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“Great Area to Explore”
Review of St. Helena

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Birmingham, Alabama
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 helpful votes
“Great Area to Explore”
Reviewed 17 June 2010

LOCATION: St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
V. Sattui Winery & Del Dotto Winery
DATE: June 12, 2010
Reviewer: A Trip Advisor Member, Birmingham, Alabama
This entire area is not to be missed! Wish we would have had way more time.

V. Sattui Winery is celebrating it's 125th Anniversary, it's a fun , ENERGETIC Winery & Italian Market. While sipping our wine we realized the pourers were working on a commission, and thought they were a bit pushy, but hey, I guess that's their job since the wine can only be bought on site. They have an overall good variety of wines in which to choose. All in all, we had a great time. We wound up buying the Gamay Rouge & a Merlot. The roast beef tip sandwiches that we bought & ate out on their picnic grounds was scrumptious. Also, everything we tasted in their Italian Market was VERY good.
In 2009~ in the Critics Challenge, they were voted Best Winery in the Western U. S.

The Del Dotto Winery is a winery by appt: Totally different atmosphere~ It is tasteful grandiosity. Dave Del Dotto's
St. Helena's winery ( about 1/2 mile from the above mentioned.) is for the serious wine aficionado.
They have Wine Cave tours & Barrel Tastings aimed at teaching you the history of wine. We didn't get a chance to do this, but we will definitiely be back!! The estate Winery has spectacular interior architecture, almost everything has been brought back from Italy. ie. marble, bricks, tiles, even the new mural art on the walls has just been done by a Ventian artist from Italy.

2 Thank Haku- crown of fresh flowers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
168 reviews
135 helpful votes
“Wine Country Perfection”
Reviewed 18 April 2010

This area of the Napa Valley is so scenic. Once you get beyond the town of Napa, it is far less busy. We happened upon a winery called Castello del Amorosa which is housed in a huge castle built by a man by the name of Sattui in honour of his Italian heritage to the tune of 40million dollars. We went for the wine tasting and were hosted by Gary, who was great. The grounds are lovely too. We then went on to V. Sattui Winery which has a marketplace and an outdoor barbeque. It is very popular. We also stopped at Domaine Chandon in Yountville. The grounds there are beautiful! They offer a full vineyard tour. We ate at Hurley's in Yountville. It was disappointing.

Thank payingitforward1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, CA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
1 helpful vote
“Anomaly Vineyards -- Great Boutique Winery in St. Helena”
Reviewed 12 April 2009

I would like to recommend a great boutique winery in St. Helena called Anomaly Vineyards. This is a small family owned winery that does one wine (cabernet) and does it very well.

We live in the Bay Area and plan about 2-3 day trips to Napa per year. We will typically visit 4 wineries per day, appointments only. Our goal is to find lesser known wineries that are doing high-end limited production wines. We find that we get a more personal and intimate experience this way, and are usually very impressed with the wines. We will occassionally throw in one of the larger wineries we haven't yet visited, but are typically disappointed with the experience relative to the smaller wineries.

On our recent trip (April 2009), we visited Garguilo (Oakville), Caymus (Rutherford), Revana (St. Helena) and Anomaly (St. Helena).

Garguilo was outstanding. Gorgeous setting with a beautiful tasting room and huge deck overlooking beautiful vineyards and horse stables. The tasting was a private tasting hosted by a lovely woman named Sue. Wine was excellent and fairly priced, and Sue included a delicious olive/cheese/salami plate which was a very nice touch.

Caymus was a complete letdown. Held in a mausoleum type room, by a hostess who could not have been more stiff. Literally (no joke) delivered a memorized presentation. Looked and acted a bit like Cliff Claven's mother, and we're pretty sure she didn't break a smile the entire time. Skip this one unless you have "Visit Caymus" on your 100-Things-To-Do-Before-I-Die List. Which would be understandable -- the wine is great. Just a lousy place to visit.

We broke here for lunch at Martini House -- our favorite overall restaurant in Napa for combination of atmosphere, food and service. Once again, it exceeded expectations.

Revana got us back on track. Tasting was hosted by the lovely Nathalie, who was fun and friendly and eager to taste guests on this ultra-premium Cabernet as well as another Syrah made by the vaunted Heidi Peterson-Barrett. We were joined by some rather odd Germans who seemed to be on a tour of the most expensive places in Napa (including French Laundry, which they found to be "So-so"), but this didn't throw Nathalie in the least (she's from Bordeaux, so perhaps is accustomed to it). We didn't know what to expect from this place, and were very pleasantly surprised. If you're looking for a winery that decided to spare no expense in making the best possible wine (with bottle prices to match), this is your place.

We ended at Anomaly. Here, we were hosted by Seth, son of the owners, who is now active in the winery. Seth is a fun, friendly and gracious host. The experience starts with a tour of the beautiful vineyards next to the property which sit at the base of the picturesque Mayacaymus Mountain range. After a quick look look at the winemaking equipment and process (which we still find interesting) the tasting is then held in a beautiful little tasting room/cave underneath the winery. We tasted their current release (2005) as well as a prior vintage (2003). Both wines were outstanding. We highly recommend visiting this winery.

1 Thank Rusty14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boca Raton, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
84 helpful votes
“We've found our perfect vacation spot.”
Reviewed 29 June 2006

If you like good wine, beautiful views, nice people and great food then this is the place for you. Go wine tasting as you learn about wine, have a spa treatment, go horseback riding, soak in the views, relax by the pool or fireplace, sample the many wonderful restaurants. We couldn't help but return 4 months after our first visit.

2 Thank iaatf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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