Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sit Down, Relax, and Enjoy Some Wine

When you drop in to taste at a winery, you usually stand up at the counter.  Wineries do this to help with turnover and for space considerations.  It's rare to find a winery, that doesn't require an an appointment, where you can sit down and relax with your wine.  But there are some!

In Napa, the three French-owned sparkling wine producers all have tables where you can sit with your wine.  My favorite is Domaine Carneros, which has servers who take your order and then bring your wines, cheese, and/or caviar to you. The view of the rolling vineyards from Domaine Carneros' terrace is beautiful.  Mumm Napa Valley is also very nice.  It too has servers and a lovely view from the patio.  However, Mumm does not offer any food.  Domaine Chandon is my least favorite of the three While it has tables in its tasting room and offers some food, it does not have servers.  When you want to get your next glass of wine, you must get up and return to the tasting bar.  Plus the view from the patio is not as nice as the views at Domaine Carneros or Mumm Napa Valley.

Frog's Leap in Rutherford offers a tasting of four wines, accompanied by some cheese, nuts, and dried fruit on the terrace overlooking its organic gardens and vineyards.  This is one of the more pleasant spots to sit and taste wine.

Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville has a large table in the To Kalon Room, where you can sit while you taste Mondavi's reserve wines.  On a cold day, it's nice to taste your wine by the fireplace.

In the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, Lynmar Winery has tables in the tasting room, on the patio, and next to the garden.  You order at the counter, but the friendly staff will bring your Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or Syrah to your table.

There may be other wineries where you can sit down while you enjoy your wine, but either I am forgetting them or have not yet visited the tasting rooms.  If you know of any, please comment below.

If you would like to take a private wine country tour that includes some of these wineries, please contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or

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