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Napa - give me info

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Napa - give me info

Unread postby Ziner » Wed May 05, 2010 11:07 am

So the wife has been dying to go for a while. I am finally getting off my ass and starting to look in to it a little. Probably end up going end of August because that is about the only time I can go. Is that a shitty time of year to go?

I am sure people have been there, any suggestions on where to stay, eat, visit?
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby hebner20 » Wed May 05, 2010 1:09 pm

Z,

First, I am jealous as hell as I have wanted to go there for a long time. I might be going this year and if i do it will be in October which is about when they harvest. I say any time is a good time especially if you want to focus on wine sampling and are not worried about weather too much. It might be a little hot in August but that is why they made A/C.

here is a link i used to investigate

http://www.napavalleytripplanner.com/vi ... valley.htm

After you come back you better gives us a report!
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby aoxo1 » Wed May 05, 2010 6:50 pm

I like Sonoma better, not that I have spent a ton of time in either. More laid back. Napa is more touristy/sophisticated/expensive and can be very crowded. Better restaurants on average in Napa, but I would guess you wouldn't be disappointed with the quality of Sonoma.

If I was flying in for a week, I would spend 2 days in Napa, 2 in Sonoma, and 2 days in SF/Sausalito/Muir Woods.

Sorry, no suggestions on where to stay/eat/visit. The few times I have gone its a day trip and just stop and drink/eat wherever we come across, so I don't remember any names.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Ziner » Wed May 05, 2010 7:07 pm

aoxo1 wrote:I like Sonoma better, not that I have spent a ton of time in either. More laid back. Napa is more touristy/sophisticated/expensive and can be very crowded. Better restaurants on average in Napa, but I would guess you wouldn't be disappointed with the quality of Sonoma.

If I was flying in for a week, I would spend 2 days in Napa, 2 in Sonoma, and 2 days in SF/Sausalito/Muir Woods.

Sorry, no suggestions on where to stay/eat/visit. The few times I have gone its a day trip and just stop and drink/eat wherever we come across, so I don't remember any names.


Actually I was thinking about doing 2.5 in Napa 2.5 in San Fran, she has never been there either.

Sonoma, eh? I am going to have to look in to it. I doubt I would be disappointed in the quality, just want the best place. When I said Napa I didnt necessarily mean the city of Napa, more of the region so that is actually good advice. Thanks.

Once I get this finalized I may have to pm you for some San Fran info. I have been there but I was about 12.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby jb » Thu May 06, 2010 9:10 am

Ziner wrote:
aoxo1 wrote:I like Sonoma better, not that I have spent a ton of time in either. More laid back. Napa is more touristy/sophisticated/expensive and can be very crowded. Better restaurants on average in Napa, but I would guess you wouldn't be disappointed with the quality of Sonoma.

If I was flying in for a week, I would spend 2 days in Napa, 2 in Sonoma, and 2 days in SF/Sausalito/Muir Woods.

Sorry, no suggestions on where to stay/eat/visit. The few times I have gone its a day trip and just stop and drink/eat wherever we come across, so I don't remember any names.


Actually I was thinking about doing 2.5 in Napa 2.5 in San Fran, she has never been there either.

Sonoma, eh? I am going to have to look in to it. I doubt I would be disappointed in the quality, just want the best place. When I said Napa I didnt necessarily mean the city of Napa, more of the region so that is actually good advice. Thanks.

Once I get this finalized I may have to pm you for some San Fran info. I have been there but I was about 12.



How much of a day is .5 ?
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Fri May 07, 2010 1:35 pm

jb wrote:
How much of a day is .5 ?


Half?
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Fri May 07, 2010 2:28 pm

I hate wine.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Ziner » Fri May 07, 2010 2:48 pm

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:I hate wine.


Ever try any of the kinds with out Boone's Farm on the label? ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Fri May 07, 2010 2:52 pm

Ziner wrote:
Cerebral_DownTime wrote:I hate wine.


Ever try any of the kinds with out Boone's Farm on the label? ;-) ;) :wink:


I don't get it.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby hebner20 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:38 pm

Bump.

Z,

Are you still going? We had plans set and then my wife was told by her company that no vacations will be allowed in october and november and we were planning on going in October. This sucks. Give us a report when you get back.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Ziner » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:45 pm

Yeah we are going to be there the 26th to the 28th this month then heading to SF for a few days. Found a B&B to stay in downtown Napa. Not really sure what we are going to do yet other than the reservation we have at Bottega.

Anyone with suggestions for wineries or things to do let me know.

Sorry about not being able to make it, I will let you know what I find when I go. I havent really started doing much research yet. Other than I heard Mondavi is a good place to start for amateurs, which I certainly am.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Boston_butt » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:32 pm

It isn't so much as where you go as how you go. Let me explain.

You can go out there, drive around, wait in line at Mondavi and Beringer like the rest of the schmucks in the world, feel obligated to buy some crappy-to-average wine because they were so gracious to give you a sip of their $2 mass produced plonk, and have a pretty nice buzz on as you drive through windy mountain roads. Sure, you could designate a driver to ensure you don't end up dying in a flaming fireball rolling down the side of the mountain, or you could spit, but like prom night, it's a better experience if nobody spits.

So obviously it is better to have a driver take you around. That is pretty much a no-brainer but just hailing a yellow cab and having Stanislav trot you between Mondavi and Beringer as he enjoys his borcht-and-tuna lunch that makes the car smell like low tide in Moscow really only replaces the risk of death with an unappetizing smell and difficult translation issues (pro tip: talking louder isn't going to make him understand you any more).

To avoid this experience, you need to call the drivers, interview them directly, and ask them who they know and what they can do for you. When they mention a winery they can get you a private tasting with the owner, "I never heard of those guys" is not a bad thing - a large marketing department and 2 million bottle a year distribution does not equate to good wine. In fact, it is pretty much the opposite. If the driver tells you they can get you in good at Mondavi and Beringer, you should deny them the ability to give you a ride like you were a coed in Midgeville.

Your objective should be to meet people and make lifelong friends with them. Seriously. You, the owner, a private cellar... he brings out the good stuff, you can talk to him about his craft, you reach a rapport, he can call the restaurants and get you into places that the floral-shirted-black-socks-and-sandals-wearing huddled masses couldn't sniff. He may even join you for dinner and bring something from the cellar to enjoy with the food.

Not possible? Please. I have a friend that taught me how to do this properly. He made friends with a couple up and coming winemakers on his journey, and eventually wound up investing in their winery which is now quite successful and makes some of the best grape juice I've seen come out of Napa in some time (and I've drank a lot of the stuff). My friend introduced me to the guys, and I cooked for them once when they needed a chef for a marketing event/wine dinner. Had the guys to my house the next day and we drank and ate well, and now I have fast friends in the area, and all my friends have friends there now too. Life is funny that it works like that.

This all, of course, supposes that you know something about wine and appreciate good quality. If you don't, you should try Mondavi and Beringer. I've heard great things about those places.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby hebner20 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:51 pm

Boston_butt wrote:It isn't so much as where you go as how you go. Let me explain.

You can go out there, drive around, wait in line at Mondavi and Beringer like the rest of the schmucks in the world, feel obligated to buy some crappy-to-average wine because they were so gracious to give you a sip of their $2 mass produced plonk, and have a pretty nice buzz on as you drive through windy mountain roads. Sure, you could designate a driver to ensure you don't end up dying in a flaming fireball rolling down the side of the mountain, or you could spit, but like prom night, it's a better experience if nobody spits.

So obviously it is better to have a driver take you around. That is pretty much a no-brainer but just hailing a yellow cab and having Stanislav trot you between Mondavi and Beringer as he enjoys his borcht-and-tuna lunch that makes the car smell like low tide in Moscow really only replaces the risk of death with an unappetizing smell and difficult translation issues (pro tip: talking louder isn't going to make him understand you any more).

To avoid this experience, you need to call the drivers, interview them directly, and ask them who they know and what they can do for you. When they mention a winery they can get you a private tasting with the owner, "I never heard of those guys" is not a bad thing - a large marketing department and 2 million bottle a year distribution does not equate to good wine. In fact, it is pretty much the opposite. If the driver tells you they can get you in good at Mondavi and Beringer, you should deny them the ability to give you a ride like you were a coed in Midgeville.

Your objective should be to meet people and make lifelong friends with them. Seriously. You, the owner, a private cellar... he brings out the good stuff, you can talk to him about his craft, you reach a rapport, he can call the restaurants and get you into places that the floral-shirted-black-socks-and-sandals-wearing huddled masses couldn't sniff. He may even join you for dinner and bring something from the cellar to enjoy with the food.

Not possible? Please. I have a friend that taught me how to do this properly. He made friends with a couple up and coming winemakers on his journey, and eventually wound up investing in their winery which is now quite successful and makes some of the best grape juice I've seen come out of Napa in some time (and I've drank a lot of the stuff). My friend introduced me to the guys, and I cooked for them once when they needed a chef for a marketing event/wine dinner. Had the guys to my house the next day and we drank and ate well, and now I have fast friends in the area, and all my friends have friends there now too. Life is funny that it works like that.

This all, of course, supposes that you know something about wine and appreciate good quality. If you don't, you should try Mondavi and Beringer. I've heard great things about those places.



Wow. I bet if you punched me in the face i would have to fight the urge to thank you.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby idoctribefan » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:48 pm

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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Ziner » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:30 am

Boston Butt, not sure why you only have 3 posts. Because they have all been money. I appreciate the info. Full reply tomorrow, just wanted to let you know I appreciate the advice and that you should post more.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Ziner » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:15 am

Ok, so here is the issue. While I would love to go around and interview a driver and all and have him take me to these small, family owned wineries and then proceed to make life long friends there is one problem. I know dick about wine. I know red vs. white. I know a Pinot vs. a Cab, but I certainly know very little about the process and very little about knowing what a wine actually is as far as flavor goes. I just know when I sit down at a tasting some taste good, some not as good. I dont know Oakiness, or woodsy flavors. What the hell does that even mean? I have never eaten an oak tree.

However, it isnt as if I am just throwing in the towel. I have picked up a few Wine books from the library and hope to read through them before I go to hopefully get a decent baseline of understanding. That is why I mentioned Mondavi. I am not so keen on doing the full out touristy shit. I just heard they have a very good introductory tour. Supposedly they take time to walk you through the whole process. Who knows maybe it sucks. They cap it at 15 people a tour so it cant be that bad. Other than Mondavi I hope to visit no winery I have ever heard of. I would like to go to the smaller family owned places. I have found this website that I have been using as a guide. http://www.napawineproject.com/

We are spending 2 days in Napa for tastings so on Thursday we hope to drive around ourselves to get a lay of the land, then on Friday we do have a tour set up. Perhaps you will think this is a ridiculous idea as well, but it seemed like a good route to take. It is a smaller tour of only 8-10 people and they will take us to 4-5 wineries, none of which are determined beforehand. I am going to request small, out of the way wineries, hopefully the group will go along with that.

I have never been to Napa before, hence the fishing for info, but I can not even pretend to show up and be an expert. I think your advice was great though, perhaps I can use it on my second go around to Napa/Sonoma.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Boston_butt » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:23 pm

First of all dude, I think you're doing things the right way. The only way to really know and appreciate wine is to drink it, and lots of it. Spend the time to think to yourself why you like the wine, and what it is about the wine that you enjoy. Think "can I drink a whole glass of this?" or "can I drink a whole bottle of this?" when tasting it - sometimes wine that is cloyingly sweet tastes delicious when you drink it, but halfway through the bottle the stupid sugar levels make you sick, and it destroys the taste of the food you're eating with it.

Second of all, don't let the masturbatory douchebags named Biff that look down their perfect Arian noses at you deter you from enjoying wine. You know why they use words that don't make any sense to you to describe a wine? Because they think that makes them sound sophisticated, and it gives them a reason to treat you like an idiot. And because they have incredibly small penises, which is why Muffy is banging the pool boy while Biff is out on the golf course with his investment banking buddies. Will you eventually learn subtle taste distinctions? Sure. But when you do, don't act like an asshole about it. Just enjoy the wine you enjoy for the reasons you enjoy it. Kind of like you're doing now. "I enjoy the aromas of cassis and the subtle hint of barnyard on the nose..." Please. Tell you what Biff, why don't you bring that sophisticated palette to the muni lot and we'll see how you do when you do a fifteen second keg stand of Busch Light. Then we'll see who's better than who. Net net, do not be afraid of the judgments of others. Ask questions, even if they may seem stupid. Taste lots of things. It's the only way to learn.

Third, confession: I've been to the tours at Mondavi and Beringer. By the way, Mondavi's Private Reserve is some incredible wine, as is Beringer's. They have gorgeous vineyards, great facilities, and do a professional (intentionally selected word there) job of talking to you as a consumer. What they lack is soul, which as a novice, you know what, that's okay to skip. You shouldn't lose your virginity to Megan Fox. You won't know what to do and you'll become afraid to have sex ever again. It's okay to bang the homely-but-eager Mary Jane Rottencrotch across the street in the back of your dad's Duster in the Metroparks. That's a winery analogy - figure it out when you stop reliving the moment. We've all been there.

Foruth: How to learn about wine. I did it regionally. I started with France, because the French are such masturbatory douchebags that they have regulations and classifications for everything, making it easy to learn. To get the high end stuff requires some investment, though. In my case I was fortunate to exploit some (il)legal loopholes to get my wine for free or a profit to me, but unless you want the ATF knocking on your door, maybe another approach is merited. Anyway, pick a region, pick a varietal, and buy a number of different bottles until you really understand the taste of the varietal and the region, and have adopted some favorites. It would be fun for you to bring back 4 cases of wine and 48 different bottles in those cases, and then spend the 48 days after you get home journeying and learning. You could even keep a log to write down your thoughts if you want, but that is more work than fun. And you're having fun, not writing a thesis. If you like it, you'll remember it. Enough Friday nights in the Duster and you'll be ready for Megan.

Fifth: the relationship between price and quality is inexact at best. That $200 bottle they offer? It probably does taste like cassis and barnyard, but to you it will taste like a cow turd. A big fat steaming one. Her $10 little sister will be perfectly agreeable and willing. Don't feel like a rube for buying the cheap stuff. Feel like a wise consumer for buying the stuff you like.

Bottom line: go, taste, and enjoy. You think the $5 bottle with dogs playing poker on the label tastes great, then buy a bottle, and offer Biff to share it with you. And when he scoffs, think of him and his little pink sweater being hoisted upside down over a keg by two of your favorite orange and brown clad rogues, smile, and walk away and enjoy your haul.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Ziner » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:17 am

Damn, another great post. Thanks for the info. Let me digest it before I respond. I will say that I am certainly not Biff. Not even close. The snotty wine crowd pisses me off, that's why I hope to find some relaxed places that will explain and teach me but not act as if it is life or death. EOD, I really just wanna learn a bit, get all wined up, and enjoy the views. I am the guy that wouldn't turn down a lukewarm Natty if it was the only thing I had to be able to keep drinking, so even if I don't know what I am drinking, at least I am drinking.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby hebner20 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:43 pm

I just got back from the Finger Lakes region of New York State and will submit a short report later for those interested. I was impressed by the quality of the wines at most places. The views are gorgeous as well. It is not Napa I am sure but since i could not get out to Napa this year we decided to go to the Finger Lakes instead.

It is about 4-5 hours from downtown Cleveland depending on which lake you go to. It blows away the Ohio wine region up on Lake Erie in the Lake/Ashtabula county area.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:01 pm

hebner20 wrote:I just got back from the Finger Lakes region of New York State and will submit a short report later for those interested......It blows away the Ohio wine region up on Lake Erie in the Lake/Ashtabula county area.


Not when you and the wife have one night off in common and no kids for 6 hours it doesn't. Ferrante's or Grand River Cellars is just fine then. ;-) ;) :wink:

Z- My advice on the wineries is to find out how long it takes to get from any one of 'em to Cache Creek Casino's poker room where they serve plenty of draft beers and some bottled ones too ;-) ;) :wink:

BTW, I concur re: Pork Butt
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby hebner20 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:04 pm

peeker643 wrote:
hebner20 wrote:I just got back from the Finger Lakes region of New York State and will submit a short report later for those interested......It blows away the Ohio wine region up on Lake Erie in the Lake/Ashtabula county area.


Not when you and the wife have one night off in common and no kids for 6 hours it doesn't. Ferrante's or Grand River Cellars is just fine then. ;-) ;) :wink:

Z- My advice on the wineries is to find out how long it takes to get from any one of 'em to Cache Creek Casino's poker room where they serve plenty of draft beers and some bottled ones too ;-) ;) :wink:

BTW, I concur re: Pork Butt
Form and function is always appreciated.


I was not knocking the local scene but as a vacation destination the Finger Lakes are impressive. I've been to many Ohio Wine Fests at Lake Farm Park and have been to Ferrante's many times for dinner and tastings as well. I support the local wineries but the difference is big.

The quality of the Ohio wines is increasing rapidly too. At my first Wine fest back in 02 or 03 there was little quality wine, now many of the wineries are growing the European varieties and doing pretty well. In another 5-10 years Ohio will be making serious noise in the wine world. St Joseph's already makes a very good Pinot Noir. :cheers:
Last edited by hebner20 on Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:41 pm

I know you weren't demeaning the Ohio stuff. Truth is I have no clue about it other than socially drinking a glass or three when we go to one of those places. Love Ferrante's. The veal is unbelievable.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Ziner » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:33 am

So got back Monday night. 2.5 days in Napa, 2.5 days in SF. That is two and a half for JB

So Napa was pretty damn awesome. A few days before we left I really started doing more research to find some wineries to visit. http://www.napawineproject.com/ Found this website and it directed me to an absolutely winery. For anyone who goes to Napa I will insist that you stop at Hendry Winery (http://www.hendrywines.com/home.htm). The place was awesome. It is owned by a millionaire (arent they all?) who has never been married and essentially plugs all of his money from his particle accelerator business in to the winery. I didn't meet him but I would guess he is pretty smart. The owner didnt have time to meet us because he was making blackberry jam for their distributors and retail shops up at his house that doesnt look like a dime has been put in to it for a century. Wonder if anyone has the mind to tell him he could buy some. But anyway that is the type of place it is, real low key, relaxing, not stuffy. So on to the tour, we got a free 3 hour tour and tasting, if it seems like 3 hours is too long it wasnt boring one bit. If you have ever been to Napa you would know how rare this is. They walked us through everything from the vineyard to taste all the different grapes from different ages of plants then to each step in the wine making process. The guy who did the tour was a co-owner, both him and the owners are mechanical engineers so they take a very analytical approach to all phases of the wine making. They dont just do things because they have always been done that way, they seem to think out the process and revamp it to what made sense to them. It was a great place to start as it was so informative and educational, but the problem was it set the bar too high for the rest of the wineries we visited. After the all encompassing tour they sat us down for what turned out to be the most informative tasting as well. Talk about not pretentious, we sit down a simple table and they passed the bottle around like you would with friends where you pour your own size tasting. We went through about 12 different wines in the tasting. I think that was more than enough for my wife, she's a lightweight. They also did the coolest thing that anyone did at any wine tasting we visited. They had their Good Cab and their lower priced pressed Cab. When tasting straight up the pressed Cab was much smoother and seemed to taste better while the expensive/"better" cab was very tannic. So after we tasted each and pretty much all decided that the pressed Cab was better he went in and got some olive oil. Told us to dip a cracker in the oil and coat our mouths with the oil, then taste the expensive cab, it was amazing how much different it actually tasted. Wasnt sure if it was earthy, woodsy, with a hint of whimsy, it was just better, shockingly better. It was a really cool way to demonstrate how food and wine can compliment each other (if you are in to that stuff). So anyway that "free" tour costs us 4 bottles of wine that we purchased. Still all less than $30 a bottle for what I think is very tasty stuff.

We hit up another winery the day we showed up, but it couldnt compare. It was cool just driving around that area though, certainly something to see. The next day we did a tour where we rode around with 3 other couples in a party bus and essentially hit up just tastings. It was a great way to do it though, we drank a ton, saw a lot and had a blast with the other people on the bus. The bus driver/tour guide was really informative and knew all the people at the wineries and got us discounts. The tastings were either free with a purchase of a bottle (which makes the purchase a no brainer) or $10, so I didn't find it to be overly pricey. On the tour we got to see some wine caves which I consider a must see if you are going to head up to wine country.

Best meal by far was Bottega that we hit up the first night there. It is owned by Michael Chiarello from Food Network and Top Chef Masters. We don't have the French Laundry budget, but we found this place to be fantastic. He was actually there working in the kitchen so that is cool when you show up to a place like that and you know the chef is actually there. I had the most amazing short ribs ever, wife had some pretty killer bolognese. The waiter told us the recipe is actually on foodnetwork, not that we could do it justice. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mich ... index.html

The best winery the 2nd day was Failla winery. They only sell from their tasting rooms, wine club, and I think you can order direct. They do not distribute. They essentially just make wines they and their families like. Really good Pinot Noir's and Chardonnay's. Actually owned by a Yinzer who has a summer home out there (shockingly it wasnt a trailer). The guy happened to be there and does the tastings out of his house/tasting room. He was really cool and even sat down and talked football with my wife and I. My wife was half in the bag so her accent could be spotted from a mile away, he knew as soon as he came over. http://www.faillawines.com/index.htm

Overall it was a good sampling of Napa, but I feel as if you could easily do 2-3 more days with out getting bored. I will say I was ready for a beer by the time we left. The trip got me to actually finally enjoy red wines now, in fact of the dozen we brought home only 4 were white and one is to give away. I will enjoy all the hard work that will come with downing all the wine we brought home. Also another hint if anyone else goes. Buy a wine shipper they sell numerous sizes, they are basically cardboard boxes with styrofoam insets. The cheapest way is to pack that thing with the wine and wrap it with clothes to make it fit tightly and just check it on the plane. Only costs us essentially $25 to get all the wine home.

As we left Napa we drove through Sonoma, it has a nice downtown (alot nicer than Napa as Napa downtown is not nearly as nice as I was expecting). Sonoma will definetely be on the next trip out. But if you are going to the Napa area and want fancy you are better off staying in Yountville or St. Helena. Napa was much more run down that I would have ever thought. Downtown was ok, but the rest of the city is nothing special although our B&B was set back in a neighborhood and was really nice.

After Napa we did headed to SF with a quick stop at Muir Woods. Those Redwoods are amazing, makes you dizzy looking up at them. SF was good had clear cool weather for 3 days straight (is that a record?). SF is as expected a world-class, eclectic and awesome town. Really enjoyed North Beach, the Ferry Building and shockingly to me Haight Ashbury. aoxo, ever try the meat cone from Boccalone in the ferry building? Saw it on Food Network one time, it is worth the trip. Haight Ashbury was nothing like I expected, I was pictured cracked out hippies with needles sticking out their arms on every street corner. What is really was is Coventry on steroids. Sure there was a "tobacco" pipe shop every 5 stores, but that is part of the charm I suppose.

Overall good trip glad we went, could have used a few more days in Napa/Sonoma as aoxo suggested.

Hope you enjoy Hebner, this is mainly for you.

Oh and BostonButt, only ran in to one masturbatory bastard named Biff. I just ignored him, the rest we were with were very down to earth. Thanks for the advice though, it was great.
In the end, we're all "only for a limited time," you guys.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby hebner20 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:18 pm

Ziner,

^^^^^^^^^

Awesome report, I do appreciate it. I am jealous becasue we went to the Finger Lakes which are nice but California is THE place and Napa is a must see destination. I will definitely use this as reference material if we go there next year. I know you were not a big wine dude but it sounds like you have a little better appreciation for it now. Some day you might like wine almost as much as beer. Do you have any cool pics you would like to share?? I have some from the Finger Lakes that I will attach but pictures don't do well in these posts since they need to be reduced in size.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby Ziner » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:24 pm

Hebner, I will slap up some pictures tomorrow, haven't downloaded them yet. Plenty of great pics. Everywhere you turn is an amazing sight.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby exiledbuckeye » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:18 am

Hebner - www.rsizr.com will help you reduce your pic sizes.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby hebner20 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:01 pm

exiledbuckeye:

i will check out the web site. i use microsoft office picture manager to resize but I can't remember how big you can upload and also it is hard to judge if i reduce it too small.

Ziner:

can't wait to see some pics but take your time. i am sure you are busy catching up after the time off.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby jb » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:16 pm

On August 16th, Ritchie wrote:


hebner20 wrote:I just got back from the Finger Lakes region of New York State and will submit a short report later for those interested.




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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby jb » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:18 pm

hebner20 wrote:
peeker643 wrote:
hebner20 wrote:I just got back from the Finger Lakes region of New York State and will submit a short report later for those interested......It blows away the Ohio wine region up on Lake Erie in the Lake/Ashtabula county area.


Not when you and the wife have one night off in common and no kids for 6 hours it doesn't. Ferrante's or Grand River Cellars is just fine then. ;-) ;) :wink:

Z- My advice on the wineries is to find out how long it takes to get from any one of 'em to Cache Creek Casino's poker room where they serve plenty of draft beers and some bottled ones too ;-) ;) :wink:

BTW, I concur re: Pork Butt
Form and function is always appreciated.


I was not knocking the local scene but as a vacation destination the Finger Lakes are impressive. I've been to many Ohio Wine Fests at Lake Farm Park and have been to Ferrante's many times for dinner and tastings as well. I support the local wineries but the difference is big.

The quality of the Ohio wines is increasing rapidly too. At my first Wine fest back in 02 or 03 there was little quality wine, now many of the wineries are growing the European varieties and doing pretty well. In another 5-10 years Ohio will be making serious noise in the wine world. St Joseph's already makes a very good Pinot Noir. :cheers:



St Joe is a really tiny wonery. The staf there is awesome and will take you back to the making area at a whim. They also will let you help press stomp in October as a volunteer if you are interested.

I don't like wine, but I like wineries. In a rare instance I make a great DD for wine tours (except for Denoner and their Cellar rat beer.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby hebner20 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:51 pm

jb wrote:On August 16th, Ritchie wrote:


hebner20 wrote:I just got back from the Finger Lakes region of New York State and will submit a short report later for those interested.







Balls busted( :pb: )and lateness duly noted. (Don't i get credit for the pics i posted?)

However; I can't imagine you are losing sleep over the lack of my report. I've been busy catching up after vaca. I shall redouble my efforts and will try to get something done this weekend to satisfy your curiousity.
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Re: Napa - give me info

Unread postby hebner20 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:19 pm

As promised, here is my report on the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Attached is a map of the area.

We stayed at a cottage near Keuka Lake and after my morning bike ride around the lake we spent our first day going to the Corning Museum of Glass which was about a 30 minute drive. We were at the museum for about 3 hours and the museum had art work from glass and glass products throughout the years going back over 2,000 years as well as a lot of technology related to glass. I was surprised how much I enjoyed our time at the museum in Corning. In Corning there is also a Norman Rockwell Museum and if you buy a ticket for both museums the price is something like $20. The ticket price for an adult to the Glass Museum is about $14 with a 10 or 15% discount if you belong to AAA. We did not go to the Rockwell Museum.

Day 2 began with a bicycle ride and then trip over to the Seneca Lake area via Watkins Glen which sits at the bottom of Seneca Lake. We had lunch in a picnic area of the Finger Lakes National Forest. We then drove to a winery on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and began a bike riding tour of some wineries on the East side of Seneca Lake. We hit about 5 wineries in 7 miles of riding south and had some tastings, all of which were very nice. On the way back we decided to go without stopping for any tastings as there is a winery about every mile or so on each side of the road. On both sides of Seneca Lake there are over 40 wineries as well as several breweries. Seneca Lake is 38 miles long and is the second longest of the Finger Lakes Cayuga is the largest at just under 40 miles.

Day 3 was our trip to Cooperstown to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame and Museum. It was about a 3 hour drive through the hills of rural New York and it rained most of the day. We arrived in Cooperstown around 1 PM and spent 4 hours at the Hall of Fame and thoroughly enjoyed the day. The only bad thing about Cooperstown is its location. By car, there is no real easy way to get there. At some point you have to travel on back roads which are hilly and winding. 90% of our trip there was on those types of roads. Despite, the difficulty at getting there I am glad I went there and would recommend it to any baseball fan.

After my morning bike ride, day 4 was spent in Rochester visiting my wife’s great aunt which was about a 75 minute drive from our cottage. When we got back to the Keuka Lake area we hit a few more wineries for tastings and then a nice Italian Restaurant in Hammondsport. We had a glass of red wine from a local winery that we were visiting the next day. The food was good and the wine was superb. The wine was a proprietary blend from Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Winery. This winery is probably the most well respected winery in the region and has made a name for itself for its wine made from the Riesling grape.

Day 5 was Saturday and our last full day of vacation and it began with my morning bike ride and then we were off to Herron Hill winery and Dr. Konstantin Frank’s. Herron Hill was a very nice winery that had a delightful selection of wines and a great view. Dr Frank’s winery was established in 1962 and has made a name by growing European grape varieties rather than native grapes such as Concord or French Hybrids. We then went back to our cottage had lunch and went to an outdoor flea market. After a while at the flea market we went back to our cottage and sampled some wines we bought over the past few days.

Below is a list of wineries we visited:
Caywood Vineyards
Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars
Herron Hill Winery
Keuka Lake Vineyards
King's Garden Vineyard
Lamoreaux Landing
Penguin Bay Winery
Stever Hill Vineyards
Wagner Vineyards
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