Wine & Travel

Snooth User: Philip James

Whats the best winery tasting room / tour out there?

Posted by Philip James, Feb 29, 2008.

Simple question - which winery has the best tasting room, or gives the best tours, or simply wowed you in some way that it gets your vote (and why)?

I vote for Far Neinte. Its $50 a head, so it had better be good of course, but they really live up to it. You can barely find the place, and when you do you have to get buzzed in at the gate (prior appointments only). The whole thing takes over an hour, you tour the grounds, the fantastic cellars, the founder's car collection and then get to taste some of their excellent wines in a private sit down dining room. 5 wines (red, white and their Dolce dessert wine). Its quite an experience all around.

Definitely the one to wow people with.

Who else?


Reply by clintob, Feb 29, 2008.

I don't remember the name of the tour, or actual if it was even an organized tour at all, but the last time I tooled around on the North Fork of Long Island I had a blast and tried some incredible wines I would have otherwise never heard of.

I suppose it's more about what're you're looking for. If you want to learn about the inner workings of the winery and the process, pick a big successful winery with a strong lineage (most likely Napa somewhere). If you just want to try great new wines that you wont readily find, all you need is a rental car (with a designated driver!) and a few hours to kill. No tour needed.

Reply by John Andrews, Feb 29, 2008.

Hmmm ... I guess I'm biased ... working part time at winery I like the wineries where I get access to the wine maker or people that are very knowledge about wine in general (not just reciting a set of tasting notes).

However, I did have an awesome experience at Joseph Phelps in Napa. I also like Michel Schlumberger in Dry Creek (Sonoma).

Reply by Philip James, Mar 3, 2008.

Phelps is very impressive too. Sadly it was foggy when i was there, but its still a grand and formal experience.

Reply by John Andrews, Mar 3, 2008.

Others that I can think of that I really liked ...

Hartford Family Wines in Russian River Valley, Sonoma - but that is because I know the people that work there and they treat me well

Honing in Napa - Fun little place off the beaten path in Napa. Very un-Napa like

Fuedi San Gregario - Campania, Italy - the only wine tasting I've done in Europe ... so it has to make my list. :-)

Unfortunately, I can't say that I've had a lot of wineries that wowed me but I've been to a lot that were very good.

Reply by benska, Apr 1, 2008.

Out of the places Ive been, I'd have to pick my Top 2 as:
Peju in Napa - Great Atmosphere and experience
Castello Di Amoroso - A giant Medieval castle in Northern Napa, take the tour, get a barrel tasting and try 8 wines (3 reserve and 5 others for $40, well worth it)

Reply by oceank8, Apr 10, 2008.

Just got back from Northern California and had a great time at all. So many had a "wow" factor, but I have to say my favorite was Meeker in Geyserville. It had no "wow" factor but was SO fun! In an old bank with very friendly and knowledgeable people. Also, great wine at a great price.

I also go to the Guadalupe valley in Mexico a lot and it is a lot fun because it is still so small. Even met a Russian Embassador having a BBQ at one of the wineries!

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Apr 10, 2008.

Capannelle in Chianti. The quick tour is a full 90 minutes!

Next time you are in or around Gaiole. just tell them that RBoulanger sent you and you will be very well taken care of.

Reply by Philip James, Apr 10, 2008.

Oceank8 - I'd actually like to hear more about mexican wineries. A good friend of mine (who uses this site) spend some time there while cruising. I'll rope him in to participate if you start a thread...

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