Tour the picturesque vineyards of California’s valleys, where friendly viticulturalists grow some of the most acclaimed wines from the New World.
Taste the good life in California Wine Country, a long stretch of valleys lined with vineyards and backed by dramatic scenery. Walk through fields covered with vines beneath the warm California sun and sip on some of the finest wines in the nation. In between vineyard visits, find entertainment in the charming towns and cities scattered throughout the region.
The first vineyards in California were planted by Spanish missionaries in the late 18th century and commercial wineries started a few decades later. In Sonoma County visit Buena Vista Winery, which was established in 1857, to taste wines from the oldest-surviving premium vineyard in California.
Northern California is home of some of the most prestigious wine-growing regions. Stroll through the acclaimed vineyards of scenic Napa Valley. Fourteen different regions within the valley come with their own American Viticultural Area (AVA) appellation. Take tours of chic city wineries in places such as Yountville and St. Helena, where you can also dine on Michelin-starred food. One of the best ways to explore the region is in a hot air balloon soaring over the tranquil landscapes.
Neighboring Sonoma County regularly competes with Napa for prestige. The vast county has more than 400 wineries, many of which offer tasting sessions and tours. Take a tram tour around the grounds of Benziger Family Winery or cycle between fields on a bike tour from Sonoma.
Wine country stretches south of San Francisco into Central California. Explore scenic Monterey County, home of the dramatic coastal region Big Sur. Carmel Valley has big-hitting wineries, including vast Holman Ranch and atmospheric Joullian Vineyards.
Find a charming and unexpected pocket of Wine Country in hotter Southern California. The town of Temecula is surrounded by vine-covered hills, in a climate and atmosphere that recalls Tuscany.
Fly to San Francisco International Airport for quick access to the valleys of Northern and Central California. Tasting tours are available in the vineyards of California Wine Country throughout the year, although many visitors enjoy coming in fall to watch the harvests take place.