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Trip Planning

miami
Level Contributor
428 posts
57 reviews
Trip Planning

Hello, my husband and I will be in the wine country in mid October. We will be there 6 full days. I want to book near the Plaza in Sonoma but I have not made up my mind on where to stay in Napa. I do not want to stay in downtown, I have read the posts & either Calistoga or Yountville, interest me. I am trying to stay in a budget of about $150 (I don't know if that is possible). Where can I order a map? My husband and I enjoy red wines, specially Pinot Noir. We do want to do Mondavi & Chandon. Please help me in planning this trip. There are so many wineries and areas, it's hard to plan.

Thank you.

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AnnapolisMD
Level Contributor
54 posts
1 review
1. Re: Trip Planning

Wow, sounds like a fun trip. I guess it really depends on what you are looking for in the trip. My husband and I go every couple of years and always enjoy our stay. What are your interests. Do you want to do fine dining or keep it low key?

We always hire a drive for at least one day and have them customize a day just for us. Yes it is expensive, but well worth it to us to have a day where there are no worries. We like to go to off the beaten path wineries because we like to taste and buy what we cannot get easily out here and also because I think they treat you better than the busy well known places. On our last trip our driver planned a great trip at some special places we never would have found on our own, or I would have spent several hours on the phone trying to nail down appointments and tastings. With the small wineries you get a real personal touch and if you like to talk to people about the wine you can get some really great experiences.

Lodging in your price range will be tough. We typically use points and stay at the Marriott. There are some inexpensive places and the most important thing is to be close to ammenities.

miami
Level Contributor
428 posts
57 reviews
2. Re: Trip Planning

What company do you use for the drive and what is the charge?

Sounds like a great idea.

Thanks.

AnnapolisMD
Level Contributor
54 posts
1 review
3. Re: Trip Planning

I used Philip Petersen with Wine Country Chauffeur. I went online to inquire and he offered what he calls his online rate of $50 an hour. Figure at least six hours if you want to do some serious wine tastings. I liked his approach, but everyone is different. He is happy to book specific wineries, or make recomendations. He also does not just take you to places he likes or where he knows people. I asked him to design a tour based upon our preferences and he did a great job. He drives a lincoln Navigator and not a limo since many of the small wineries do not allow or cannot accomodate limos. He might even be able to give you some tips about where to stay on a budget. He knows both valleys very well, but the Sonoma valley is where he lives, so I would say he knows a bit more on that side of the wine country. We were with him for two days and had a great time.

If you have specific questions feel free to email me. We were just there in April and had a wonderful time.

4. Re: Trip Planning

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