Slightly off topic and I apologize but I'm hoping for some good
recommendations and this group should be a resource for what I'm seeking.
My wife and I will be in the San Francisco area the last week in March. I'd
like to travel over to Napa Valley while there. I'm looking at some places
to stay. I've seen the Wine Spectator reviews on Auberge du Soleil and
Calistoga Inn, the high end resorts, but I wanted to get some opinions from
others. Has anyone taken this trip before and, if so, spent the night at a
place you'd recommend? Or, heard/saw of another place that you'd like to try
out on the next visit?
in article JkNcd.71$% email@example.com, JB at
on 10/18/04 3:57 AM:
The Napa Valley has a large number of very good Bed and Breakfasts that are
a good alternative to the much higher end resorts. One of the best
proprietors is the Four Sisters group which has three B&Bs in the area.
They're at foursisters.com. There's also a small B&B right at the Prager
Port Works, in St. Helena. I can recommend all the above but here are many
more good ones. Just Google "B and B" or "Inns" + "Napa".
Since you mention spending "the night": If I recall correctly, many of the
inns in the area have a two night minimum reservation policy, so don't be
surprised if you encounter that. I don't think March is "in season" for
them, however, so it may not be an issue.
Thanks for the leads. This is exactly what I was looking for. The Bordeaux
House is within walking distance of several nice restaurants, including the
French Laundry. The price difference between Auberge du Soleil and here
would more than cover the cost of a fine meal and bottle of wine.
While in Napa don't miss La Toque in Rutherford. Ken Franks restaurant is
a must stop. I like it better then the French Laundry. You will love the
wine parings with the fabulous food.
on 10/18/04 3:57 AM:
I have no idea what your budget is but there are many fine places in
Sonoma County. The Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma is excellent but pricey.
I would suggest Healdsburg. The Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza is a very
nice place in the middle of town. You can walk to 6 or 8 tasting rooms
from there. Over on Dry Creek road is a Best Western and Travelodge.
The Grape Leaf Inn is a very pleasant B&B. Plan on breakfast at Fitch
Mountain Eddies or Center Street Cafe. Dinner at Zin or Bistro Ralph.
Truth be told, Dana, there wasn't much to see in '75. As I recall from
my trips up 29 to the Yellowjacket Ranch outside of Calistoga back then,
Yountville'd pass by pretty quickly, even at the prevaling pace of a
pickup hauling a horse trailer ;-) My, how the times have changed...
"Dana H. Myers" in news: firstname.lastname@example.org...
To say nothing of 1965. (Actually had first-person word-of-mouth to about
1885 when I was younger, but not specifically Yountville -- I assume it was
named by then, the Yount family goes back a bit -- but the whole north bay
was regarded as pretty open country in those days, actually it still was
even in 1965, largely).
All different now of course.
in article email@example.com, Max Hauser at
on 10/20/04 10:16 PM:
My first visit was in 1968 or '69. I think there were less than 20 or so
'branded' wineries then. Now there are several hundred. My impression is
that not that much more land is under grape cultivation in the valley
itself, but these days most separately owned parcels are producing under
their own names. And then there are those that buy grapes or juice and
produce what I guess are essentially private label brands. The valley
itself, though is still a wondrous place.......... if a whole lot more
In article ,
My wife and I prefer the Calistoga area, since that puts your home
base at the north end of the Napa Valley and the south end of a
large number of Sonoma wineries. The Calistoga Inn is not what I
would call a high-end resort. There are several almost equal
hot-spring oriented inns in the area. *Don't* stay in Nance's motel
-- it's too close to the highway and therefore noisy.
Also, don't succumb to those motels right on H'Way 29, for example
around Trancas (sp?) Road. Even Dr. Wilkinson's in Calistoga is a
If you drive from San Francisco, I would not go across the Bay
Bridge and head north for the city of Napa.
Go north across the GGate Bridge and turn east (right) on H'Way 37,
then H'Way 121 and follow the signs to the town of Sonoma. Stop at
the Sonoma Cheese Factory, right on the main town square, and pick
up a loaf of good bread and a chunk of cheese. Then head for a
local winery that has a good picnic area. I like Gundlach-Bundschu,
which has some reasonably priced chardonnays and an absolutely
beautiful picnic spot.
After lunch you can head east to Highway 29 and explore the Napa
Valley. I would cross over to the Silverado trail as soon as
possible -- less traffic and beautiful views.
If you have time, go north from Calistoga up toward the Dry Creek
and Russian River wineries. One of my favorite stops is the Dry
Creek Vineyards -- I've been visiting them since Dave Stare (MIT
Engineer) opened the place in 1976. I remember drinking the
free-run juice directly from the crusher -- beautiful stuff: sweet
enough to put on your pancakes!
If you have lots of time and are really just touristing, take the
gondola lift to the top of the Sterling Winery. There is a
self-guided tour and the view is fabulous! The wine is less than
fabulous, but not bad. The Merlot is probably their best.
Steer clear of those big places -- Inglenook, BV, etc. You'll see
the tour buses parked all over.
PS: Re-reading the above, I think I'll join you!