Will try not to be too long-but so much to say-I enjoyed reading these before we we went and were most helpful-also interesting to hear different opinions especially now that we have gone.
1.We stayed at River Point. From reading past reports-yes they are "trailers" vs. cottages, but quaint in their own way. Accessible location, friendly and informative staff, and very clean.
2. Weather was absolutely gorgeous! Sunny, beautiful skies in mid 70s and cool at night. Rather slow season which was great-lots of tlc at wineries. Sometimes we were the only couple or one of a few.
3. We stayed away from big commercial wineries and tried to do different types. We stopped at many we had recommended through Trip Advisor and River Point made good recommendations as well. In fact we were not charged for tastings or half price in several places when we mentioned River Point.
4. Del Dotto was our absolute favorite-the $40. was well worth every penny. Our guide was very knowledgeable and funny. We drank lots of wine from the barrels!!!!!!!!!!! All reds-very informative and fun. Two other couples and we were there for over two hours. Lots of extra time and special attention.Even though slow time, needed appointment.
5. Silver Rose Cellars was another good tour. They do a barrel tasting at 11:00 every day. Again, friendly, fun and informative.
6.Mumm-beautiful setting-nice Ansel Adams and old rock and roll photos-but people snobby. The girl who was ready to conduct tour acted highly irritated that people even wanted a tour. We dropped out as soon as it started.
7. Auberge du Soleil(restaurant)-had read to go there for appetizers, cocktails and sunset-which we did! Great suggestion. It was nice to have a martini for a break from wine.
8. Others we visited that we liked-fairly small to very small-all friendly-and we made purchases at each-Goosecross, Luna, Van der Hayden, Folie a Deaux (great wine gifts).
9. Sterling does not give special touch-but riding the gondola up and sitting on patio and deck was worth stopping. Don't forget to go to their web site and get two for one ticket.
10. Wine Garage(Calistoga) was a good suggestion too. Wine shop and can join as members vs. just one winery. Very helpful. Bought a case to have shipped home and joined!
11. It was nice to have a week, could take our time and do other things. Did a day trip to Big Sur through Carmel, Monterey, etc. and to San Francisco on another day. Broke up the wine days. Again, beautiful weather and worth the drives.
12. Last day in Napa was Thanksgiving-most wineries were closed but we went to a few. Went to bar (Downtown Joes? I think) in downtown Napa for our traditional Thanksgiving bloody marys and football. Nice place-again all friendly. Ended with dinner at Celedon-excellent! Also recommend Zuzu and Uva.
Enjoy-we loved it all.