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Old 10-16-2022, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Ok I haven’t made plans yet due to Covid. I posted last year.
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Old 10-16-2022, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
Ok I haven’t made plans yet due to Covid. I posted last year.
Oh heck!

Sorry, I didn't catch that.
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Old 10-16-2022, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Originally Posted by NORTY FLATZ View Post
Oh heck!

Sorry, I didn't catch that.
No problem. I’m getting a case from Opolo here at my house in NC so maybe I’m good for Central Coast. Still think about Napa.
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Old 10-16-2022, 11:40 PM
 
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My wife and I spent part of our honeymoon in Napa way back in 2001, then returned subsequent years for anniversaries and weekend getaways. Having kids put this on hold for about 10 years, then when we returned again in 2018... wow, things had changed a lot. Outrageous tasting fees. Lots of tour busses and crowds, lines for tasting, an almost Disneyland-esque feel. Most tasting rooms didn't allow food, which I understand given the number of people and the need to herd them through the process, but still disappointing. The wines are still great, but we basically gave up on Napa as a wine tasting destination.

Instead, we found the lesser known areas were more our speed: Santa Cruz, Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara. No crowds or tour busses. Laid back atmosphere. Friendly staff. Reasonable prices. No one minds if you bring a lunch of cheese and Charcuterie to enjoy on the patio with your tasting.

For what it's worth, IMO the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA in Monterey County produces some of the best Pinot. Book a room in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Spend one afternoon doing the walking food and wine tour. Hire a limo for another day of wine tasting in Carmel Valley. Don't miss Talbott Vineyards (reservations required).

Last edited by AnythingOutdoors; 10-16-2022 at 11:58 PM..
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Old 10-17-2022, 10:02 AM
 
Location: West coast
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There are lots of nice California vineyards.
I grew up less than an 90 minutes from the Napa Valley so we got to visit frequently.
As a youth and and a young adult the wine tastings were free.
I was also a vender to most of the larger wineries when I was self employed.

My family is heavy into wine.
Me not so much because I don’t drink but I still go wine tasting with them anyway.
I really enjoy looking at the beautiful fields and the sceneries.
As one who has seen and been to the lions share of California vineyards I find the Napa Valley area in a league of its own.
The area is definitely spendy and very unique.

Last month we spent 4 days at the Silverado Country Club in Napa with the retiree group I belong to, playing golf, bocce ball and stuff like that.
I find just driving around that area as a non drinker very enjoyable and as an apprentice in training foody I enjoyed all that the dining part the area had to offer.
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Old 10-17-2022, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Ok thanks for the feedback from all of you. We have been to one or two places in Monterey long ago. Have been to Paso Robles.

Went to Ferrari Carano 20 years ago. Many tour buses even back then.

I have low self esteem so it’s important to go to Napa so I can impress my friends. /s (??)
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Old 10-17-2022, 02:05 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
Still think about Napa.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnythingOutdoors View Post
My wife and I spent part of our honeymoon in Napa way back in 2001, then returned subsequent years for anniversaries and weekend getaways. Having kids put this on hold for about 10 years, then when we returned again in 2018... wow, things had changed a lot. Outrageous tasting fees. Lots of tour busses and crowds, lines for tasting, an almost Disneyland-esque feel. Most tasting rooms didn't allow food, which I understand given the number of people and the need to herd them through the process, but still disappointing. The wines are still great, but we basically gave up on Napa as a wine tasting destination.
Tasting fees have gone up the last few years, as a whole; and, as always, it depends on your selection (and often on whether you purchase a bottle of wine or not). That said, perhaps I see it differently since I’m local to the area (and my interest is in select wines rather than doing a ‘tour’ per se); but in my personal experience, the market has evolved/elevated, generally speaking, from charcuterie boards into showcasing/pairing prized wines with chef-driven multi-course menus along with spectacular settings off-the-beaten path, so to speak, i.e. no buses. The food is meant to enhance the wine/experience; although the average tourist, unfortunately, often focuses on quantity vs. quality/environment/a ‘one stop’ experience in and of itself.

Perhaps the OP would be interested in such (relative to Napa and/or Sonoma), particularly since he/she originally expressed time/interest in The French Laundry (a nine-course meal). It would likely be (much) cheaper and more enjoyable, overall, than the latter - and easier to plan/reserve, particularly for someone who is on vacation/has limited time.

Last edited by CorporateCowboy; 10-17-2022 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: added last sentence
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Old 10-17-2022, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Yes we are interested in wine dinners in Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles wherever. I will google.
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Old 10-18-2022, 03:38 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
Yes we are interested in wine dinners in Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles wherever. I will google.
Specifically, I was referring to wine-tastings that showcase prized/premium wines paired with multi-course menus (along with spectacular scenery) i.e. kill two birds with one stone, so to speak - as a few in this thread are under the impression wine-tasting is all about quantity of stops/buses/no food/‘Disney-esque’ crowds.

That said, gourmet wine-tastings may or may not be your thing as it’s certainly more expensive, although if you were planning a trip to The French Laundry - it’s cheaper (and easier) than that. From a personal perspective, more varied/enjoyable as well. Prices are in the vicinity of $200 per person, give or take - depending on the specific winery (and Napa does tend to be more expensive than Sonoma, as a whole). One simply needs to know what they’re looking for based in re: region/type of wine, food, environment and so on. Personally, I’d opt for Sonoma; but I’m biased, to be sure. :-)
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Old 10-18-2022, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
6,762 posts, read 8,356,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateCowboy View Post
Specifically, I was referring to wine-tastings that showcase prized/premium wines paired with multi-course menus (along with spectacular scenery) i.e. kill two birds with one stone, so to speak - as a few in this thread are under the impression wine-tasting is all about quantity of stops/buses/no food/‘Disney-esque’ crowds.

That said, gourmet wine-tastings may or may not be your thing as it’s certainly more expensive, although if you were planning a trip to The French Laundry - it’s cheaper (and easier) than that. From a personal perspective, more varied/enjoyable as well. Prices are in the vicinity of $200 per person, give or take - depending on the specific winery (and Napa does tend to be more expensive than Sonoma, as a whole). One simply needs to know what they’re looking for based in re: region/type of wine, food, environment and so on. Personally, I’d opt for Sonoma; but I’m biased, to be sure. :-)
Do you have specific suggestions of places to go for tasting menu? That’s why I said I’d google. Because some people hate answering the same question. Price is not really important to us. I pay for quality.

And I’m not sure if we will get to California next year. We had to rearrange our travel because of Covid. We have two cruises booked for May and December.
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