I'm planning an April trip to Calistoga. I would love a critique of this proposed itinerary to see how manageable everything would be at the extreme, but we plan to relax the itinerary to give us lots of flexibility.
SUNDAY: drive to Calistoga from Oakland
~noon: picnic before hitting Outpost Winery. We'll have food covered, but location suggestions welcome!
01:00 PM Outpost Wines ($25, good views, Sunday or Tuesday, reservations needed)
02:30PM O'Shaughnessy Estate Winery (?, 10AM-4PM, reservations needed)
04:00PM (30 minute drive) tasting at Vincent Arroyo ($10, 10AM-4:30reservations needed)
06:00PM check in at hotel
07:30PM dinner at JoLe http://jolerestaurant.com/menus.html
10:30AM light breakfast at Calistoga roastery
11:00AM tour at Schramsberg ($45, reservations needed, 75 minute tour)
01:00 lunch at Solbar
02:30PM Solage spa
05:00PM Happy hour & bocce at Solbar Locals Night
07:30PM Dinner: possibilities in St. Helena:
10:00AM Chateau Montelena ($20, 9:30-4:00, no reservations needed; early bird tasting 9:30-11AM)
11:30AM lunch at Cindy's http://cindysbackstreetkitchen.com/Ma...
01:30PM Smith-Madron (no fee, Mon or Tues, 10AM-4PM, reservations needed)
03:00PM Pride Mountain Vineyards ($10, 10:30-3:45, reservations needed)
04:00PM Russian River Brewery
06:00PM head home
We're not dead set on any food or wine places, so a few questions:
(1) Is the Sunday itinerary feasible without rushing and are there any good picnic spots close to or at Outpost?
(2) Any dinner recommendations in Calistoga so that we won't have to drive to St. Helena on Monday (we'll have already eaten at JoLe and Solage, so downscale would be fine if it's interesting and good quality)?
(3) The best wineries around Calistoga seem to require reservations, and that reduces our flexibility. Any recommendations that permit walk-ins (pretty views/architecture are a plus, we're easy in terms of varietals)?