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Napa/Sonoma Itinerary Help

Anyone care to weigh in on my more final itinerary?

Napa/Sonoma Itinerary Help

Zin, thanks for all the insight.

To answer your question re varieties: We enjoy Pinot Nior, Chardonnay, Cab Sauv, Merlot. We don't especially love Pinot Grigio, Rose, or Zin, though there are no wines we absolutely won't drink.

Most of our wine purchases are between 15-40/bottle.

Here is what I am thinking:

We have 5 full days (Sun,Mon,Tue,Wed,Thur), and I think spending 2 days in Napa and 2 in Sonoma is best, with a float day which would include either a half or whole day visiting Bodega Bay.

Saturday, after picking up our rental car, I am thinking we will get into the South end of Napa valley around 3-4, stopping at Domaine Carneros for some bubbly to celebrate (arriving, not the proposal, haha), then heading past the Oxbow market to pick up general supplies before continuing up to our rental (St. Helena) and picking somewhere easy for dinner.

Now, since I didn't know where to go next, I grouped up some options for each day, figuring I would go to around 3 per day.

Option groups for Napa:
1. Far Niente, Elyse, Hendry (supposedly a great first tour) (Yountville/Napa)
2. Domaine Chandon, Sterling, Schramsberg (Calistoga)
3. Pride/Smith-Madrone/Erna Schein, Cain (options here, potentially doing 2 since they are right next to each other) (Spring Mountain)

Option groups for Sonoma:
1. St. Francis, Chateau St. Jean, Kunde (Kenwood)
2. Imagery, Arrowood, B.R. Cohn, Little Vineyards (Glen Ellen)
3. Ravenswood, Bartholomew Park, Gundlach Bundschu (Sonoma)

I figured I would make decisions on places to eat based on when/where I was doing the winery groups. Are there any places that I definitely need to put in a reservation now?

I cut Passalacqua (among others) since it was so far out, however, if someone has two other wineries close to Passalacqua that would be a good full day, I can slot that in.

Any places I am missing (in Napa valley) that I should definitely see?


Napa/Sonoma Itinerary Help

Right now, I am planning on at least going to the ocean (probably Bodega Head). I don't need it to be hot, sweatshirts and jeans are perfect. The fog is the only thing I would be worried about.

That said, I am keeping vineyard and hike options open. As I mentioned early, does anyone have an opinion on the Sonoma Overlook trail?


Napa/Sonoma Itinerary Help

Is this something that is easy to play by ear? The weather I mean. It is about 1.5 hours from where we are staying, so potentially something that I could decide on in the morning.

Is the Sonoma Overlook trail stunning (or worthy of a proposal)? The little bench at the top of the trail seems cute.

Napa/Sonoma Itinerary Help

Thank you both for the insight. I think the Pacific Ocean idea is great. Perhaps make it trip for the afternoon, pack a dinner and propose at sunset. Could be perfect. Will I get much of a hassle staying on the beach slightly past sunset? I looked at some of the beaches, as I would like to find a place that is somewhat secluded. Have either of you ever been to Pinnacle Gulf or Shorttail Gulch? Both are in Bodega Bay.

I will do some cutting and try to group up the wineries/dining and repost a more refined itinerary.


Napa/Sonoma Itinerary Help

Hello all,

My significant other and I are visiting Napa and Sonoma for the first time next month (Arriving in SFO mid-day Oct. 6, leaving mid-day Oct. 12 (Sat-Fri, 5 full days). We are complete wine neophytes, aside from simply 'liking wine.' We are completely open to anything and everything, but place equal weight on enjoying the scenery, relaxing, enjoying fun food and new things, as much as trying wines and visiting vineyards.

We are staying in St. Helena and have a rental car. We are thinking of splitting our time between Sonoma and Napa, and potentially going to the ocean or something else fun. We have no real time table or places we absolutely must do. We are looking for the trip to be relaxing, but want to make sure we see the high notes (and give ourselves reasons to come back). We are also looking to keep overall costs down, but 0-20pp for tastings are fine. We are planning on purchasing a few bottles of wine, and plan on cooking at home (rental) for part/most of the week.

Additionally, I am planning on proposing while we are there. At first I was thinking of doing it at a winery, but I think it might be better to do it somewhere we wouldn't associate the moment with a product as much as a locale. I was thinking of doing it at sunset on the Overlook Trail (Sonoma), bringing a picnic and a bottle of bubbly to commemorate. However, I am still open to doing it at a winery with a fantastic view that we could get away from the crowd and be able to do it one on one. Some options I am considering are Sterling (going off somewhere with a view), Kuleto, Gundlach-Bundschu, Chateau St. Jean, Paradise Ridge (maybe the sunset picnic on Wednesday, or seeing if I can do it solo on a different day), Castello di Amorosa or Spring Mountain. Regardless, if you all would be willing to offer both a location and a follow up place to eat or go, I would appreciate any suggestions.

All of that said, from reading the board and doing some excessive googling, I have put together a list of wineries to see and places to eat. I would love any help grouping the wineries and helping chart my vacation. Figuring out timing and driving time/distance is goofy in the valleys.


Domaine Carneros
Domaine Chandon
Chateau St. Jean
Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves
Paradise Ridge
Castello di Amorosa
Bartholomew Park
St. Francis
Spring Mountain (SM, Erna Shein, Barnett)
Rutherford Hill

Boon Fly Café
Girl and the Fig
La Salette
Rutherford Grill
Picnic supplies from D&D
Bistro Jeanty
Bistro don Giovanni
Ad Hoc
Grace's Table
Etoile at Domain Chandon
The Original Taylors
Barn Diva
The Girl and the Fig

Let me know if there is anything else I can provide to help with decisions.

Thanks In Advance.

PS: What about a mud bath? Anywhere reasonable but nice?