Chardonnay Lodge

2640 Jefferson St., Napa, California, 94558, United States
Chardonnay Lodge
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  • Families30
  • Couples48
  • Solo0
  • Business80

More about Napa


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Forum Posts

Napa or Sonoma???

by oceansobe

Hi everyone!!!
I am trying to figure out where is a better location to stay, Napa or Sonoma downtown area.
I want to visit the wineries during the day, and I am not sure which of the two will offer beter and more things to do after.
Will wait for your reply to make my hotel reservation.

Re: Napa or Sonoma???

by Roadquill

I enjoy both areas. Napa is a big, long valley with many wineries. If you stay in Napa, you have a drive to get up to the wineries. I think Sonoma has more things going on in the town and is a bit closer to many of the fun wineries and tasting rooms. We have much more fun in the tasting rooms in Sonoma. The food and wine is generally a bit more expensive and pretentious in Napa. I prefer Sonoma just a hair, but those wines on the Silverado Hwy, Stags Leap, Wente, Clos du Val, to name a few have some great tasting cabs...... tough call as either way you can not go wrong. Karl

Re: Napa or Sonoma???

by Beausoleil

The town of Sonoma is much nicer, cute village center, lots of nice shops, a genuine California Mission, great restaurants.

Napa isn't as nice a town but north of Napa, the wine trail is easier to navigate. You just drive up highway 29 from one winery to the next and there are lots of cute little villages on the way. I'd stay in Sonoma and visit wineries in the Napa Valley north of Napa. You should be able to do both in one day although two days would be nicer.

If you do only Napa, follow the advice above and stay in St. Helena or Calistoga or one of the cute towns on the trail. They are lovely and there's lots to do in nearly any of them.

Re: Napa or Sonoma???

by Beausoleil

BTW, did you know there is an Old Faithful Geyser in the Napa Valley? It spouts on schedule and is fun although definitely not Yellowstone. 8^)

Re: Napa or Sonoma???

by oceansobe

Thanks to all of you who helped me make my decision. Sonoma it is! Because of your advice I looked into "Google street view" of the hotels and areas by the center of town, it turns out there is a lot of construction going on, that will not be finished until late 2009. I also called several of the hotels to find out and sure enough they confirmed it.
I can only imagine how miserable that would have been, especially with the rates they are charging.
Thanks again

Re: Napa or Sonoma???

by JaneSF

You really cant go wrong with either. Napa is more a bit more crowded with tourists. Sonoma is more laid back with many more opportunities to run into the winemaker or the owners. These opportunities are realy treats. Napa has more of a night life especially in Yountville etc. Napa also have many more famous wineries which will give you bragging rights when returning home. You can actually cover both valleys if you have a couple of days. Before going I often print FREE tasting offers from a website they also have discounts on spas, hotels and restaurants. Reviews and videos are also great to help you decide. In this economy I want to save every possible way i can by not paying tasting fees. Healdsburg in Sonoma County is another area which you can visit and will love it.

Travel Tips for Napa

Wine Tasting

by windoweb

Of course - wine tasting in Napa Valley is fun and informative. We learned about the region while sampling some great wine. Spending time with our group at the wineries made the experience more interesting.

Visit Napa during the "Crush"

by karenincalifornia

One of the most exciting times to visit any wine region is during the Crush. This is an approximately eight week period in late summer/early fall when the grapes are harvested, separated from their stems, crushed and strained. This is one of the busiest and most taxing times of year for the wineries. Despite the strain, most wineries readily put out the welcome mat for visitors. Some will even host special events like open houses at their wineries.

Another reason for the taxing nature of the crush season for the vintners is the need to choose the right time to harvest the grapes. The ideal time is extremely precise and the day may differ each year. The harvesters must harvest the grapes when they have exactly the right amount of sugar content. In 2004, we visited Napa during the first weekend of September. The Crush had begun in California in August and was still going strong when we were there.

In this picture, taken at ZD Winery on Silverado Trail in Napa Valley, you can see the heavy equipment that is used to separate the grapes from the stems and leaves. As we watched the activity, a ZD employee came out to let us sample the chardonnay grapes. They were delicious! They are sweeter than table grapes because the high sugar content is necessary to insure proper fermentation.

Wineries do charge for tastings.

by Herkbert

Many of the wineries you'll visit will have a tasting fee of anywhere from $5 to $40. Most will not charge you or will deduct your fee from any wine purchases you make, but not in all cases.

For example: Peju makes great wines that are only available through the winery. Their fee is $5.00. Silver Oak charges $10 and you keep your glass. On the other hand, a tasting at Opus will set you back $25. Only you can decide if it is worth it.

Annual River Festival in Napa

by karenincalifornia

Every Sunday before Labor Day (first Sunday in September), Napa holds a River Festival in its town center area by the river. Booths are set up with food, wine and beer Local musicians and bands perform throughout the day. In the evening, the Napa Valley Symphony performs on the bridge, and there is a fireworks display.

This year was the River Festival's 14th year.

The Festival began at 2:00 pm on Sunday. We stuck around for the beginning and were treated to a performance by a local Dixieland band.

Here in California, we love Dixieland!


by 100ACRE

Penniless Samuele Sebastiani arrived in California from Tuscany in 1893, but soon earned enough to buy a wagon and four horses, which he used to haul cobblestones from Sonoma quarries. By 1904, he had saved enough to buy a winery in Sonoma County and started shipping bulk wine. Like most other wineries that survived Prohibition, Sebastiani made sacramental wine, but also turned the winery into a cannery to keep his employees busy. After Prohibition ended, the winery expanded into national distribution. The growth in the 1980's created family conflict. Sam Sebastiani wanted to focus on quality, brother Don on volume. It was like an Italian soap opera. Eventually, Sam formed his own company; later, Don did the same. Now their sister Mary Ann Sebastiani Cuneo is CEO, and realized that it couldn't compete with big companies like E&J Gallo.

They sold the operation to Constellation Brands, the nation's second largest wine producer, and decided to focus on producing better wines. Using part of the proceeds, they renovated the historic winery to make it more attractive to visitors, and instituted new tours, cooking demonstrations, seminars and other programs to attract tourists.

Sam and his wife, Vickie, opened Viansa Winery and Italian Marketplace on a hilltop in southern Sonoma County. It's a tourist magnet that's also shrine to their Tuscan heritage. Featuring Italian varietals, his operation also has an elaborate deli and gourmet shop on a knoll overlooking 90 acres of waterfowl refuge Sam has developed. On the principal road to Sonoma and Napa Valleys, the business has become a must stop for many visitors. Viansa also has a second location on the Sonoma Plaza.

Don Sebastiani, by contrast, has built a big brand, buying bulk wines and selling them under its own label, Pepperwood Grove. It is one of the best values and hottest brands in America.


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 Chardonnay Lodge

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Chardonnay Hotel Napa
Chardonnay Motel Napa

Address: 2640 Jefferson St., Napa, California, 94558, United States