Hey wine friends! All good things must come to an end. Today, I conclude the recap of my wine adventures in Sonoma and Napa. Day 3 was really fun. My friend joined us and introduced us to some really great wineries. I’ll share two of them below and I’ll also note which wineries I wasn’t too fond of on my trip as well. Like I say on my “About Page,” I keep it real around these vines, so it wouldn’t be fair just to talk about the good things I experienced. It’s important for me to advise you on what to look out for too.
My friend took us to check out Hall Wines where one of his friends worked. I didn’t know what to expect. It wasn’t on my ‘must visit’ list, but I’m really glad that we stopped by!
- Tasting Room Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Wine Tastings: Choice of four wines for $40
- Top Reason to Visit: The gorgeous views and green space out back.
- YGOM Favorite: 2013 HALL “Coeur” Cabernet Sauvignon
Hall Wines has to be the most modern, upscale looking tasting room that I’ve ever seen. Sadly, the pictures I took don’t do it any justice! Seriously, the decor in this place is so jazzy. Even the bathrooms make you feel like you’re in a fancy club. And that’s just on the interior. The exterior is on a whole other level! There’s a private upstairs patio with couches for lounging. Downstairs, there are tables and chairs where you can drink and eat. Then there is a huge lawn and smaller areas to play games. All of this faces vineyards and beautiful mountains. If Imagery Estate Winery had the best wine, then Hall Wines had thee best looking grounds and tasting room. I definitely see myself going back with friends and sitting outside to enjoy the views.
I must say that this lavish looking tasting room has lavish tasting prices to match all of its fabulousness. Soooo……yeah, it’s $40 for four wines. Most tastings, average $10-25, so $40 can seem a bit much. But, this isn’t your Sutter Homes wine friends! You’re getting higher quality wines here. Even though I did not pay for my tasting here (thank ya kindly), I keep thinking would I in the future, considering that their menu is VERY red heavy and the answer is YES! The overall atmosphere alone would bring me back just to have one glass of their amazing cab, even if I had to scrounge up some pennies. Hall Wines is definitely worth visiting!
You can’t visit Napa without stopping by Domaine Chandon!! At least that’s what I was told ;)
- Tasting Room Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- Wine Tastings: Fights of three sparkling wines range from $20-$25
- Top Reason to Visit: Very fun and upbeat atmosphere + great customer service!
- YGOM Favorite: The FOOD!!
Domaine Chandon! The
champagne sparkling wine hot spot in Napa Valley. I crossed out Champagne, because in order for wine to be classified as Champagne, it must be made in the Champagne region of France. Domaine Chandon is made in Napa Valley, so it’s considered sparkling wine.
In 1973, Domaine Chandon became the first French-owned sparkling wine venture in the United States. The famous Champagne producer Moët & Chandon and acclaimed cognac maker Hennessy combined forces with the mission of producing world-class sparkling wine in Napa Valley.
Chandon was our last stop on Day 3. We got there an hour before closing and the place was packed. It’s definitely one of the more happening tasting rooms in the Valley. I have to be honest, I’m not a big Champagne or sparkling wine fan, mainly because they’re extremely dry. This is the only wine that has to be a little sweet in order for me to drink it. With that being said, I was not too fond of the wines. I think there was a sparkling Rosè that I liked, but I can’t remember the name.
Anyways, we still had a good time. I really enjoyed the atmosphere. The crowd at Chandon was younger and for some reason it felt like a day party. There is plenty of outdoor seating on their patio and lawn. My favorite part was the food! So good! I would go back just for the food alone lol. Best tasting room food on my trip! Even though, I realize more than ever that I’m not a sparkling wine girl, I’d still go back just for the experience. Just hands-down a fun place to be.
The Wineries That Didn’t Make The Cut…
As I mentioned on my Day 1 recap, we visited a total of 1o wineries during my trip. I’ve only reviewed seven because I was unamused with the other three. Here’s a list (and a couple reasons why I wasn’t a fan):
- Kunde Winery – I wasn’t impressed with Kunde’s wine selection. They offered the standard Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cab Sauv, and Zinfandel. #boring
They didn’t offer anything unique to set them a part from the other wineries that I had already visited.
- V. Sattui Winery – V. Sattui is a very popular winery. Their grounds are pretty nice. They have multiple lawn areas for picnics. I noticed a lot (like A LOT) of families with small children. Why?!? I really don’t understand why people bring children to a grown-up activity. *scratches head* Then to make matters worse, the customer service was horrible. We had the most unattentive server. She didn’t explain any of the wines to us. All she did was ask ‘what do you want next?’ ‘Well, I’d like you to explain to me what I’m drinking.’ How bout that?? I’m a wine geek, so if you can’t explain the wine to your customers, then you’re doing them and your winery a disservice.
- Charles Krug – Great customer service, but again with the usual suspects: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cab Sauv, and Zinfandel. *eye roll* My palate just wasn’t impressed.
But, let’s not end on a negative note. The positive far outweighs the few bad grapes in the group. I absolutely LOVE (borderline obsessed) Northern California wine country! I’d really like to make an annual visit out there, especially during harvest season. There are still tons of wineries that I’d like to visit. What are some of your favorite wineries in Sonoma and Napa? Or have you visited some of the same wineries I did? What did you think? I’d love to get your feedback. Hope you’ve enjoyed my recaps! Until next time…