Wine & Travel

Snooth User: madmanny

Where would you go in November?

Posted by madmanny, Oct 10, 2011.

If you could go anywhere in the world in November for a wine themed vacation, where would you go?  And why? 


Reply by ScottLauraH, Oct 10, 2011.

I would go to the Monticello region in Virginia.  There are many reasons.

1. There are several wineries in the area producing great wines and I love to go tasting there.  These include Veritas, Pollak, King Family, Delfosse, Barboursville and Afton Mountain, to name a few.

2. In early to mid-November, the mountainsides are simply on fire with autumn colors; painted with amber, yellow, red and orange.  The beauty is breathtaking.

3. Early November offers pleasant temperatures in this area of Virginia.  Daytime highs run in the 60s, evenings in the 40s.  Warm enough in the day to be pleasant and cool enough at night to enjoy a glass of red wine by the fire.

4. There a wonderful bed and breakfasts in the area that cannot be beat for service, food and location.

5. There are outstanding small restaurants that focus on quality, local food that offer excellent dinner experiences.

6. The Monticello region is close proximity to my home, so I can get there in a few hours and have a nice weekend without worrying about plane tickets, having to figure out how to check my wine purchases as luggage or dealing with security lines at the airport. 

Reply by Whitey Broughman, Oct 11, 2011.

Milan, no contest. It's still pretty warm there in November. It is far enough north to be fairly safe from eruptions of Vesuvius, and can still boast the biggest variety of great wines anywhere in the world. You don't say how long I get to stay. The longer, the better. Milan is also famous for it's beautiful female models. I'll wager I can find 2-3 who like the same wines that I do.

Reply by homestar, Oct 11, 2011.

I just happened to be in the San Francisco area last November, and so took a day and went through Sonoma Dry Creek Valley.  It was a bit warmer than usual, and an absolutely perfect day.  the weather was beautiful, the grape leaves golden, the wineries empty but happy to pour.  One could do much worse.  Milan sounds good too...maybe next time.

Reply by JonDerry, Oct 11, 2011.

If you have an opportunity to travel, i'd definitely go somewhere you haven't been before, and somewhere the weather will likely be at least tolerable.  Good wine helps too. 

I'll be touring Paso Robles in November with my wife and another couple.  Have been hearing so much about that area the last couple of years that i'm looking forward to all the wineries people have recommended to me. Weather should be crisp and cool, and I hear their rhone style wines are quite nice.

Reply by SergioL, Oct 11, 2011.

I will travel to Piedmont in November and am open to hear from you interesting clues to get myself around in Alba and surrounding areas.  


Reply by napagirl68, Oct 14, 2011.

France.  and the rest of the year applies to me as well :-)

Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 15, 2011.

Geez, NG, you've got some kind of thing for France all the sudden.  But remember, it's a bit bigger than our home state, which isn't exactly small itself (California, for those not aware that NG and I live in the Bay Area), and it can be Indian summer in one place and wet and cold elsewhere. Same goes for spring: I was basking in the heat in Avignon one week and cursing slushy snow in Epernay the next one fine March.  Now, it's not likely to snow in November, but let's narrow it down a little. Loire? S. Rhone? Languedoc? Lots of wine in all those places.  And thanks to subsidies and tourism, still really attractive.  Not so much in Marseilles, the Cher valley (which didn't replant after phylloxera) and the other non-wine regions, but there is something to be said for preserving vineyards, even when they don't make outstanding wine.  They are photogenic.

Anywhere the tasting rooms are open but uncrowded sounds good to me.  But for this year, we're staying home, hosting Duck Taco night (the night before T-day, an excuse to drink better PN than our extended family can appreciate--4 bottles of Roar on the list so far), and hoping to recover from one hell of a year.  We'll be up in Sebastopol but I expect the tasting rooms are closed on Thanksgiving.  Otherwise, it's Oakland and what I expect will be the best weather of the year. Frankly, I'd come here as soon as I'd go anywhere else. As my friend Steve Yerkey wrote, "The peculiar quality of light in this town/is the first thing that most of us recall/it's like the breath of a calf born on a pallet of straw/rising up beyond the rafters and stalls." Fall shows that light to its best advantage.

Reply by zufrieden, Oct 15, 2011.

Surely you jest.  Have any of you actually lived in Northern Europe in late fall?  D-R-E-A-R-Y is the correct spelling. November?  I have.  Take Chile; that country proves the advantages of north to south hemispheres.

Reply by JonDerry, Oct 15, 2011.

Fox, I think NG might be enchanted with the european lifestyle, and how in France wine is so closely interwoven with their culture. Here in the states, your a nut to be a wine lover. Over there, it's a matter of course. Nothing unusual at all in admiring the French when it comes to wine, i'm pretty much the same way.

And definitely concur on one point, "Not so much in Marseilles".  Instead, hit Cassis and Southern Rhone next summer.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 15, 2011.

Well, I didn't vote for France at all.  Just pointed out that it's a big place.  I voted for Oakland/Northern Cal.  We're having spectacular weather right now, and I think it could well extend into November.  But if it rains, watching the storms lash the coast is pretty neat, too.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 16, 2011.


Reply by dmcker, Oct 16, 2011.
Edited Oct 16, 2011

Maybe start there, but head down to western Sicily for better weather. ;-)

I'm also thinking Sonoma or even Santa Barbara, since I haven't been there for awhile. Wetter and darker up in Oregon and Washington, though leaf color change is more psychedelically radical. Taking Zuf's point, then perhaps the antipodes....

Scenery and weather are one thing, but the cuisine and wine to be had are another. I'm thinking if I could get off next month (which I can't), the Mediterranean would be my first choice. Autumn harvest bounty is better than spring beginnings down south of the equator....

Reply by madmanny, Oct 18, 2011.

Thanks for all the replies.  Never really thought about Virginia for wine but it is certainly pretty there.  (Where did Jefferson get his wines?)  That might be worth a road trip.

I was also looking forward to some more "off the wall" thoughts as well. 

To Sergio - been to Piedmont in November as well as a few other times of the year.  It can be chilly but truffles will probably still be in season which are a real treat.  Cerretto has a beautiful tasting room and may be available for tours.  We were able to tour several other Barolo producers but made all the arrangements before we left.  Be sure to check before you go.  You can visit "Produttore" in Barbaresco which is next door to Gaja (which you can't visit - or at least I couldn't).  Some of their single vineyard stuff was outstanding, including "Montestephano" (sp?).  No reseravtion needed.  We really enjoyed a restaurant called "Antine" in Barbaresco that had a very nice prix fix dinner that included some excellent local wines.  They will have truffles.  As far as i'm concerned, the wine, food and atmosphere just don't get any better than Piedmont.


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