Visit Some Great Ones...


There are several answers to that question. First of all, great is a perception. It's almost like your palate, everybody's got a different one. On the other hand, there are wineries out there that cater to all the senses, like the ones that WINO 101 is hopefully bringing to your attention. There are those that may have a gift shop that's the size of an airplane hanger and the focal point of their tasting room, while the tasting bar is the size of small dinette set! Not bad, not good, and it doesn't mean that the wine isn't spectacular. When some people think of "great" wineries, they may sometimes think of the great chateau's of Burgundy, Tuscany and others in Europe, or at least that "type" of winery. There are some like that right here in our own backyard that offer a fantastic visual experience. A few that come to mind are Castello di Amoroso in Napa, a real castle just south of Calistoga. Just down the road from there is Beringer's beautiful facility. If you're a Champagne lover you might try Gloria Ferrer's hilltop winery in the Carneros area of southern Napa county. Other grand chateau type wineries you might like are Ledson in Sonoma, and one of my favorites, Inglenook Estate (Rubicon) in Rutherford. There you'll find world class wine, beautiful gift shops and much more in this historic estate. If you're really into something along the lines of Disneyland, try Inglenook's sister winery, Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, just outside Healdsburg. Everything from very good wine, a swimming pool, cabanas, a great restaurant and even The Godfather's desk and phone from the movie! REALLY! It's all about the total experience for many people. These wineries and estates could definitely fill your cup...I mean glass!