Planning Wine Tasting Tour, No Idea Where to Start! Help Pls!

Updated on October 05, 2008
M.H. asks from Fremont, CA
8 answers

Hi Mamas,

I need your help! I'm trying to plan a wine tasting tour for my 29th birthday with a group of my girlfriends (no boys allowed!) on Sunday, Oct 19th. However, I am not an experienced wine drinker and definitely don't even know where to begin to choose wineries. I had hoped to do a day wine limo tour in the Napa Valley, but have researched with Beau Wine Tours and it is pretty pricey especially if I need their services to reserve wine tasting rooms at the different wineries. And again, if I did this alone I would probably pick really old, outdated wineries far away from each other! HA lol Do any of you have experience with wine tours and offer any guidance for me??

Another thought was to just pick one winery and do lunch and wine tasting there.

I live in Fremont so I am open to wineries north or south. Please help me! I feel like I'm running out of time and want to get the reservation under way!

Thank you, Thank you!

~ M.

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm with Ellen =), you should do the Livermore wineries! You can spend the day just in that area at some of the finest wineries on the west coast (IMO). It's beautiful, the people are friendly and the wine is perfect, what more can you ask for?? Here are some links that might help...

You live in the heart of wine country! You can't go wrong. Good luck! =)

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answers from San Francisco on

Have you ever been to Murphys? It's on Highway 4 just past Angels Camp (about 1 hour east of Stockton) in the Sierra foothills. They have several small wineries that are easy to get in and out of onto the road (not like Napa Valley traffic). These wineries run more like Napa Valley wineries in the old days. One winery you should be sure to visit is very large and particularly beautiful, Ironstone Winery. You can look them up on the web. They have a beautiful museum, a shop, and facility for a deli style lunch with pretty picnic grounds in addition to wine tasting. It's located just a couple of miles from downtown Murphys, a really cute old town with lots of shops, restaurants with outdoor seating, and at least one or two wine tasting rooms. Fall is a beautiful time to visit this area. It will only take you 2-2 1/2 hours to get there. There are a few newer motels to stay at if you need lodging that is reasonably priced, or you can rent a cabin in Arnold or a home in the area. The Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for wineries. You could probably get a limo or small bus tour set up there, but it would be really easy to do the driving if you have a designated driver.



answers from San Francisco on

I actually went out to this place to hike, but was surprised to that it is a winery, too. Small, not too busy, has a picnic area along with peacocks.

Picchetti Winery
13100 Montebello Rd
Cupertino, CA 95014



answers from San Francisco on

Well, We love to wine taste and have 2 favorities in Napa. Del Dotto cave tours is amazing. It's about 35 per person, but it s true barrel tasting in the oldest hand carved caves in Napa takes about 1 - 1 1/2 hour but worth it!! Your own private tour and tasting and its great. Fora lunch stop Via Sattui is amazing & their Deli selections are tasty and they have many picnic tables and areas to eat. Livermore is cheaper, as most wineries in Napa do charge for tastings now and it's closer. That is a great option.



answers from San Francisco on

I did my first wine tasting trip this past summer, and it was great! We just did two wineries, because we had a spa appointment in the afternoon. But two wineries was definitely enough for us to enjoy. We first went to Cakebread. You pay $10 for a wine glass, then take a tour of the winery and then sit in a fancy room where the tour guide tells you all about each wine you are tasting, along with a recipe that would pair well with the wine. It was a great experience! Then we went to V. Sattui. This was a lot more casual. We also had lunch there, and that was wonderful. The food is great, and it was a nice way to wind down before our spa appointment. The tour guide at Cakebread said V. Sattui was the only winery in the area with a license to sell if you plan on being there around lunch, definitely stop at V. Sattui.

Good luck planning your wine-tasting! Hope you have a great time!



answers from San Francisco on

We did a party bus type tour in Napa a few years back. The bus picked us up at the hotel and then took us to 3 different tours. We stopped at the park and ate lunch too. You could check online for the Napa bus tours.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,

Since you live in Fremont, have you considered Livermore wineries? Some do not charge for tasting, some charge $5 which is refunded with purchase. You do not need to make any reservations either. Wente and Concannon are the big wineries and there are many smaller ones in teh area that are quite good. A quaint spot is Blacksmith Square on S. Livermore Ave - an open patio area with 5 or 6 winery tasting rooms.

A basic limo service company might be less expensive than one that specializes in wine tours - not sure about that though. Do you have any relatives (like your niece) that might be willing to be the driver for a day?

Some of our favorites - If you like zinfandel wine - Livermore Valley Cellars has some of the best locally, great ports at Cedar Mountain .. we like almost all of the local wineries for different reasons and have club memberships at several.

Hope this helps --

I have 2 almost grown kids, a 20 year old son in college and almost 17 year old daughter who is a high school junior. I spend almost 10 years as a single mom and am now happily remarried for the past 7 years



answers from San Francisco on

Seeing as you live in Fremont you may want to consider the Livermore Wineries. There are fabulous wineries and many offer free tasting, unlike Napa. You could rent a limo and just go place to place. There are many wineries located off of Tesla Road which are easy to access and then a few off of highway 84. Some have cafes on site or picnic areas. is a site that will give you more info. There is a feature that allows you to plan your visit once you are on that site. Near Casa Real/Ruby Hills Winery there is a restaurant called Campo De Bacci. They have food and bacci ball courts. I have heard good things aobut the food. Downtown Livermore had a few wineries and they are located near fabulous restaurants like Uncle Yu's, Simply Fondue, Strizzi's. The wine tasting area is called Black Smith Square. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do and Happy Birthday!

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