We are traveling to Napa/Sonoma first weekend in October. Staying in Calistoga wed night at Solage and thinking about just dining at Solbar. Is that the best rec? On the drive from SFO to Calistoga we would like a few good stops, possibly on the Silverado trial? Husband and I are both very into wine, esp. reds. So, in Napa looking for great under the radar boutique wineries for cab/merlot. Just so you know the style we like, we enjoy Darioush, Shafer, Duckhorn but don't want to visit as too commercial; we prefer the more locally known big wine producers (for under $75 bottle) at smaller wineries. Last visit we went to Pride, Frank Family, August Briggs.
Thursday, lunch will be at Gotts Roadside and then driving over to Russian River Valley, staying at Farmhouse Inn for three nights. Thursday night dinner will be Scopa...unless you can recommend their new spot over it. So for thursday, a few wineries en route, or not too far off route.
We have Thursday, Friday and Saturday in RRV. Looking for 4 wineries per day and not so much into tours. We love pinots. Again, looking for more of the cult pinot producers, or local favorites for high-quality wine and fun/scenic wineries. We have been to and enjoyed: Lynmar, Iron Horse (great views and sparking), Martinelli, Rochioli (we love their pinot and enjoyed C. Donatiello as well), Porter Creek (did not like so much either time), Gary Farrell (too commercial), Arista, Woondenhead, Hartford (for a lovely wine dinner outside), A. Rafanelli (did not love), Merry Edwards. also for zin, we absolutely love Bella. We are on their wine list and love the experience of the wine caves there, etc.
One definite is Copain for the wines and picnic lunch. Looking for other RRV recommendations for great vineyards and wines. meals are taken care of as we will have wedding activities for a counsin fri night and sat night in sebastopol.
On Sunday, we have to attend the Windsor Farmer's Market for the fabulous hot off the smoker smoked salmon, then will drive down through Sebastapol back to SFO. We have the whole day. A bit ambitious, but I would like to stop at 3 wineries and then hit Hog Island Oyster Bar and Farm in Marshall. Is this worth the stop? For wineries, I really wanted to go to Freeman, Scherrer, and Littorai, but the only one to taste at of the three open is Littorai...any other recs in the surrounding areas other than Dutton Goldfield, which we enjoy?
Any help is greatly appreciated. Just starting to get itinerary together. thank you , thank you!