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Best time of year to go

Niles
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Best time of year to go

I'm on 45 parallel here in Michigan in Oct 6th. We have 30 wineries on the Leland Peninsula and everyone is packed with Buses and tourist.

I want to visit the best wineries, stay in Santa Rosa as home base.

What time of year is it least crowded, but warm (60's at least)?

We don't mind chain hotels and Santa Rosa has plenty.

Which one is newest? We are kinda germ freaks. (kidding), but hate dirty carpet and old bed-linens and I am certain most see alot of traffic over the months and years

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Best time of year to go

If you want to visit the wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, perhaps staying in the wine country would be much better imho. Check out the forums in those valleys as well as in Sonoma and Napa for suggestions as well as you can look at hotels in both areas via the link on the left side. There are reviews of hotels and B&Bs from visitors like you.

All major holidays and weekends plus Summer and mid December would have folks visiting the valley. September and October will also be busy. This time of the year would be a good time to visit.

While there are some hot days in Summer, it is not humid here so anytime you can make it, you are more then welcome.

united states
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2. Re: Best time of year to go

Hi.

We like to stay in Santa Rosa as the lower lodging prices leave more funds available for wine tastings and purchases. Its just fine for using as a base as long as having a "wine country experience" with your lodging isn't a top priority.

I can recommend the following lodging options from personal experience: Hyatt Vineyard Creek ( located at Railroad Square), Marriott Courtyard ( across the street from the Hyatt, also at Railroad Square), Best Western Garden Inn ( a bit further from the center of town, close to the fairgrounds), and the Flamingo Resort ( recently renovated). In all cases we found the properties to be well kept and had no issues with cleanliness or safety concerns.

The ones closer to Railroad Square will be most convenient for a variety of dining options, but there is a shopping area near the Flamingo that has several restaurants as well.

"Best" wineries is very subjective, so a little more information about what you are looking for in wines and winery ambience would be helpful.

Best time to visit would be any time other than when the big events like Passport weekends or Barrel Tasting weekends, et al, occur.

The amgen bike tour will be in town this year, so that is another time to avoid.

Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: Best time of year to go

I am with belomiser. I don't stay in the County Seat of Sonoma County when I want a "wine experience".

The recommendations of the Sonoma or Napa Valleys are good. Or do Healdsburg, the gateway to the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys.

Niles
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4. Re: Best time of year to go

Thank you so much. Perfect advice. I love the professionalism and discrernment from the people on tripadvisor. Your advice is much appreciated.

united states
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5. Re: Best time of year to go

Niles, what are you looking for in wineries? Every poster on here will have a different opinion about what consititues "the best" ;)! If you could share the wines you like to drink and what constitutes "the best" for you, for perhaps we could help you find good examples of what you want.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Best time of year to go

Otherfootloose I see you aw a regular member of this forum and I think a frequent visitor to the Wine country. Cannot make out from your profile where your base is. I know you mention that Santa Rosa is ok as long as you don't want a wine country experience but would you suggest the same for a first time visitor How will they know a wine country experience if they have not stayed. The OP mentions some stuff about wine but I was not clear about that

I also noticed you asked about a route to A part of napa valley from Santa Rosa. As you know it is quite a drive. Would you not agree

Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: Best time of year to go

To me a wine country experience is not a large city which happens to be the County Seat of a County which has winereies and vineyards.

A "wine country experience" is a lodging nearer the wineries and vineyards.

Niles
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8. Re: Best time of year to go

OtherFL, We are Stag's Leap Cab Sav types. I know there are 13 or so different sub appellations in Sonoma, not sure the best Big Red guys? Advise.

I targeted Spring Mountian as well for Cab Sav and Franc? am I wrong?

Advise.

Russian River, may a good Pinot? Advise.

As far as Heraldsburg, Guerneville, Alexander, and Dry Creek...No Idea?!

Advise

united states
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9. Re: Best time of year to go

OK....

I'd like to address Belo and Puter first.

The reason that I did not try to disuade Niles from staying in Santa Rosa is because the original post says specifically that his plan is to stay there. If he has made that decision then I assume he has done the research and is satisfied with that location. He didn't ask whether it was the best place for a wine country experience, he said he'd like to know about lodging options there. I am familiar with several and thus offered the information requested. If you guys had read my post carefully you would have seen that I said " as long as having a wine country experience in your lodging isn't a priority" that Santa Rosa is just fine to use as a base.

Belo, regarding your question about the best route over the mountains, that is unrelated to this poster's questions. I thihk that part of your question is missing from the post so I'm not quite sure I understand why you mentioned it but I'm happy to answer if you will explain what you want to know.

In my opinion, it would be really helpful for there to be a more open minded attitude regarding Santa Rosa as a base of operations. Though it doesn't offer the quaintness of other areas, it is very centrally located for reaching all areas of the county and lodging prices are definitely less than the "wine country" venues. Especially for those on a budget, Santa Rosa offers a great alternative to other parts of the county. Not only that, but there are tons of great dining options in Santa Rosa.

I have no hesitation about offering Santa Rosa as a potential place to base one's wine country explorations, regardless of the number of times they have visited. In my way of thinking, its as much part of wine country as any other town or village in the county and it actually has much more to offer in terms of dining and lodging options than any other area we have experienced.

Now, Niles.... ;)

Let's see...big reds...that says Dry Creek and Alexander Valley to me. You won't find a Cab on the caliber of Stags Leap in Sonoma, I don't believe, but there are some REALLY good ones out there. I am particularly fond of the offerings from Dutcher Crossing, Stryker and Hawkes, but there are many other good ones. Audelssa is also a great location for Cabs.

For Cab Franc, I know I have had some good ones, but the only one that comes to mind at this moment is St. Francis.

I am not a big Pinot Noir fan, but we had an exceptional experience at Roessler Cellars in the town of Sonoma and folks I respect highly recommend Sojourn, also in Sonoma. Russian River is definitely the best place to find an array of Pinot Noir. Check the results from Harvest Fair for whose wines are tasting best.

Try reading the blog "Drink Dry Creek" for some more ideas for "big reds". I think you will find good ideas there.

For ideas about visiting the Russian River AVA, take a look at the website russianrivertravel.com. It has great ideas for dining and other "stuff" to do in that area.

Since it sounds like you will be around for a while, you might benefit from using the "Ticket to the Wineroad" program as it offers discounts and other interesting perks for a number of wineries in the larger areas. Also, the Visa Signature card is the key to quite a few free tastings and other discounts at a large number of Sonoma County wineries.

Per your Napa questions, I am really no help for that side of the mountains. Just beginning to give that area a look after disappointing visits in the past. I have been told that Spring Mountain and the Calistoga areas are good for out-of-the-way wineries that offer great cabs, however.

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10. Re: Best time of year to go

Otherfootloose Ok thank you for your clarification that you would recommend Santa Rosa as the wine county hub for first timers.

As we both know there is no right or wrong answer but just an opinion so I respect yours.