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picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

Columbus, Ohio
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39 posts
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picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

My wife and I plan to take our lunch to Rutherford Hills for a picnic, but neither of us drink wine until after lunch. Would we be expected to buy a glass of wine in order to use their grounds?

Thanks.

Columbus, Ohio
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39 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

Sorry about the typo. My grandson hit "continue" before I could check for mistakes.

Napa, CA
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2. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

Bob-

The reason wineries ask you to buy a bottle of wine to sit at their picnic tables is that picnicing at a winery is a real luxury-- many other wineries use that land for income (growing wine grapes). At $200,000 plus an acre for land here, asking you to buy a bottle of wine is a small token for a nice service.

It's the same idea as a restaurant asking you to buy their food if you are sitting at one of their tables-- the only difference being that, in the Napa Valley, most wineries are not allowed to sell food (so they sell you their wine instead).

Here's the good news: Most wineries with picnic tables allow you to buy an unopened bottle of their wine, and take it home with you. So you wouldn't have to drink it with or before lunch.

This a win-win for everyone: You get a spectacularly scenic picnic spot and a great bottle of wine. And the winery gets a small sale in return for providing and maintaining their wonderful picnic grounds.

Hope this makes sense. :)

-Russ Herschelmann

Innkeeper

Napa Old World Inn

Michigan
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for South Haven, Saugatuck
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3. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

I agree with Russ and actually I don't think you can buy a glass of wine at the winery.

Napa, CA
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4. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

Rono-

You can purchase a tasting from most wineries, which consists of a few "short pours" (1-3 oz glasses) of different wines.

At places with picnic grounds, you can also purchase wine and consume it on the premises. But you need to be careful-- oftentimes there are laws about who opens the bottle, etc. The tasting room staff is well versed in these rules, and will let you know what is best.

-Russ Herschelmann

Innkeeper

Napa Old World Inn

Michigan
Destination Expert
for South Haven, Saugatuck
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6,243 posts
17 reviews
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5. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

Russ, good job on the new title! Just got back from your area Wed., stayed at the Fairmont in Sonoma. One of the wineries we tasted at was Ledson's. I noticed someone here said Ledson's has overnight accomodations. Is this the same Ledson's?

Napa, CA
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6. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

Thanks, Rono. I think we're the first "Local Expert" for Napa. We consider it an honor.

Yes, Ledson Winery and Ledson Hotel are owned by the same folks:

http://www.ledson.com/

The Fairmont in Sonoma is wonderful. Glad you had a good time. Hope you come back soon! :D

-Russ Herschelmann

Innkeeper

Napa Old World Inn

Napa, California
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101 posts
29 reviews
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7. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

I've been to Rutherford Hill for picnics. They do require a wine purchase which you can do in their cellar. You don't need to open and drink it right then however. Take it back to the hotel and bring it to dinner with you. Restaurants allow this in Calif. althgough there is a corkage fee which can range from near free to $50 (french laundry)

Egg Harbor Twp, NJ
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8. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

Is there anywhere else one would recommend for a picnic lunch. I have seen Chappellet listed (but you have to be a wine club member), Rutherford Hill, or Sattui. Does anyone have any comments on any of these.

Thanks

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9. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

Rono, the Ledson winery does not accomodate overnight guests. They actually have a hotel (Ledson Hotel) that is located on the plaza in the town of Sonoma. The Harmony Club is the restaurant at the Ledson Hotel. We had dinner there in March and it was wonderful. Very elegant, piano player the whole bit and excellent food and service.

Glad you enjoyed the Sonoma Mission Inn. It's our favorite place to stay in Sonoma. I loved the lemon cottage cheese pancakes at the Big 3 Diner, did you get a chance to dine there? Our house is always stocked full of the Apricots n Cream lotions and candles! They have samples set out all over the property for guests to try. :)

Michigan
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for South Haven, Saugatuck
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10. Re: picnic on winerey grounds without buying wine

While walking around the square I did notice the restaurant, and ask about it but because its relatively new now one knew too much about it. Now that I'm home and reading these posts I'm starting to put two and two together.

I found the Big 3 on our last day but didn't eat there as I'm not a breakfast eater and lunch and dinner were on the run. We did have Mary's pizza (?) delivered one night . Had that and a bottle of wine while dangling our feet in the pool. It's such a quiet place!