At the start of your California Wine Country Tour a shuttle will pick you up from your hotel and take you to meet your air-conditioned coach.
After leaving the city, your driver-guide will take you on a leisurely tour along the Silverado Trail, which cuts through California’s most prized wine country.
California has approximately 1400 wineries. Nearly half of these are in Napa and Sonoma counties, within 100 miles from San Francisco. The region is blessed with a rich variety of soil types, terrains, micro-climates. These natural advantages plus a rich fund of European wine-making expertise have created a world-class wine-producing industry. There are about 650 wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties, representing some of the most famous brands in the U.S.
Your excursion will take you to two top wineries for tours of the premises and tastings. Each winery tour will last at least an hour and you will be able to purchase wines at discounted prices if you wish. The actual wineries visited may vary from day to day but they are likely to include two of the following:
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards: A large winery in the heart of the Sonoma-Carneros region, just 45 minutes north of San Francisco. Here, against a backdrop of Venetian-style chandeliers and Italian art, you will be able to sample varietals such as Barbera, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Primitivo and Sangiovese. The estate also produces award-winning extra virgin olive oil and you can visit the on-site olive-press, tasting bar and gourmet gift shop.
Madonna Estate: A boutique winery which produces elegant wines from organically grown grapes. The Bartolucci family who own the estate use a skilful combination of traditional and modern winemaking techniques.
Cline Cellars: A 350-acre estate where the owners have pioneered the planting of Rhône varietals including Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. The winery produces rich, distinctive Rhône-style wines and award-winning Zinfandels.
You will visit one winery in the morning and then stop for lunch (payable direct) at Sonoma Town Square, a California landmark circled by preserved adobe homes. Here you’ll find hearty American fare and excellent ice-cream on sale in the attractive Yountville’s Vintage 1870 Marketplace. The town also has a famous cheese factory where you can enjoy tastings if you wish.
After lunch your driver will take you on to the second winery for a tour and further tastings.
On the return journey, you can relax and enjoy the scenery. At the end of the 9 hour tour you will be dropped back at your San Francisco hotel.