lead on macduff!
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: normal heights-san diego, ca
Bikes: come and get 'em
it all depends on what varietals and styles you like. if you love
pinot noir, zinfandel or chardonnay, you'll likely be better off
in sonoma. in napa, where ripeness of fruit reigns, cabernet is king.
sonoma wines tend to be earthier and more mineralesque. of course
there are exceptions. sonoma cabernets tend to be brusque with
the exception of rafanelli and laurel glen. storybook mtn. makes
old-school, fantastic zins in napa. napa chards tend to be over-oaked
with some exceptions (long, patz & hall, shafer red shoulder ranch
come to mind). merlot is just a nice blending grape in any region.
peter michael & diamond creek (both ultra-pricey
but worth it-unlike many of the johnny come latelies) both straddle
the sonoma/napa divide of the mayacamas mtns. and get the best
of both worlds. regardless of where you end up, my recommendation
is not to schedule/attend more than 2 tasting rooms a day. most
untrained palates can't handle more than that. there are excellent
restaurants in both regions. sonoma is a little more broken-up
as a region and takes a little longer to get anywhere whereas napa
is basically a simple north/south valley but has more traffic.