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Old 08-13-2008, 07:25 PM   #11
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+1 on renting a car. Also, IMHO if you really like wine and not just fancy chateaus and glitz and glamor, I really prefer Sonoma valley. They have some really great wines and the atmosphere is more to my liking. Both are truly fantastic though, you are going to have a blast.

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Old 08-13-2008, 07:29 PM   #12
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+1 on renting a car. Also, IMHO if you really like wine and not just fancy chateaus and glitz and glamor, I really prefer Sonoma valley. They have some really great wines and the atmosphere is more to my liking. Both are truly fantastic though, you are going to have a blast.
I've been on wine tours in Napa valley, but they were 2 day events. You drive to the hotel, and a tour bus/van picks you up and drives your drunk ass around to a bunch of wineries. You can taste and mark down your order if you like a specific wine. What is cool is that you get a discounted group rate, and they deliver your wine a week or two later. It's a nice way to meet people, taste at a few great wineries, and not have to worry about a DUI.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:36 PM   #13
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Isn't Russian River somewhere out in that area?

Rent a car. I've been to wineries (mostly Finger Lakes); the people who take the bus tours, inevitably are annoying as hell.

EDIT: Looks like Santa Rosa's an hour north of San Fran. If you take this trip and DO NOT go to see Vinnie's place, I'll kick you in the nuts. Proverbially speaking, of course.

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Old 08-14-2008, 02:06 PM   #14
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Isn't Russian River somewhere out in that area?

Rent a car. I've been to wineries (mostly Finger Lakes); the people who take the bus tours, inevitably are annoying as hell.

EDIT: Looks like Santa Rosa's an hour north of San Fran. If you take this trip and DO NOT go to see Vinnie's place, I'll kick you in the nuts. Proverbially speaking, of course.
Russian River is in the area as is Lagunitas (which is in Petaluma). Both are a bit out of the way though.
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:31 PM   #15
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Russian River is in the area as is Lagunitas (which is in Petaluma). Both are a bit out of the way though.
Coming from San Francisco, you can take Hwy 101 north and that will run you through Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Just south of Petaluma is a cutoff that will take you through the hills into Napa Valley. From 101, take Hwy 116 to Hwy 112/12 in Sonoma. From there you can take 112/12 from Sonoma to Napa. That way, you can get in some Lagunitas, Russian River, Sonoma Valley wineries, and Napa Valley wineries!
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:44 PM   #16
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Sonoma and Napa are two valleys that run approximately north south (ish). Sonoma is the western valley. Carneros (sp?) is at the southern end in between the valleys and the Tattenger family has placed a sparkling wine facility their that is worth a stop, it is breath taking.

Russian River, Bear republic, and Lagunitas are all in the Sonoma valley. Also, if you do wander into Sonoma, make a stop at Robert Young Winery, best wines in the valley IMHO.

I like Napa as well, it is just a bit steep for my pocket book. Duckhorn and Foley really stood out for me. There are sooo many good ones you really can't go wrong. I also suggest a picnic for as many meals as possible to really soak in the wineries.

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Old 08-14-2008, 04:39 PM   #17
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Wow, thanks for all the feedback, I will definitely push the car rental idea, (I will even designate my self the driver). looking forward to the trip!

Even though the best reds are from up here in Washington, I will give California a chance.......

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