Treat yourself to that California wine – Hop on the best California wine tours
Californian wine is world-renowned for its amazing quality, offering a huge range of grapes and flavours through its Mediterranean-style weather and sprawling geography. As the third largest state in the US with more than 800 miles of coastline, it is a mature wine region that has the perfect conditions to offer a wide selection of delicious blends. There are more than one hundred grapes grown in California including a number of European and hybrid varieties.
Wine tasting and touring is one of the top things visitors can do in San Francisco, which is a wine-lovers heaven and home to the famous Napa Valley and Sonoma. Whether it’s a Sauvignon Blanc or a Syrah, take the time to sip and savour the unique tastes in some world-class wineries.
Napa Valley not only benefits from a range of microclimates which assists in grape growing, but has a strong history allowing visitors to learn about the winemaking culture and pioneering attitude of many of the vineyard owners. The wineries here are part of a long standing tradition, with 95% being family run or family-owned, giving an authentic and homely feel to tours and tastings.
Two very established destinations are Mayacamas Vineyards and Calistoga’s Castello di Amorosa. The former is a unique stone building carved into a dormant volcano crater, where wine has been produced since 1889. The owners offer estate visits throughout the week with an in-depth look at the history and stories behind the wine making.
Castello di Amorosa also has a very distinctive story, and is designed as an authentic 13th century Tuscan castle winery. Built by Dario Sattui to honour his Italian ancestry and interest in medieval architecture, he opened the venue to honour his grandfather’s previous winery, which was closed during Prohibition in 1920. For more adventurous wine enthusiasts, there are a host of California wine tours and wine tasting opportunities with unexpected modes of transport including a ‘Classic Convertible’ Wine Tour, Napa Valley Bike Tours, a Napa Valley Kayak Tour or even an electric Tuk-Tuk tour with Laces and Limos.
Sonoma is another of the top places in the San Francisco area for a tipple, tucked away between two mountain ranges one hour north of the city. This is one of the best spots to drink California wines, with venues such as Chateau St. Jean (known as a wine ‘castle’) surrounded by picturesque views of the Mayacamas Mountains. There’s also the family ran Joseph Swan Vineyard, which offers small tasting sessions for guests to try the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Zinfandel.
Another of the top wine regions in San Francisco is the Livermore Valley, which is 40 miles east of downtown San Francisco. Here you can hop on the Livermore Wine Trolley and enjoy three wineries as well as a delicious lunch. Whilst you’re visiting, head to nearby San Francisco Premium Outlets® for some top shopping opportunities with over 180 designer outlet stores with savings up to 65% off. This is the best destination in San Francisco to get amazing deals on the names you love.
If you are headed to the Tri-Valley area, consider staying the night at one of the nearby hotels. San Francisco Premium Outlets® offers wonderful value on ‘Shop & Stay packages’, with neighbouring hotels including Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham or Courtyard by Marriott in Livermore. With incredible savings and incredible wine, this is certainly a destination not to be missed!