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Napa wineries day trip with a group of 10 on Nov 29

thanks Melanie, will check it out and confer with my better half

Nov 13, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa wineries day trip with a group of 10 on Nov 29

Thanks. Shramsberg is booked up, I would have tried for the tour there. Given your traffic comments, I'm either going the Sonoma route via Melanie's suggestion, or will limit the wineries to south of St. Helena. Working on a different list if we stick with Napa...

Nov 13, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa wineries day trip with a group of 10 on Nov 29

Thanks Melanie, while Sonoma wasn't where I wanted to go, I am reconsidering based on Maria and gold's comments. This may be a more welcoming situation for a group, although I would still look to get one proper tour in. Also will help shorten the commute if traffic is bad. I'm assuming the participating Sonoma wineries won't have free staff for a tour, any suggestions for a good tour from one of the other Sonoma wineries?

Nov 13, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa wineries day trip with a group of 10 on Nov 29

golddangl95, I hear you, and reconsidering the plan...

Nov 13, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa wineries day trip with a group of 10 on Nov 29

All makes sense Maria. I get their logic, and want to be a good citizen. No sense showing up where we are not wanted. I agree a group of 10 is not ideal, but that's what we are. Shipping to/via lcbo isn't a logical option, better to carry it across the border, be honest with customs and hope for the best. However, that does limit to you to a case. Sometimes they'll let that slide, and even if you have to pay duties you're further ahead than going through lcbo i think. Thanks for the comments on traffic, GTP thought it would be light, as did the concierge at the Fairmont.

Was thinking of maybe doing the olive oil tour at Pound if you have any thoughts on that, apparently November is the best time as it is harvest season.

Nov 13, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa wineries day trip with a group of 10 on Nov 29

Hi,

I've got a group of 5 couples where I'm in charge of organizing a trip to Napa. This is part of an annual "mystery trip" where one couple organizes the suprise trip each year. We're staying in SF, and thanks to this board have had great success in arranging restaurants for our stay from Nov 27 to Dec 2.

I've got Great Pacific Tours picking us up at 9:30am on the 29th, and now trying to nail down the itinerary. As far as the group in general goes, we all like wine but not all of us our collectors. Bunch of ~40 year olds from Toronto, most will be visiting CA wine country for the first time, my only experience is in Sonoma. I'm settled on going to Napa, so we can rule out Sonoma.

General idea is head to Calistoga, pick up a picnic lunch and work our way down. As far as wineries to visit, I've had a couple of issues. One is that some of them are closed for the 29th, but there is enough open to still go (cant do the 30th). Secondly, once you get past 8 people, all the places I've call require you to do a tour. We will do at least one tour (was thinking of starting at Pride and doing the tour and a picnic there), but I don't want to tour everywhere. Not enough time, and will really limit the amount of places we can see.

So I am looking for guidance as to whether I can book a group of 6 and 4 for a tasting and roll out of GPT's bus/van without causing a scene. If not, I don't see how we can reasonably visit more than a couple of places before heading back. Ideally we would hit one for a nice tour and 3-4 for tastings and a look around. So maybe that points me a bit in the direction of the large wineries for the tastings.

Places that are on my radar that I've confirmed as open are:

Pride
Miner
Quintessa
Hess
Plumpjack
Trespass (waiting for a call back as to whether they're open)
Schamsberg
Artessa

I've debated whether we should really be going as far as Calistoga, but the drive sounds nice and I think people will enjoy that, not to mention the views from Pride. Terra is closed btw, otherwise would have tried that while we were there.

I can completely understand how throwing a group of 10 could throw a small winery for a loop without notice, so I get the need for the booking requirement at some of these places. Also, some groups are different than others, we're not the type of people who bust on a scene and demand attention, just looking to have a taste and potentially a quick look around.

Looking forward to your responses, and will defer to your better judgement.

Nov 11, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

thx rubadubgdub, had Burritt on my list of local (to the Fairmont) places for a drink. Ryoko looks like fun, definitely hope to make there at the end of a night.

Nov 05, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Yah, don't want to eat Turkey, we Canadians do that in October. If anyone can answer Robert's question below I'm ready to give them a call...

Nov 05, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Following up on this post after reading your one above on RG. I think we're going to try this today, let you guys know what we book. This would allow us to leave SD for Saturday which my wife would prefer to do. Happy wife...

Nov 05, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

That looks pretty good sugartoof. Tempted to book it for a late dinner? Have a stroll around first, snack on a taco/drink or two elsewhere and then head to Lolinda?

Nov 05, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Man, was afraid of that. Well, I'd go back to the drawing board, but I'm out of ideas.

Nov 05, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Thx for the thought BAnders, but I think we'll stick to reasonable cab or cable car distance. I don't want to schlep them on the BART, seems a bit excessive, there's got to be enough decent options in SF?

Nov 05, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Well, we live in Oakville to be exact, which doesn't have very many good Chinese restaurants. When we go to T.O. we typically don't hit Chinatown. My wife has us booked for ZY & RG Lounge for Thursday night, it has been impossible to get non-Asian that night, we've worked our list pretty hard. A couple places we were looking at were open, but couldn't do the group of 10.

We are now re-thinking our choice of SD Saturday.

Nov 04, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Maria, I get your drift. Tonga room will be a one and done for us, just to show them the room really. I think the Mission is still in the works for the Friday.

Nov 04, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Thanks for the thoughts bobabear. As you can see above, having trouble on tgiving night dinner. I feel like I need to get some dinner reservations locked away before I can move on. As for lunches, I'm going to try and suggest some places to people based on my suggested itineraries for their day excursions on Thursday and Saturday. We all are friends and like each other, but we're not going to roam around as a pack of 10 for 3 days, couples need some space. That being said, the ball is in my court to plan that stuff and then ask you guys where a good place to go is based on locale. Feeling the pressure to get dinner locked away, and the wine excursion as well (see my post a couple above).

Oct 31, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

pauliface, that made perfect sense. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that AQ is open during Tgiving, nov 28 is not a booking option on their site. I left a vm 3 hours ago and just tried them again, no call back. Just called Mansour, they aren't open for thanksgiving either. Arghh...

Oct 31, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

thx for the comments pauliface. Tonga room is a good idea, i'm sure we'll hit it at least once (we stayed at the Fairmont a few years ago and went there). Have to pass on La Folie, I think the group might want something with a bit more action, more ala SD. Nihon looks cool, but already got the asian night covered with SD. El Mansour looks intriguing, researching...

Itinerary so far:

Wed night: arrive at 9pm, seems like their some good places near the Fairmont to hit for a drink before bed.

Thurs: some exploring around the usual places in the city. Still looking for dinner spot, El Mansour? LaCiccia?

Fri: GreatPacific Tours picking us up for a Napa visit. Still working on details. Dinner is Mission taco crawl?

Sat: Renting some bikes and hitting Fish, then ferry back from Tiburon. Maybe go to Alcatraz as well. Saturday dinner at Slanted Door.

Oct 31, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Thanks bobabear. Any thoughts on a back up place in the area if the Mission is a little gritty for the group's tastes? This would have be a place we could walk into, as I wouldn't want to no show on a reservation. Beggars can't be choosers, so maybe someplace fun/casual?

Oct 31, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

Thx Robert and Scott. I just talked to Slanted Door and have a reservation for the Saturday night. Unfortunately, groups there get stuck with the price fix, but I knew that going in thx to the board here. Left a message for A16 for thanksgiving night. My thinking was SD might be a little more exciting on a Saturday, whereas A16 we may not miss as much. I'm happy to be corrected, or field better suggestions although I think SD will be a good fit for our group.

So I was thinking about a Mission taco crawl Friday night just to maybe break up the monotomy of 10 people eating a sit down 3 nights in a row. I've never been down there, is this a good idea? We're relatively adventurous, out for a good time.

thx.

Oct 30, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving weekend, tough to get a res? Need some help for our mystery trip....

My wife and I are in charge of organizing this year's mystery trip. Five couples, and we plan the location and the itinerary. We bring everyone to the airport (Toronto), and off we go. I've been getting more proactive in the last week on planning our evenings as we approach the 30 day window for reservations, but when I do some clicking around at the popular spots using open table nothing seems available. I'm searching using 4 or 6 people, and if anything is available it's after 9. Am I doing something wrong?

Love to hear ideas on where we can take a group without being treated like a group. For example, would love to go back to slanted door, but the prix fixe isn't ideal. We're early 40s, fun group, not all of us are foodies, but we all enjoy a good time. Budget isn't that sensitive for most of us, but as organizer I don't want to blow the lid every night. Also would love to hear of any suggestions for after dinner drinks. We're staying at the Fairmont, and we'll either cab around or use our Muni passes on the street cars for the tourist vibe. We're in SF for dinner Thurs through Sat.

thx

Oct 29, 2013
canaxer in San Francisco Bay Area

Dinner ideas for tonight - downtown Toronto

Hi all,

Got to pick a place for dinner tonight, ideally within walking or short cab distance of Union. No steak houses. There is no budget (broker is picking it up), but I don't want to go anywhere where the linens are too white, due to the nature of my dining party (agressive traders). Any ideas? I'd like to hit a place where the food is chowhoundish, and has a decent scene without being too staid or prententious.

thx!

Sep 22, 2009
canaxer in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Family Day Grocers open?

Hi,

Anyone know a grocer/supermarket/butcher that is open today somewhere between downtown Toronto and Oakville? I'm hoping to pick up a roast...

thx.

Feb 16, 2009
canaxer in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Company Xmas party restaurant ideas wanted..

Hi,

6 ee's and dates trying to decide on where to have our xmas party. Downtown TO is preferred. Half of us are moderate foodies, other half don't care. Crowd is in their 30's. Ideal place has good food (cost not that important) and has a cool atmosphere. Ideas wanted! Thanks.

Oct 27, 2006
canaxer in Ontario (inc. Toronto)