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wine tasting questions

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Baltimore, Maryland
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wine tasting questions

a few questions for a december trip - staying in Yountville-

1. are wine tasting reservations mandatory in december?

2. also i see that the tasting fees are very high in some of the places that have been recommended to me - del dotto, quintessa, rubicon. I'm fine paying premium prices for a few tastings, but I'd love to mix in a couple less expensive ones as well. Any recommendations?

And I have done a few searches and research already, so I'm not looking for links to other forum posts or FAQs. Just some personalized advice. Thanks!

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1. Re: wine tasting questions

You do not need a reservation for a regular tasting. You may want to add Freemark Abbey to your list, it is in St. Helena and produces some very nice wines. Domaine Chandon and Goosecross Cellars are two other very nice places right in Yountville to taste. Have fun! :)

Napa, CA
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2. Re: wine tasting questions

Hi Shannon,

We've posted your questions to the Napa forums, since they'll get many more responses there:


(others reading this thread may also want to post there, as the Napa forums get more than 40x as much traffic as the Yountville forums!)


-The Innkeepers

Napa Old World Inn

Edited: 14 November 2011, 18:42
Muskego, WI
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3. Re: wine tasting questions

To keep tasting fees down you can find area advertising brochures that will have free or 2-for-1 tastings. 0ne that was helpful was the one from eConcierge which also has a Tasting Pass Finder free app for iphone or droid. Also check the winery websites and yelp.com as they wll often have special offers there. Napa county including all regions/appellations will generally be higher than Sonoma county. Here are some less expensive wineries or ones I know have "deals":

V. Sattui - 2-4-1 or free (St. Helena), LOTS of varietals, great picni grounds

Baldacchi - free tasti on yelp, small winery, great reds, tasting free with bottle purchase (northern yountville)

Castello di Amorosa - pricey but 2-4-1 on Tasting Pass app, gorgeous castle, nice wines

If you want to venture into southern Sonoma boh Jacuzzi (Italian style) and Cline have free tastings. Buena Vista Carneros (coupon on site for 2-4-1) and Ravenswood are reasonable

New Jersey
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4. Re: wine tasting questions

Skip Quintessa and Rubicon. Very commercial. Del Dotto is worth it. Google these for amazing wines and tastings with owners. They are private and you can't find these wines in any stores. O'Brien Estate, Elan Winery, Aonair Wines (Grant Long) Trust me on those three. Have been to Napa 4 times and the last trip we discovered Elan and Aonair. Joined their clubs.

Napa, CA
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5. Re: wine tasting questions

I'm not sure how helpful it is to tell folks to "skip Quintessa and Rubicon" and suggest instead very small boutique wineries that are quite obscure and not generally open to the public. O'Brien is a great suggestion but Aonair and Elan are for those who are really serious wine collectors and very difficult to arrange a visit..

Both Qintessa and Rubicon are showcase wineries. Rubicon is also one of the most historic wineries in the Napa Valley and is also famous for its association with director Coppola. Yes, they are more commercial than the others but they are much easier to visit and also deliver a very memorable experience.

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