For Glitz And Glam: Napa Valley
Often referred to as a theme park for adults, Napa Valley is home to some of the most respected wineries in the world, and is synonymous with Michelin-starred restaurants like The Restaurant at Meadowood. Step into the Italian Tuscan castle and winery Castello di Amorosa for an afternoon of medieval-themed wine tasting, or treat yourself to a day of relaxation at the many spas Napa Valley has to offer. The choice is yours. Find a hotel in Napa Valley.
Enjoy A Locally Owned St Helena Small Inn
To experienced, independent travelers, the Wine Country Inn and Cottages Napa Valley is a traditional Napa Valley inn that provides a tranquil location to romance, relax, and escape. For 40 years, the hotel has been a big part of Napa Valley, providing classic hospitality in this idyllic, rural country location surrounded by vineyards. The video below describes the Wine Country Inn:
Top 10 Wineries To Visit In Southern California
Robert Renzoni Vineyards, Courtesy of Visit Temecula Valley
Southern California Wine Country has a rich history dating back to the 1700s when Franciscan missionary, Father Junipero Sera, established the first known vineyard in California in San Diego. The past few centuries have seen immense growth of Southern Californias grape growing and winemaking scene, as many sub-regions have emerged, each with its own defining microclimate and winemaking culture.
Take a road trip with us as we outline ten of our favorite Southern California wineries, from Malibu to San Diego and everywhere in between.
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Savor The Bounty Of The Sea
Enjoy a culinary tour of the small town of Bodega Bay on the annual Chowder Day each January. It can take three to four hours to meet the chefs and sample all the delicious offerings at participating sites in this celebration of all things chowdery. And, of course, you can sample the local chowders year-round in the area’s many delicious restaurants.
But chowder is just one of the many coastal options. During crab season you’ll find these delicious crustaceans on menus at restaurants all along the coast. On select Fridays each winter, the Tides Wharf Restaurant hosts special reservations-only crab feeds. Or if you’re in a do-it-yourself mood, you can pick up live, freshly caught crab at the Spud Point Crab Co., or buy their crab sandwiches or crab cakes and eat at their outdoor picnic tables.
What Each Time Of Year Brings To Wine Country
Winter December to January in Wine Country
The wineries are much less crowded. You wont need to fight the crowds and the traffic, particularly in the more famous wine regions of the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. The vines are dormant, showing rows and lines of bare trellising. There are many sunny and bright days mixed with rainy weather.
Plan your Valentines trip. There is also Presidents Day around the same time. Wildflowers begin to grow among the vines. Its a photo opportunity time in the wine country. More on February Weather in Wine Country.
The vines awaken and begin to bud. Vintners call it Bud Break. Wine country wildflowers are in bloom and a delight to view. The visitor season starts in earnest. More on ,
May to June in Wine Country
These are some of the most pleasant months in the wine country. The weather is warm, and the vines are proliferating. Thinning of the vine leaves takes place during these months. The tourist season is well underway.
Veraison takes place. Veraison is the onset of ripening. It is hot in most areas of the wine country, and there are high expectations for the coming harvest. Many tourists travel during this time and weekend crowds can be considerable. The tourist season is in full swing. More on ,
The vines and trees show off fall colors. November is indeed the most beautiful time in the wine country. It is our favorite time of the year. Its a photographers delight! More on the
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Top California Wine Regions To Visit
When you imagine a sun-kissed West Coast vacation, first come the images of gleaming waves crumbling onto golden sand, and second the fruit-filled vineyards of Californias wine regions. A glass of robust, smoky Zinfandel the states heritage variety has become nearly as signature a product as a glass of Champagne.
While wine has been produced in the Golden State since the 18th century, it wasnt until 1976 and the Judgment of Paris that Californian wines truly arrived on the global stage. This blind tasting event was a David and Goliath-style showdown of the wine world California versus France. The Europeans were overwhelmingly the favorites.
However the undeniable quality of a Californian Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap both Napa Valley labels paved the way for the greatest upset in wine history.
The winning bottles are now stored in the Smithsonian Museum, but dont fret: California has plenty more. If taken alone from the rest of the USA, the state is the worlds fourth-largest producer of wine in the world . Its abundance of sunshine and minimal risk of frost ensure an extensive fruiting season.
Heres a north-to-south guide to the best California wine regions and what else to see and do between tastings.
New World Wine Styles
While Californian winemakers do craft wines in more “Old World” or European wine styles, most Californian wines favor simpler, more fruit dominant . The reliably warm weather allows many wineries to use which creates a more rather than earthy or mineralic style of wine. It also creates the opportunity for higher with many Californian wines having over 13.5 percent alcohol content. The style of Californian Chardonnay differs greatly from wines like with Californian winemakers frequently using and aging to make buttery, full bodied wines. Californian Sauvignon blancs are not as herbaceous as wines from the or and are more acidic. Some Sauvignon blanc are given time in oak which can dramatically change the profile of the wine. Robert Mondavi first pioneered this style as a Fume blanc which other Californian winemakers have adopted. However, that style is not strictly defined to mean an oak wine.
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List Of American Viticultural Areas
An is a designated for in the United States distinguishable by geographic, geologic, and climatic features, with boundaries defined by the of the . As of November 2021, there are 260 recognized AVAs in 34 statesseveral of which are shared by two or more states. Over half of the AVAs are in .
American Viticultural Areas range in size from the at 29,900 square miles across four states, to the in , California, at only 62 acres . The near the town of , was the first recognized AVA, gaining the status on June 20, 1980.
Avila Beach Wine Trail
Take yourself to the beach with the Avila Beach Wine Tasting Trail. This trail is small but mighty, with three heavy-hitting coastal producers and many wines to taste between them. Start with Sinor-Lavallee Winery and Peloton Cellars, two Avila Beach wine tasting rooms just steps from the sand. Then head into leafy, historic See Canyon to visit Kelsey See Canyon Winery. In addition to a variety of cool climate wines, enjoy the winerys resident flock of peacocks, and, often, live music.
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The Complete Guide To California Wine Country For 2021
This article is part of a summer California winery series, California Dreaming. Discover more articles here!
From redwood forests to star-paved sidewalks, California has something for everyone: spectacular beaches, world-class museums, towering mountains, and miles of rolling vineyards. This summer, the Golden State is calling every nature lover, culture craver, and, of course, oenophile to come take a spin across its sunny landscape.
California is a clear leader in the world of wine. Over 635,000 acres of prime California land is dedicated to over 100 different incredible grape varieties, accounting for over 80 percent of all U.S. wine production. With thousands of wineries to choose from, its not just the countrys top producer but fourth in the world.
While this is exciting, its also, understandably, quite overwhelming. To help you navigate this wine-filled wonderland, weve consulted with a few of our favorite California wineries to help you discover the finest spots for sipping, dining, sleeping, and more. Check out our list of some of the best wineries, restaurants, resorts, and activities in the states top wine regions.
Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country
Just a short distance from cities such as San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County is Southern California Temecula Valley Wine Country. With nearly 50 wineries, our wine country offers boutique and full-service wine resorts that are friendly, relaxed, and unpretentious.
The quality of our Temecula Valley wines is made possible by a unique microclimate that features morning mist, warm midday sun, cooling ocean breezes, and crisp starry nights. This plus granite-based soil makes Temecula Valley ideal for growing grapes and creating award-winning premium wines, recognized by wine connoisseurs internationally.
With our plentiful list of wineries, you can easily spend days in Temecula Valley exploring and wine tasting among the vineyards. Winery resorts and restaurants offering Southern California-inspired cuisine, and picturesque views are just a few additional unexpected discoveries that will complete your visit to Temecula Valley Wine Country.
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Best Vineyards And Wineries In San Luis Obispo
Wolff Vineyards: Tucked into the captivating Edna Valley, Wolff Vineyards invites you to soak up their superb panoramic views and revel in their vine-to-wine experience in an Old World atmosphere, surrounded by certified-sustainable vineyards.
Edna Valley Vineyard: With more than 30 years of experience crafting an exceptional portfolio of food-friendly balanced wines that reflect the character of the region, this vineyard focuses on award-winning Chardonnay the first grape variety ever planted in Edna Valley.
Niven Family Wine Estates: Founded upon sustainability, community, quality and innovation, Niven Family Wine Estates boast cool-climate SIP-certified sustainable vineyards which produce a spectacularly broad spectrum of delectable wines.
Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards: A family-run tasting room where you can truly unwind and savour a plethora of award-winning wines, including their one-of-a-kind apple-grape blends and hard cider, while breathing in fresh air and listening to the gentle sounds of the nearby creek.
Warm Days Cool Nights
Californias wonderful year-round weather is as good for our wine as it is for our visitors.
Abundant sunshine ensures a consistent and long grape growing season, while the diversity of our terroir supports a multitude of winegrape varieties and surprising flavor variation within them. Californias 1,300 kilometers of rugged coastline expose nearby vineyards to natural air conditioning in the form of fog and breezes, making for exceptional Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other cool climate varieties. Warmer interior valleys receive the same cooling effect thanks to rivers, lakes and deltas.
Meanwhile, vines planted along our hillsides get a fine mixture of cooling air and bright, unfiltered sun-conditions that Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were born to love.
Our soils are as diverse as our growing regions. Sand, clay, loam, granite, volcanic ash, seabed soil, river-run gravel: each contributes its own distinct minerality. And our winemakers are no less varied: since the 1700s, immigrants from all over the world have settled in California, bringing their vines and their skills with them. Hard-earned secrets of soil, climate and vine have been passed from generation to generation, providing California wine with its unique legacy and spectacular range.
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Do You Need A Car In Sonoma
What is the best way to get around Sonoma County without renting a car? Sonoma County Transit buses run throughout the county. You can also explore central Sonoma County on SMART. However, if you want to have the freedom to experience all Sonoma County has to offer, renting a car is highly recommended.
Best Vineyards And Wineries In Santa Ynez
Rusack Vineyards: A boutique winery and vineyard nestled in the oak-studded hills of Ballard Canyon, Rusack Vineyards create world-class, handcrafted wines which reflect their commitment to excellence and their deep love of California.
Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard: Loosely designed after an Australian sheep station, this immense winery features a stunning stone fireplace, a wrap-around veranda with picnic tables and beautiful landscaped grounds which border the vineyards.
Clos Du Val Winery: Founded by two Frenchmen eager to produce Bordeaux-style wines, this winery focuses on exclusive estate-grown wines and has complete control over every vine and stage of viticulture to guarantee the perfect glass every time.
Sunstone Vineyards & Winery: An organic vineyard retreat where Provençal French courtyards, picturesque picnic grounds and stone barrel-aging caves provide the perfect backdrop to sample their incredible wines.
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Pismo Beach Wine Tasting
Wine tasting Pismo Beach offers many opportunities to taste coastal San Luis Obispo County wines. Sans Liege Winery is known for its high-end Rhone-varietal wines and fun tasting room vibe. Heading to see the famous Monarch Butterfly Grove? Hit the Monarch Grove Winery tasting room just south on Highway 1 for a personal and cozy tasting experience. And while not strictly a winery, the tasting room at Tastes of the Valleys wine shop showcases local wines with knowledgeable staff.
Where Is Wine Country In California
Keeping this in consideration, where is the wine region in California?
The wine regions of California are often divided into 4 main regions: North Coast – Includes most of North Coast, California, north of San Francisco Bay. The large North Coast AVA covers most of the region. Notable wine regions include Napa Valley and Sonoma County and the smaller sub AVAs within them.
Likewise, where is the Napa Valley wine region? Napa Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Napa County in California’s Wine Country. Napa Valley is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world.
Besides, what is the best wine region in California?
Best Wine Regions In California
- Livermore Valley. East of San Francisco Bay, find vineyards, pastures, wineries and sunny days in charming Livermore Valley.
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Fire Season In Wine Country
Fires are an increasing threat throughout California, and both Sonoma and Napa have been subject to large-scale blazes over the past several years. Wildfires are most common in the late fall and winter when dead vegetation and high winds can quickly spark flames.
With California’s wine country drawing more than 20 million visitors each year and employing 325,000 people, winemakers worry that the threat of fire will keep visitors away. In all reality, it shouldn’t. Even after the fires, most of the surrounding wineries, tasting rooms, hotels, and other businesses were open as usual.
Core Of The Coast Wine Trail
For a two-day must-taste Central Coast wine guide experience, head to the Edna Valley. There, taste your way through seven historic wineries, each of which contributes to the core of this regions wine identity. Sip the wines of pioneer producers like Claiborne & Churchill, Saucelito Canyon , and Piedra Creek. Bask in unparalleled vineyard views at Edna Valley Vineyards and Tolosa. Or enjoy direct access to the winemakers at boutique producers Autry Cellars and Biddle Ranch Vineyard.
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Santa Barbara County Wine Country
In the Santa Ynez Valley – Wines – grape to glass in Solvang, Buellton, Ballard, Los Alamos, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez.
COVID-19 UPDATE: PLEASE CONTACT INDIVIDUAL WINERIES AND TASTING ROOMS FOR UPDATED HOURS AND OFFERINGS.
Solvang Wine tasting and touring is a memorable and definitely not-to-be-missed experience in Santa Barbara County Wine country of Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley. Local grapes are planted, nurtured and crafted into award-winning wines that are sipped and savored worldwide.
California Wine Profile 2021
Americas top wine producer
California makes 81% of all U.S. wine and is the worlds 4th leading wine producer.
4,200 bonded wineries
Mainly family-owned businesses, many multi-generational. Number excludes second tasting rooms and non-production bonded wine premises.
242 million cases
California wine sales volume into the U.S. market.
$43.6 billion retail value
Estimated retail value of California wine sales in the U.S.
60% share of U.S. market by volume
Three of every five bottles sold in the U.S. is a California wine.
$1.36 billion in export revenue
U.S. wine exports, 95% from California.
California exports 41 million nine-liter cases to 142 countries.
5,900 winegrape growers
Our partners in sustainable winegrowing.
635,000 acres/256,975 hectares of winegrapes
Winegrapes are grown in 49 of 58 counties in California 141 federally approved American Viticultural Areas.
3.92 million tons/3.56 million tonnes harvested of winegrapes
More than 110 winegrape varieties.
$3.24 billion in farmgate value to growers
Farmgate value of California winegrapes one of Californias top three agricultural commodities by value.
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Is Sonoma Worth Visiting
Its a great time to visit Fall in Sonoma County is one of the most iconic, beautiful times of year to visit. Sonoma County is open for business, from the countryside rivers and valleys to the charming towns to the 55 miles of coastline. Discover charming wineries, beautiful redwood forests, and gorgeous beaches.
Most Popular Wines In Santa Ynez
The extraordinarily diverse landscape of Santa Ynez makes it perfect for producing a world of different wines. Close to the Pacific, the cool air and fog gently rolls in at dusk, creating the perfect conditions for Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs just like in Sonoma. But 30 miles inland in Happy Canyon, the climate is reliably sunny and hot, providing the ideal environment for Bordeaux varieties, such as Merlot and Cab Franc.
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More Than 120 Vineyards
Most of the 120+ wineries in the area are boutique and family-owned. Stroll through one of these vibrant vineyards or visit more than 20 tastings rooms in downtown Solvang.
Area wineries welcome visitors year-round and it’s easy and fun to do self-directed wine tours or enjoy guided tours. Oscar-winning 2004 movie Sideways, shot on location here, helped plant Solvang firmly in the wine scene.
Wine tasting events abound throughout the year, so be sure to visit our events calendar for complete details.
In Santa Barbara County, distinct American Viticultural Areas , also known as wine appellations, comprise more than 21,000 acres of vineyards producing more than a million cases of wine annually. The region’s east-west orientation and coastal mountains form a valley opening directly facing the Pacific Ocean. This unique topography allows the flow of fog and sea breezes to shape distinct microclimates, perfect for the cultivation of classic grape varietals resulting in world-class wines.
Santa Ynez Valley AVA, Ballard Canyon AVA, Sta.Rita Hills AVA, Happy Canyon AVA, and Santa Maria Valley AVA make up the Santa Barbara north county wine country. This area is known especially for its outstanding Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah, but also produces superior Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, and many other varietals in more than 120 vineyards.