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Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

Boston...
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Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

Hi Travelers,

I know there's so many things to do (wines to taste!) in Napa that we could spend weeks. This trip around we are stopping for a day and a half. Please give me your suggestions on the absolute must sees/tastes/dos during our time there. It's not long, so I want to make sure we see and taste the absolute best. Thanks!!

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

Do you like sparkling wine? Mumm Napa has a gorgeous location and outdoor terrace..we always go for a flight of their bubblies and that view!

Edited: 26 February 2014, 23:42
Napa, CA
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2. Re: Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

"so I want to make sure we see and taste the absolute best."

What's best is highly subjective. Also, if best means most expensive, it may be hard to get appointments or even purchase the wine.

Please give us some clues as to what types of wines you like and what wineries you are familiar with. Where are you staying the night?

Boston...
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3. Re: Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

Sorry! I should know by now how to ask a question so that you all can actually give me suggestions! After some research last night, here are my thoughts. We will wake up in SF and get car right away. Hopefully be in Napa by 10am. We have that whole day and the next day until lunch time.

In our full day, we'd like to visit about 4 wineries (one "bigger" as an introductory with a tour) and 3 smaller ones. Maybe:

Big: Schramsberg or Castello di Amorosa or Domaine Carneros (we do want to do a bigger one with a good tour but want to stay away from Mondavi, Coppola, etc.!)

Smaller: Stag's Leap (one of my favorites), Cakebread (my Aunt's favorite), any other ideas??

I don't know much about these wineries, but they sound like wonderful experiences. We'd really like to end somewhere around 5pm (for sunset) with an amazing view:

- Darioush: heard it's "stunning and sexy"?

- Peju

- Artesa**: heard it has the most amazing views

- Stony Hill Vineyards

- Pride Mountain (great views)

As for food, we think what's best is a picnic lunch our full day (no need to stop somewhere and spend anymore time). For dinner, this is where it get's tough. My boyfriend and I are absolute foodies and would love to go to The French Laundry, but the 2 other couples (my aunt and uncle and family friends) aren't necessarily "foodies." Everyone enjoys good food, but they aren't necessarily culinarily curious. SOOO we probably won't have dinner at The French Laundry ( :( ) but still want to eat somewhere with great, great food that we all can enjoy (not picky eaters at all) and with a nice ambiance.

We also need suggestions for our next morning. This is what we are thinking now:

Breakfast: HELP??

Activity: Chase Family Winery on St. Helena (guided tour by family and hosted lunch in vines)

As of now, the Chase Family is the only idea we have for our half day. PLEASE HELP! We have until about 1pm and then we will need to get on the road for Yosemite. Thank you!!

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4. Re: Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

The views are gorgeous from Artesa. Another one we really enjoy in this area is Del Dotto. Hagafen Cellars is another small winery with excellent Chardonnay. :)

St. Helena...
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5. Re: Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

Please consult a winery map before setting out on your tour and take drive times into consideration as you make your appointments:

http://napavintners.com/maps/index.asp

Note that Artesa is located on the southern border of Napa Valley and is about 20 miles from most of the wineries on your list. While Artesa is of great interest from an art & architectural perspective, and does have a great view - be mindful of the time commitment to visit there. Perfect if you're approaching Napa from San Francisco, but consider it an 'outlier' to the other points on your itinerary.

Also, the panoramic view is of San Pablo Bay, and on a good day you can see parts of San Francisco. It is not a view of Napa Valley as most visitors would like to see. Because it is one of the first/last wineries on the route from SF, it is popular and can get very crowded, especially at closing time.

Pride Mountain is a fantastic place for a picnic, weather permitting with a panoramic view of the upper Napa Valley, so you may want to anchor your itinerary around a mid-day appointment there and build it out from Pride.

Darioush is a good place for a walk-in, but don't taste. Skip Cakebread, maybe save for another trip, as it has become quite commercial (check the reviews).

Napa, CA
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6. Re: Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

You could visit Artesa on your way from SF. Domaine Carneros too. Then spend the afternoon dropping by Darioush and then Stag's Leap. And then do the castle or Schramsberg the next morning and have a picnic at Pride before heading towards Yosemite.

For dinner, since you are Thomas Keller fans it seems, you could dine at Bouchon or Ad Hoc. Of course, there are many other fine restaurants. If you stay in Yountville, your group can walk to these places.

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7. Re: Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

Both Schramsberg and Castello di Amorosa are fun tours, and both are up at the northern end of the valley. For dinner up that direction, we really enjoyed the Greystone at the CIA, just north of St. Helena.

San Jose, California
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8. Re: Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

NaomiRA, I'm also planning a day and a half Napa trip for 6! :) So I'll be keeping tabs on this post to get ideas. Where are you all spending the night? I've been looking for places to stay and since we're staying on a weekend, most places have a 2-night minimum.

9. Re: Group of 6: Day and a half in Napa MUST SEE & DO??

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