The wine country of California is known around the globe as one of the truly great wine-growing regions producing today. Viticulture and wine-making have been a part of the area’s culture and economy for nearly 200 years, and have been drawing visitors for almost as long. Napa and Sedona beckon to tourists with their luxurious resorts and spas, exceptional cuisine, and gorgeous terraced vineyards. Whether you’re longing for an escape to the countryside, or wish to be pampered in style at a world-class spa, California Wine Country promises an unforgettable escape. We’ve sipped and tripped our way through Napa Valley and its surrounding areas to uncover the gems of California Wine Country. Sit back, relax, and raise your glass to the good life.
When to Go
High season in California’s Wine Country stretches from April to October, when the long hot days draw a seemingly endless overflow of tourists. Hotels and tasting rooms book out months in advance this time of the year, and discounts seem to all but disappear. Expect to pay more if you visit during the busy season, and experience a little less of the area’s laid back pace. Consider skipping the summer sojourn and visit in the spring or fall instead. The off season can be such a gorgeous time to see Wine Country, as the ebb and flow of life brings bright and bountiful color to the countryside. Celebrate the seasonal harvest at one of the region’s many festivals and fairs, like the Sonoma County Harvest fair in early October, or A Wine & Food affair in November, when local wineries serve perfectly paired meals with their vintages.
What to See
Wine Country novices are often tempted to squeeze as many tastings and attractions as possible into their visit in an attempt to get the fullest and most rounded experience possible. But rushing your way through vineyard after vineyard isn’t always the best way to go. We recommend doing some research and picking just a few wineries that pique your interest. Consider taking a tour of a Biodynamic winery, where you can learn about the process by which they make their fascinating wines. Or visit an organic vineyard and kitchen, where you can sample perfectly matched meals alongside your wine tastings. Whatever you choose, relax and move slow. You’ll soak in so much more of the culture and history of Wine Country if you’re not rushing your way through it.
How to Get Around
The best way to explore Wine Country is by car. The region’s gently winding roads make for beautiful drives on your way from one winery or restaurant to the next. It’s easy to access the area from San Francisco, which is just 45 miles away. Set out from the city in a certified pre-owned car from West Covina Nissan and cruise your way up the coast to Napa Valley. www.downtownnissan.com has a great selection of quality cars to carry you comfortably from one amazing vineyard adventure to the next!