I’m planning a trip to Sonoma and Napa in late April. I’ve already been to both, but I’m more interested in hitting the most awesome vineyards. 3 of those 9 days will be allocated to a private group tour of the Stags Leap district, but I have 6 days to plan the rest of my stay.
I’m a big Pinot Noir lover, so any amazing wineries that cater to this varietal would be appreciated (probably Sonoma and Carneros). In Napa, I prefer the balanced Cabs that are not terribly dry.
Myriad with Mike and Leah Smith. They have an incredible line up and I believe just barreled their first Pinot. Another tasting that is TOTALLY different than any other is EMH Black Cat. Merrill Lindquist is the owner and she posts on Berserkers. They are small but make great wine and she is a terrific host.
Copain has a wonderful view. The tasting room is on top of a nice hill overlooking the Russian River Valley and if the weather is right you can sit outside on an Adirondack chair and tune out with a glass.
If you’re a zinfandel fan, I really enjoyed the Seghesio tasting room. It’s a large operation but they offer lots of limited and winery-only bottles there and I’m always impressed how high quality their basic bottlings are.
Robert Keenan on Spring Mountain was great too. The people are super laid back, the drive up the mountain is fun and the wines are tasty. The tasting room is right on the edge of their high-elevation Chardonnay vineyard. They had a pretty good selection of mid/late 90s library wines for very fair prices.
I’ll be in the area later next month and will follow this thread and offer additions when I return.
Exactly! I can’t stand the cattle herding type of tasting. There is such a difference when you meet with either the owner or winemaker. Instead of paying $25 for a few small samples being poured by a college intern and the tasting lasting 30 minutes, you get a quick glimpse into the spirit and heart of the wine. Typically a “good” tasting lasts an hour or two and when you leave at least 1 person in the group will say “that is my new FAVORITE wine”.