modern tasting room with knowledgeable, friendly staff made this first tasting of the day memorable.
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Next on Monday’s agenda was Duckhorn. They follow me on Twitter, and graciously invited me out to their beautiful vineyard! The tasting was held outside on their gorgeous wrap-around porch overlooking the garden and vines. I loved the one-on-one attention and the wines…well, let’s just say they tantalized my palate…especially The Discussion!
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After a delicious lunch at Gott’s Roadside diner I headed over to the Prager Winery and Distillery. Truly a unique place. Met the two brothers who are carrying on their father’s traditions. I fell in love with their amazing ports!! The Sweet Clare Riesling was also quite delicious.
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Last stop of the day found me winding up the Matacayma Mountains to Pride Mountain. What a glorious view from 2100 ft. up! The vines were changing colors, some still heavy with grapes. Cristi was an awesome hostess, taking me through notonly the wines, but also the history of the winery. It was a relaxing end to a great day!
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An early dinner at Brix on the way back to the hotel completed my last day in the Napa area. Tomorrow I will spend the entire day tasting Sonoma’s offerings.

Day 4- My first visit took me back up into the Matacaymas but on the Sonoma side…the Fisher Winery. How incredible! Jen and I started in the tasting room where she began my informative visit with a glass of Unity rosé. We took a short hike up the hill to a beautiful seating area over looking the entire vineyard. The Wedding plot was my favorite, as was the wine named after it! Such history and uniqueness, a total family enterprise.
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After leaving Fisher, I headed towards Sonoma, stopping at a few wineries on the way into town. First was to the St. Francis winery. What a pretty place! They have an outdoor area for private events, lovely views, and a statue of St. Francis!The wines were delicious!

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On the road again stopping next at B R Cohn. The olive tree lined drive let me know I was in for a treat. Not only did I get a personal tasting, but also a tour outside. The bonus tasting was with the olive oils and vinegars made on the property. Wonderful!
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A short time later I arrived in downtown Sonoma. Such a quaint little town. Grabbed a quick bite, then did some sightseeing. Visited both the Old Spanish Mission and General Vallejo’s home and museum. After walking around a bit I went to Walt where I enjoyed an amazing range of pinot noirs from various areas- truly showcasing the terroirs- and some fabulous cabernets. Liz, another sommelier student, was my hostess. Another short walk found me at the outside tasting area of Roche. sunshine, welcoming staff, and delightful fellow tasters made this a great end to my tasting tour.
I went next door to have an early dinner at The Girl and the Fig. Scrumptious!!!
Thank you to all the wineries that received me and delighted my senses with their fabulous wines. Also, to Heritage Wine Cellar for assisting with the trip and opening doors for me. Can’t wait to go back and discover more from this amazing area!! Napa and Sonoma…you live up to your reputations for being outstanding wine producers.

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