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:
Trespass (waiting for a call back as to whether they're open)
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.