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I have observed a lot of postings on Stanford and Palo Alto lately and rightly so I might add - lovely area. One of my favorite things to do when in Northern California is visit Napa Valley although I have been told Sonoma is great as well. Someone mentioned that Sonoma may be more on the white wine side whereas Napa is possibly slanted more toward reds

Anyhoo... here are some of my Napa favorites and would love to hear what some of yours are...

Silver Oak - lovely winery and fabulous wine. Silky smooth cabs and merlots. Here in Cleveland the wine is about $150 a bottle in restaurants. Can buy it for about half that much at the winery. We always take their taste testing tour. Once there was a small crowd and they just kept pouring for us for over an hour. You cannot imagine how good we felt when we left that day Smile

Viader - just tried some of this recently in Seattle and it is one of the best tasting wines I have ever had. It is a blended wine and excellent quality. My friends recently visited the winery and they enjoyed it.

ZD Winery - Excellent quality reds and whites. Lovely winery. A friend of mine loves their Chardonay.

Coppola-Neibaum - I believe the name may have changed but that is Coppola as in Francis Ford. We always stop here for the beauty of the winery. It will put you in a good mood just visiting this place. Lovely fountains and architecture. The wine is average imho but that never detours us from stopping. On the second floor, many of Coppola's academy awards and movie momentos are on display which is cool.

Caymus - this is by appointment only. Again their wines were ok but the personalized taste testing and historical perspective offered was nice. Lovely winery and I believe this entity is formed from a conglomerate of wine makers.
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CD - I will have to recommend the Alexander Valley, north of Napa around Healdsburg. Considered by many Californians as the best area of all.

My personal favorite? Clos Du Bois' Merlot. Sells out every year and they actually limit how many you can buy at the winery itself.

A famous one? Korbel Champagne Cellars. Great tour, next to the Russian River tucked against the hills. Absolutely fabulous. Korbel is very possibly the premeir American champagne.
Great idea Clevelanddad!

After our recent visit to Napa/Sonoma I'd have to say to narrow it down to my FAVORITE it would have to be:

Chateau St. Jean in Sonoma

If you go, be prepared for the most beautiful grounds....done in the tradition of a French Estate. Absolutely gorgeous. And the wine...make sure you choose the "Reserve Room" tastings! They have a wonderful Chardonnay (we purchased a case) and a terrific Red Zin (another case).
Since I live in Sonoma County for the past 31 years, I will direct you to the Alexander Valley, almost perfect for "year around" weather.

Both Napa and Sonoma County are famous for the red and white wines. Francis Ford Coppola has recently purchased the Chateau Sovereign winery. Enjoy a dinner and beautiful views of the Alexander Valley from dining room.

However the Dry Creek area, 5 miles from Coppola' is famous for the small family winery's.

This area is 2 hours north of Palo Alto, across the Golden Gate bridge. Stanford provides me an opportunity to attend the camp and talk about International Baseball.

Bob Williams
I strongly recomend the Domain Chandon tour and tasting. Domain Chandon is in Yountville (just north of Napa).

When you are done go next door the the Veterans Home and watch a baseball game. The Veterans Home serves those that have served our country. It is a special place not only for the history that these men represent, it is also the host to many regional baseball programs. Besides, it is the only baseball field with grape vines coming through the outfield fence.

My son has play in 2 tournaments there. It is a very powerful experience as our young men play baseball and entertain the residents (veterns) of the home. During games you will get many a vet in either wheel chairs of scooters lining the backstop. When the games are over, the kids get an opportunity to "meet" many that have so valiently served our country.

It is wonderful experience that can be both meaningful and powerful as we teach a new generation about our country's history.
Last edited by ILVBB
Article in the San Franciso paper today I thought ya'll might appreciate...

With Jeff Morgan
Where to go in Wine Country? He has a few ideas ...
- Aidin Vaziri, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, January 21, 2007

Jeff Morgan is the author of "The PlumpJack Cookbook: Great Meals for Good Living." The book, which includes a forward by Mayor Gavin Newsom, features more than 75 local recipes, as well as suggested wine pairings. Morgan, a Northern California author and winemaker, is the former West Coast editor of the Wine Spectator and he has also written "Dean & DeLuca: The Food and Wine Cookbook" and "Rosé: A Guide to the World's Most Versatile Wine." Naturally, we asked for a list of his favorite regional dining and tasting spots.

Hess Collection Winery, 4411 Redwood Road, Napa. "Donald Hess began collecting art in the early '60s, and it has grown into the most amazing modern and contemporary private collection. With works from such artists as Robert Motherwell and Francis Bacon, it makes for a wonderful day of art and good wine."

Ad Hoc, 6476 Washington St., Yountville. "It might be a temporary restaurant, but Thomas Keller's impromptu new spot in Yountville, with a single four-course daily changing menu, allows you to put your taste buds in the hands of an amazing chef, which is sometimes a good thing if you eat out every night."

Auberge du Soleil, 180 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford. "It has an amazing deck where you can look out at the fabulous view of the valley and have a great glass of wine. You'll think you have been transported to Europe."

Bistro Don Giovanni, 4110 Howard Lane, Napa. "This restaurant is the fave of the locals. With protected outdoor seating and traditional wood burning fireplace, this place creates a mood that is Italy at its best."

St. Helena Farmers' Market, Crane Park, St. Helena. "The best place to pick up regional, seasonal and organic foods, which will help you recreate, in the comfort of your own home, an amazing dinner you would get at one of the many four-star restaurants in the valley."

Hotel Healdsburg, 25 Matheson St., Healdsburg. "With its unique design features, combined with its rustic elegance, it's a perfect haven for travelers and locals alike. There is nothing better than to meet friends in the Grand Lobby by the wood-burning fireplace and listen to some great live jazz."

Jordan Winery & Vineyard, 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg. "A beautiful estate winery, this is a great place to take out-of-town guests for a truly unique and highly personal tour and tasting unlike any other. Guests are treated to a private tour of the grounds and a thorough explanation of Jordan's well-honed winemaking traditions before adjourning to the formal European-style library for a tasting."

Press Restaurant, 587 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena. "A great restaurant that embodies elegant American cuisine where the amazing dishes usually serve two or more people and a great wine list to complement the food. This place welcomes long lunches or dinners with good food and wine and conversation."

Martini House, 1245 Spring St., St. Helena. "Chef Todd Humphries' menu is based on best-loved foods of the Wine Country that incorporates locally sourced produce and foods, but what really reigns supreme are the mushrooms."

Darioush Winery, 4240 Silverado Trail, Napa. "Persia meets Napa Valley in this phenomenally original and exotic winery. Not only is the architecture stunning but so are the wines."


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