Napa Valley Journals

Wine & Dine in Napa Valley

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A July 2003 trip to Napa Valley by kimpauley

ZD Wines Library Wine Tasting Photo, Napa Valley, California More Photos
Quote: Having gotten an ever-elusive reservation to the French Laundry, we made a pilgrimage of epicurean proportions.

The Inn of Imagination

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Hotel

The Inn of Imagination Photo, Napa Valley, California
Quote:
As an English major and a lover of books, I am a sucker for literary-themed bed & breakfasts. The Inn of Imagination is that and a bit more. Kim Thomas and his wife Nancy have active imaginations (and are very interesting people in their own right). They have decorated the Inn and invited in artists to make it a place like none you have ever seen before.There are three rooms, each themed after a particular famous person: Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Dr. Seuss, and Jimmy Buffett. How, you ask, did Jimmy wind up in such company? He happens to be one of Kim's favorites.We stayed in the Dodgson room, a sumptuous study in purples. The furniture w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 28, 2003

The Inn of Imagination
470 Randolph Street
Napa Valley, California
(707) 224-7772

La Toque

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Restaurant

La Toque Photo, Napa Valley, California
Quote:
We had traveled to Napa Valley specifically to eat at the French Laundry (well, and drink a lot of wine), so I have to say right off that La Toque had a lot to live up to. We had gotten recommendations from a few different people that claimed that La Toque was "the new French Laundry" and that it was just as good as Thomas Keller’s venerable restaurant. Well, no. La Toque is a good restaurant. Some could even call it a great restaurant. They are trying really hard, but they aren’t quite at the same level as the top-tier restaurants in the country. I don’t want to discourage you from going – it is a good restaurant and we had a nice dining experience there. But don’t let people tell you...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 10, 2003

La Toque
1140 Rutherford Road
Rutherford, California 94573
(707) 963-9770

ZD Wines Library Wine Tasting Photo, Napa Valley, California
Quote:
We had planned on covering at least three wineries, but after visiting ZD for their Library Wine Tasting, we only managed one that day. At $20 dollars per person (refunded if you purchase some wine after the tasting), it might "seem" like a pricier tasting. However, the four of us figured that we must have had at least a bottle of wine each by the time we were done--including tastings direct from both barrels and stainless steel vats (note, we're not professional tasters and are not capable of spitting out good wine. We just drink lots and lots of water). Our guide for the tour was very nice and knowledgeable, as well as accommodating. Be sure to make a reservation for the Library Tour (800-487-77...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 28, 2003

ZD Wines Library Wine Tasting
8383 Silverado Trail
Napa Valley, California 94558
800-487-7757

Del Dotto's Cave Experience and Barrel Tour

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Attraction | "Del Dotto's Cave & Barrel Tour"

Quote:
Del Dotto Vineyards is located on Atlas Peak Road, just off of the Silverado Trail. If you are a true wine aficionado, this is a must visit winery. They have one of the most unique and unusual tours available in the valley. The winery itself is a little difficult to find (look for the water tower). It is located in the historic Hedgeside Distillery Building and has only a very small sign. The building was built originally in 1884 and includes one of only six original caves (hand dug!) still in use in the valley. You MUST make an appointment for the Cave and Barrel tastings and trust me, it is well worth it (cost $20/person as of th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 5, 2003

Del Dotto's Cave Experience and Barrel Tour
1055 Atlas Peak Road
Napa Valley, California
707-256-3332

Clos Pegase Winery & Tasting

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Attraction | "Clos Pegase Winery & Tasting"

Clos Pegase Winery & Tasting Photo, Napa Valley, California
Quote:
I have to admit up front that I am not a huge fan of the Clos Pegase wines. I enjoy them, but they aren't among my favorites. That said, they have some good, solid wines (and taste, of course, is a personal thing). There are, however, two reasons to visit Clos Pegase that have nothing at all to do with wine. One is the art. The family has amassed quite a collection of sculpture and art over the years and much of it is on display and publicly accessible at the winery. They even offer free daily tours (11 AM and 2 PM). Not all of the family shares an appreciation for art...our innkeeper (see my review of The Inn of Imagination) explained how the "black sheep" of the family once painted t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2003

Clos Pegase Winery & Tasting
1060 Dunaweal Lane
Napa Valley, California

Reynolds Family Winery

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Attraction

Reynolds Family Winery Photo, Napa Valley, California
Quote:
We were winding down the end of a long day and had time to visit just one more winery. One of the ubiquitous winery signs came up on our left: "Reynolds Family Winery." We'd never heard of them, but we figured we'd give it a shot. That stop was one of our best finds in the valley. If you like Cabernet Sauvignon, you'll like Reynolds. We happened in on the winery with perfect timing. As we were pulling up, a couple of high rollers in a limousine were on their way out. They had just purchased quite a bit of wine in magnum sizes and had the owner of the winery, Steve Reynolds, down in the tasting room signing labels left and right. We were the last visit of the day, and the Reynolds fam...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 6, 2003

Reynolds Family Winery
3266 Silverado Trail
Napa Valley, California 94558
707-258-2558