My husband and I will be visiting Sonoma & Napa for our first anniversary. We are early 30's, no kids, lived in SoCal for 10 years and been to SF/Big Sur several times, but this is our first trip to Napa. We enjoy amazing views, architecture, modern & pop art, learning new things and of course, wine. We'd like this trip to be relaxing with lots of photo ops.
We will have basically 4 blocks of time to visit wineries for tours and tastings so I'd appreciate suggestions for our best choice.
1. 1-2 hrs late Saturday (after hotel check-in)
2. 2-3 hrs early Sunday (want to spend mid-day Sunday in Sonoma for Lunch and the Bear Flag Festival).
3. 1-2 hrs late Sunday (do wineries close early on Sunday?)
4. All day Monday we planned to drive from Calistoga (we want to see the Pioneer Cemetery) to Napa. Thought it would be better to end the day in Napa for dinner, to be closer to the hotel, but let me know if we should change reservations and start at Mondavi and go the other way.
Since we'll be based out of Sonoma it seems like we should stay on highway 12 for the first couple days. What are the best options for our 3 slots of time out of Ravenswood, Buena Vista, Bart Park, Kunde, Imagery & Bezinger? I was considering going to Gloria Ferrer & Viansa on Sunday morning (sounds like the right time for Champagne, right? ;)) but would one of the others be better?
On Monday we considered starting at Chateau Montelena at 10am then seeing the cemetery and doing the Sterling tram ride. Then I figure we'll eat our picnic lunch somewhere (?) and then have another couple hours to kill before our Mondavi tour. There are so many amazing sounding places I'm stumped. Places on our short list are Castello Ambrosio, Schramsberg, Frog's Leap, Peju and Del Dotto, though I can't figure out how to work that one into our itinerary. We also love olive oil, more so after our recent trip to Italy.
Thanks for your help and sorry for cross posting. I'm still trying to figure out how the different forums work.