Friday, May 17, 2024

Where To Go In Wine Country California

Don't Miss

Enjoy Local Cuisine When Traveling In Wine Country

Visit California Wine Country in Paso Robles

They say what grows together goes together. If you are in a region known for a specific wine, chances are they are also known for a specific food, and that the two will be delicious together. When in Beaune, enjoy beef, Bourguignon. Have pasta with fresh truffles in Piedmont and local oysters in Nantes.

How To Choose The Right Wine Country Vacation Rental

Creating your ultimate California wine country vacation begins with booking the perfect place to stay. Once thats accomplished you can complete the puzzle by adding special experiences, excursions and activities, determine how youll get around, must-try restaurants and so on. When you stay in a vacation home, it brings the opportunity to dine in or out, enjoy more space to stretch out, greater privacy and even cost savings too.

While there are plenty of hotel options available, an increasing number of visitors to California wine country and beyond are choosing vacation home rentals as theyre truly hard to beat on many levels from comfort to costs. But choosing the right place is obviously key. Considering each one of the following factors can help you make the best decision possible when searching for a California wine country vacation rental.

Travel Logistics When Visiting Malibu Wine Country

A convenient 15-minute drive on the N9 highway is the best way to discover Malibu Wine Country. It connects US 101 at Malibu Junction in Agoura Hills and ends at California SR 1 in the Point Dume region of Malibu. At Approximately its midpoint, the N9 intersects The Mullohalland HWY this is the heart of the Malibu Coast AVA, and from here, you can start exploring.

Also Check: Stella Rosa Wine Costco

Sonoma: A Town Square Of Fun

Of all the places in Wine Country, Sonoma is my favourite!

Not only is it beautiful, but its also charming, with a large town square and park, restaurants all around and wineries on every corner. If you are a fan of the US dating series The Bachelor, Bachelor Ben Flanjik owns a winery here as well , so you can check that out if you like. Its a pretty cute place.

Sonoma is a town you can spend all day just walking around. It is so relaxing sitting in the square, but also nice to explore the cute stores and cafes it contains as well.

If you can only fit in one day of sightseeing in Wine Country, then Sonoma is it. It has all one needs and more and the pictures speak for themselves.

I never miss out on stopping for lunch in Sonoma, and having a wineor two, whenever I am there.

For Glitz And Glam: Napa Valley

The Best Wine Vintages to Drink in 2019

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.

You May Like: How Many Carbohydrates In Wine

Most Popular Wines In Napa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the two most widely planted grapes in Napa Valley, but the region is slowly diversifying, offering wine lovers looking for something a little off-the-beaten-path a huge range of choice. From earthy Merlots and silky Pinot Noirs to rich Zinfandels and grassy Sauvignon Blancs, there are currently around 40 different varieties of grape flourishing throughout Napa Valley.

Silverado Resort & Spa

This resort, complete with tennis and a gorgeous golf course, is a great option for staying overnight in Napa. Just off the Silverado trail , its the perfect location for your getaway. Silveradoresort.comNapa is great any time of year. Ive been in the sunshine and Ive been in the rain and it is always a beautiful getaway. And, located just an hour outside of San Francisco, its easy to combine these two amazing places into one trip. If you have any questions, let me know!

Also Check: Who Makes Stella Rosa

Best Wineries To Visit In Wine Country

So the list I have for you today not only have beautiful grounds to take in all that Wine Country has to offer with the rows and rows of vineyards but also produce some incredible wines. Those are two most important factors when Im looking at visiting wineries, they have to have both or they are out in my book.

Go To Sonoma Over Napa If You Want:

Expedia Road Trip: California Wine Country

Variety. In both the types of wineries, types of wine, and things to do! In Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Coast, youll find so many different wine varietals to taste, whereas Napa is mostly focused on Cabernet Sauvignon.

No-frills. If you dont want or need the grandeur or the glam of Napa, and prefer family-owned, farm-style wineries that are more about the wine, and less about the tourism, youll love Sonoma.

The Coast.Sonoma also has the coast!!! .

Don’t Miss: No Carb Wine Brands

Should I Go To Napa Or Sonoma

When most people around the world say they want to plan a trip to Napa, they most likely are generalizing the entire California wine country of Napa, Sonoma, Calistoga, Healdsburg, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, etc etc into one single region, which is totally fine. But when it comes to actually planning a trip to Napa Valley for the first time, you start to realize how far apart certain areas are, and how different they all are!!! And the fact that if you really want to get a feel for California wine country, you may want to split your time in a few different areas of the region. So which areas of Napa should you go to?

Save On Lodging And Buy More Wine

You will always want to buy more wine when you are traveling in wine country. Finding a nice place to stay that is affordable will give you more flexibility. I like to search for vacation rentals in the area. You don’t always need to be smack in the middle of the vineyards to enjoy a wine region. You can save money and find beautiful homes on services like Turnkey.

Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Wine Is Stella Rosa Red

Napa Valley Wine Train

1275 McKinstry St., Napa

Skip the traffic jams sip on sparkling wine instead. A white tablecloth gourmet multi-course lunch is served in an elegant vintage domed rail carriage that gently chugs through Napa Valley, stopping at classic wineries for tours and tastings. The scenic 36-mile journey goes from Downtown Napa to St. Helena and back, passing charming towns and 33 legacy wineries such as Robert Mondavi, Charles Krug, Grgich Hills Estate, and Domaine Chandon. Choose a tour from two hours to six hours at different times of day, seven days a week.

The Best Wine Tasting Cities In California Ca Limited

5 Tips For Enjoying California Wine Country
    Santa Barbara will completely immerse you in the wine country culture. 3. Nappy Valley, CA Napa Valley is the icon of Californias wine country. Sprawling sun-kissed vineyards, sophisticated luxurious lifestyles, and stunning mountainous backdrops are the epitome of this unforgettable location.

Don’t Miss: Lowest Calorie Sparkling Wine

Santa Barbara Wine Region

The Santa Barbara wine region spans 50 miles, so be prepared with a plan before setting out in the car for a day of tasting.

Our favorite Santa Barbara wine tasting areas are the downtown areas Urban Trail and the Foxen County wineries. These two areas tick all the boxes.

Youll get a feel for the town of Santa Barbara, where many of the top wineries have tasting rooms, and youll get a chance to drive around the countryside and see the vineyards and wineries that are spread throughout the region to the northwest of Santa Barbara.

Downtown youll find a collective of tasting rooms in an area called El Paseo. We stumbled upon this enclave and were delighted at the variety of wineries. This is where youll find Happy Canyon, Jamie Slone and Grassini.

In the Funk Zone, youll find tasting rooms like Riverbench and Santa Barbara Winery both have some terrific Pinot Noirs to try and The Valley Project, a modern tasting room with an incredible map of the region displayed on their back wall. Its a must for newbies to get the lay of the land.

Most Popular Wines In Central Coast

Chardonnays dominate the northern parts of Central Coast, closely followed by Pinot Noirs, Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons. The cool maritime climate, along with the fertile soil make the Chardonnays wonderfully crisp and enhance their citrus flavours, while also helping to produce concentrated Cabernets and Merlots in the extended growing season. Further south Paso Robles has become renowned for their superb Zinfandels, Cabernets and Rhône varieties.

Also Check: Troublemaker Wine

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

Discover The Best Regions Of California: Wine Country Awaits

Top Things To Do In Temecula California and Wine Country Video

Over 200 years ago, Franciscan missionaries, led by Spanish priest Saint Junípero Serra, started the first Roman Catholic mission to CaliforniaMission San Diego de Alcaláand the future of The Golden State was altered forever. Along with planting palm trees to provide palm fronds for Palm Sunday, wine was needed for communion, leading to the first sustained vineyard. Serra went on to found a further eight missions earning himself the nickname Father of California Wine. Without him, none of this would have come to pass.

Also Check: Sell Vintage Wines

Top Wineries And Wine Tasting Experiences Near Malibu

Cornell Winery & TastingRoom Here the action revolves around a dark wood bar and a communal area with picnic tables and benches.

Malibu Wines at Saddlerock Ranch offers a relaxed environment to enjoy Semler and Saddlerock wines reservations are strongly recommended on Saturdays and Sundays. Malibu Wines is also known for its Wine Safaris, where you can tour the property in an open-top vehicle, check out the vineyards overlooking the Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Plus, mingle with a giraffe, a water buffalo, llamas, and other exotic animals. But theres more! You can also take a Wine Hike or a Bike Tour, with all tours concluding wine tastings.

The Barn at Cielo Farmers Winery and Tasting Room is in a Tuscan-style stone barn on a hilltop with picnic tables and sweeping views of the vineyards. Its the perfect place for a Malibu wine outing. You can also enjoy an afternoon of yoga and mindful movement amongst the vines. If you want to taste wine and picnic, take a winery tour or participate in a yoga class, Cielo requires you to make an appointment.

Rosenthal Malibu Estate Vineyard Wine Bar and Patio is at the top of Kanan Dume Road, but their tasting room is located just across from the beach right on PCH in Malibu proper near Topanga Canyon Blvd.

NABU Wines, located in Westlake Village, NABU features wines made from fruit grown in Malibu and Napa Valley Excellent tasting room experience here.

Keep Reading And Find Out More About California Wine Country And Why You Should Visit In 2021

Although in California wine production continued to steadily grow in the region, marketing became a problem for Southern California winemakers during the mid-1900s until a blind tasting competition was held in Paris in 1976. The panel of French experts selected three of the Chardonnays in the top four, shocking the wine community and effectively opening up the U.S market to the world. Countries the world over now import from this amazing region, California wine country cities, and some of the states best vineyards.

Also Check: Malibu Safari Park

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.

Californian Chardonnay

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.

Savor Locally Made Olive Oil


Thought Wine Country only grew grapes? Think again. The areas climate also lends itself well to producing quality olive oils, and Napa Valley is home to one of the top spots for tasting this liquid gold. The grand, beautiful Round Pond Estate is not only an acclaimed winery, but also an olive millone of the only two in the regionthat crafts small-lot olive oils from imported Mediterranean olive trees. Owned and operated by the second generation of the MacDonnell family, Round Pond creates a variety of gourmet olive oils infused with everything from blood orange, to Meyer lemon, to garlic, to rosemary, to basil. Stop by the estate to tour the mill learn about cultivation, harvest, and production methods and of course, taste the final product . You can also savor Napas blossoming olive-oil renaissance at Long Meadow Ranch, Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company, and Olivier Napa Valley.

Read Also: Lowest Carb Red Wine Brand

The Wonders Of California

Its no wonder people flock to California year after year. This is, undoubtedly, one of Gods wonders. To think such varied terrain – from the shorelines of the Pacific to the mountains of Mendocino – can produce such delights is a wonder in and of itself.

When you pair all the gorgeous inns and lodges that decorate this land, its a win-win situation. Leave your cares behind. Prepare to drink up equal amounts of golden sunlight and golden Chardonnay.

Savor the moments brought to you by this transformative corner of the world and carry a little piece of it in your heart, wherever you go next. Until we meet along the Pacific shorelines of paradise, I wish you the safest of travels and the happiest of memories.

Temecula De Portola Wine Trail

Temeculas De Portola Wine Trail is off the beaten path, about . Located in the more rural, equestrian side of the Temecula Valley, this route contains quite a few amazing wineries that you must visit. I picked this particular stretch of wineries because one of my favorites is actually located here.

Start your journey at the Cougar Vineyard & Winery. Its family owned and operated which mean that they truly care about their wine. They specialize in 100% Estate Italian varietals.

From there, travel down the road to Danza del Sol Winery. Its an Italian-countryside inspired winery that is both dog and horse friendly.

My personal favoriteFazeli Cellarsis next. From just about anywhere, you can see a spectacular view of the valley. It was started in 2001 by the Fazeli family and has been going strong ever since. Their tasting offerings are Hafez, Saadi, and grape Shiraz. The Shiraz is to die for.

Recommended Reading: Wine Connoisseur Title

How To Enroll In A Program

Please call us toll free at , Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET. You may also enroll online at To reserve space on a program, Road Scholar requires a deposit followed by final payment.

Road Scholar is Not-For-Profit

Road Scholar is a not-for-profit 501 organization that incurs over $5 million annually on credit card fees. Please help us reduce this cost by paying for your program with a check. Please consider our paperless check option when paying on the phone or over the Internet. Our Advisors are happy to explain this payment option to you.

Tax-Deductible Donations

As a not-for-profit organization, we appreciate and rely on charitable donations to help us develop and maintain high-quality educational programs with exceptional value. Donations from U.S. citizens are tax-deductible as provided by law. As Road Scholar is not a registered charity in Canada, donations are not tax deductible for Canadian citizens.

Financial Assistance

Road Scholar offers two kinds of assistance: Scholarships, for those with desire but not the financial means to participate in our U.S.- or Canada-based learning adventures and Caregiver Grants, designed to provide a unique respite opportunity for unpaid family caregivers to participate in a U.S.- or Canada-based Road Scholar program. Visit , email us at [email protected], or call us toll free at 426-8056.

More articles

Popular Articles

How Many Carbs In Wine