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Trip Report - August 2010

Washington, DC
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Trip Report - August 2010

Just returned from our second trip to the Napa Valley, and had a great time once again. I think we are hooked! Highlights of this trip were:

Dinner at La Toque. Wonderful once again, with excellent wine pairings.

Wineries on Spring Mountain. (We've found two up here that we love.)

Picnic at Clos du Val. We weren't crazy about their wines, but the picnic area in front was beautiful. Shaded tables, lovely views, vineyards, and flowers - a great spot.

Chocolate Merlot Fudge Sauce at Sequoia Grove. Ask for a taste - it's wonderful. I'll be putting some of these in gift baskets at Christmas (if I can bear to part with them).

Shafer tasting - an interesting experience, at least. This had a much more formal atmosphere than any other winery we've visited. They do two tastings a day, for no more than 8 guests each. The setting was very nice, with a seated tasting in a lovely glass-walled room overlooking the valley. The experience was nice, but what some people will consider an elegant experience may strike others as a bit pretentious - and I'm not entirely sure where I'd draw the line myself. A highlight of our visit was that both John Shafer and the current winemaker personally stopped by to talk to the guests during the tasting. (This does not always happen.) The tasting is rather pricey, but it's a much better exerience than the comparably-priced wine and cheese pairing we did at Darioush last year.

Yountville. We really enjoyed walking from our hotel to shops and restaurants here. We had been here for dinner last year (by car), but liked it much better when walking. We stayed at the Napa Valley Lodge, which although one of the less-expensive options in Yountville, was very nice. While it was further from the main part of town than many other lodgings, the walk was through the more charming section of town, with gardens, etc. The outdoor fireplace area in the courtyard at the Hotel Luca next door was particularly appealing at night, and would have been a great spot to have a drink (if only we could have handled the thought of any more alcohol by that point)!

We also had dinners at Bistro Jeanty and Redd - both outdoors.

We love this area, and I have no doubt that we will be back again and again!

Houston
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1. Re: Trip Report - August 2010

Sounds like a wonderful trip! We will be there in mid-September and I can hardly wait. Which wineries did you visit on Spring Mountain? Isn't the drive beautiful? I really enjoyed that drive last February and am so looking forward to seeing it again.

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2. Re: Trip Report - August 2010

Sounds so nice! I enjoyed reading about your trip, we want to try La Toque next Spring when we are in the wine country. Thanks for the report back! :)

Washington, DC
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3. Re: Trip Report - August 2010

TxTrish: We visited Pride Mountain and Barnett this trip, and had also done Robert Keenan last year. I think we'll have to try them all, eventually.

I wouldn't say we enjoyed the drive - more like we survived it! We found that narrow, curvy mountain road rather nerve-racking, but the wineries were worth it!

Houston
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4. Re: Trip Report - August 2010

Well, since we live in flat, flat Houston, curvy mountain roads are a thrill for us! ;)

Our trip is coming up in mid-September and we have reservations at Kennan at noon - we're having a picnic and then a tasting. We also visited Pride and Barnett last year, as well as Terra Valentine and Fantesca. Enjoyed each one and I agree, we will need to try every one on the mountain!

Kentucky
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5. Re: Trip Report - August 2010

You will love Keenan wines...the drive there is fun..lots of curves..!

6. Re: Trip Report - August 2010

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