"Over-rated Napa" Wine Country Tip by zoefraser
Wine Country, California: 14 reviews and 19 photos
Avoid Napa valley if you are a first time wine tourist. The wineries started offering tastings to capture the tourists and to show that their wines were just as fine as those found overseas. The vintners soon found that it was too expensive to get the tourists drunk and started charging for tastes. Now the tasting is so limited, so generic... it's not worth it unless you have a specific winery you'd like to visit.
Instead... go to the Livermore Valley. As you cross over the hayward hills you'll find all kinds of little valley's full of small, independent wineries, staffed by the vintner him/herself. As you enter into the tri-valley get off on Stanley Blvd and head to Ruby Hills to start your wine experience. Here you'll find Mitchell Katz, Ivan Thomas, Wente, Concannon, Stony Ridge, and over 60 wineries tucked away in the hills. This is the true wine experience. Growers coming out of the fields, wiping their hands of dirt to pour you a glass of their finest.
These wines do not disappoint. Boutique wineries offer you an experience that the big boys in Napa do not. If you want lines, indifference, and high prices, then head to Napa. If you want to relax, converse with the vintner and discover some new wines without the snobbery, then head to Livermore Valley.
Address: Livermore- just west of the 580/680 interchange
Directions: northern CA.
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