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Winery Tours in Napa/Sonoma/Central Coast

sisundar | May 14, 2012 02:05 PM

I'm going to be in the bay area towards the end of the month, and figured I would take this chance to visit some wineries in the region.

Now, I'm well aware of the number of wineries in the state, so I'll try and be hyper-specific about what I'd like; if it turns out a place can only meet a few of the requirements, I'm still interested.

What I'd like:

1. Price : a reasonable number of bottlings < $75/100. I'm not really interested in spending crazy mony on cult napa cabs. That being said, I am somewhat flexible on this.
2. location: Within a few hours from the bay area (say < 4-5 hours of driving).
3. Varietals/Style: I really like alsace whites, and drink quite a few CdR's as far as red wines go. I haven't really had much CA wine, and not really liked the majority of the wine I've had from there (mainly low/mid priced cabernets). So I'd like to go to a place that does good high acidity, mineral driven white wines. However, this is the parameter I'm most flexible on - I'd be more than happy to try well made wines of other styles.
4. Experience: I'm ideally looking for a place that I can spend a few hours at. I'd like to be able to tour the vineyards with a guide (alone or in a small group), have the whole winemaking processed explained, maybe some barrel tastings, etc., along with the ability to ask plently of questions along the way. I'd like to come out of the day with a reasonble idea of what goes into the wine inside the bottle; the tasting is almost a secondary consideration - I'm looking for more of a "Wine making/aging 101" type experience. I'm more than happy to pay reasonable fees for this.
5. I don't need a fancy tasting room/cheese plates etc. Infact, I'd prefer a more rustic/smaller winery setup, where I'd get to intereact with the actual winemakers.
5. Bonus points for wineries located in beautiful interesting areas, so that I can potentially spend the morning/afternoon at the winery, and then have some interesting restaurants/things to do nearby for the evening. Perhaps even wineries that have accomodation onsite.

Thanks a bunch in advance!

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