Become an expert on Californian wines in just one day on the California Wine Country Luxury Tour from San Francisco!
At around 9:00am you will cross the Golden Gate Bridge and stop for a photo opportunity if the weather allows it before heading north to the wine region.
California has approximately 1400 wineries. Nearly half of these are in Napa and Sonoma counties, within 100 miles from San Francisco. Nature and history have blessed this region with a variety of soil types, terrains, micro-climates, and an influx of European wine-making talent to create 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., and even the world. This constitutes what many people call 'The Wine Country'.
Your guide will spend time in the first hour discussing the options and taking suggestions. The group can decide to go to both Sonoma and Napa Valleys, or concentrate on just one 'neighborhood'. On the rest of the drive north, your guide will fill you in on the colorful history of California and wine-making in the state. And the short drives between wineries afford time to talk about the science and art of wine making, and wine tasting, and other fascinating topics.
Depending on the group decision, you could visit wineries from various Napa regions such as Los Carneros, Rutherford, Oakville, St. Helena, Yountville or Stags Leap, and/or the Sonoma Valley region. And you'll have time to grab a tasty lunch (payable direct) in between the tastings, or maybe at one of the wineries!
You will enjoy tastings at four to six boutique wineries on this tour. Some wineries offer complimentary tastings, but most charge a fee ranging from $5 to $20 (or it could be more). (Wine tasting fees are not included in the tour price.) Your guide will use experience and knowledge to help the group decide where to go within the southern portions of both famous valleys to maximize the enjoyment while keeping tasting costs down.
Wineries visited on the tour could include some of the following: Loxton Cellars, Cline Winery, Homewood Winery, Viansa Winery, Schug Carneros Estate Winery, Kenwood Vineyards, VJB Vineyards and Cellars, Valley of the Moon, V. Sattui Winery, Vintage 1870 Winery, Silverado Winery, Viansa Winery, Mumm Napa Sparkling Wines, Madonna Estate Winery, Madonna Estate Winery.
The wineries range in size from small and homey to large and grand but all offer visual appeal, friendly atmosphere, attractive presentation, and good value.
You will also be able to purchase wines and have them shipped to your address. Most wineries provide exclusive deeply discounted rates for guests on this tour.
On the way back to San Francisco you have the option of stopping at scenic Sausalito, home of thousands of sailboats, hundreds of floating houses, and a beautiful view of the Bay. You could also opt to leave the tour at this point and take a ferry (fare not included) back to San Francisco, landing in either Fisherman's Wharf or at the Ferry Building (and find your own way back to your hotel). If you stay with the tour, your guide will take you back to the Golden Gate and stop to let you take pictures high above the Bridge, if it was not possible to do so in the morning.
At the end of the tour, sometime between 5:00pm and 6:00pm, you will be dropped back at your San Francisco hotel.