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Old 08-13-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
bitterman35
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Default Can a San Franciscan help?

Maybe you guys can help me. My wife and I are going to San Francisco on vacation. I am stoked cuz I can take the Anchor Steam brewery tour, and a 49ers game!

The catch is my wife wants to go on one of them Napa wine tasting tours. I like wine but the private limos are $$$$$$, and I'm not too keen on sitting in a tour bus all day and only stopping at 2 or 3 wineries. She doesn't want to rent a car either.

has anyone done one of these tours? are they worth it?

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-13-2008, 04:56 PM   #2
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I just got back from a vacation out there and I've gotta say, I think your best bet is to rent a car and pick the wineries you want to go to. Why doesn't your wife want to rent a car?

Personally I think the tours are a waste of time. As you say, you sit on the bus, then, you have no control over where you go or how long you get to stay anywhere, plus you are on a bus with a bunch of annoying people (I don't really like people so I'm a bit biased here). I don't think the limos are really worth it either as they are totally overpriced.

On a side note: The tour at anchor was great, but it was a bit dumbed down for the non-EAC when it came to anything technical (somewhat disappointing). The tasting was pretty good though.

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Old 08-13-2008, 05:08 PM   #3
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+1 on renting a car. Just drive around and stop where it seems interesting. I like V. Sattui wines, thought the grounds aren't the tourist attraction others are. We stayed at a really awesome B&B called the Meadow Lark Inn (http://www.meadowlarkinn.com/) which at the time was run by a gay German couple. It wasn't a "gay retreat" or anything, but the hot tub was clothing optional. Oh well, when in Rome...

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Old 08-13-2008, 05:15 PM   #4
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rent a car. the luxury greatly outweighs the cost.

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Old 08-13-2008, 05:18 PM   #5
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There's a number of good wineries right near Healdsburg. Drive time from SF shouldn't be more than an hour in light traffic. Not on that link are also Korbel and Clos Du Bois, which are definite stops too. For a brewer I'd also say that Hop Kiln Winery should be on the trip itinerary as well.

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Old 08-13-2008, 05:22 PM   #6
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Wine Train. Pick it up at Napa. It runs to St. Helena and back. It doesn't stop at any wineries but you'll enjoy a nice dinner and some great local wine. Get the front dining car if possible.

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Old 08-13-2008, 05:24 PM   #7
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+1 on renting a car. I'd recommend heading to Sonoma valley over Napa for wine tasting. They have smaller wineries, more personal, less snooty, and the tasting are generally free (they charge at many of the Napa wineries). It's the same distance, just 1 valley over.

If you'll be around, AHA is having a membership rally at Anchor on Aug 23. Check http://www.beertown.org/events/rally/rsvp.aspx

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Old 08-13-2008, 06:02 PM   #8
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Dude, I rented a car for the day right in the center of the city for something like $28 out the door. I think it was Enterprise. Book it in advance on Expedia.

We drove up, stopped at Muir Woods for about an hour (do this) and then hit Mondavi and Behringer.

Also, if you have time, I thought the Alcatraz tour was well worth it.. Also something you should book in advance.

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Old 08-13-2008, 07:10 PM   #9
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I can't comment on wine tours as we had our 18 month old son with us when we were out there but I'm with Bobby on Muir woods. It is very cool. We got there late so we probably had about 30 minute until it got dark but it was really cool.

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Old 08-13-2008, 07:21 PM   #10
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there are so many damn breweries out here that i don't have time to go to wieneries

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