Whether you are an aficionado of good wine or you are someone who loves exploring new places, California’s Wine Country tour is apt for you. The undulating landscape of California, a little away from San Francisco will take you to some of the finest vineyards and wineries of USA.
Time to visit
You can visit the Wine Country throughout the year. The vineyards are usually crowded on weekends and on holiday seasons. The wineries remain open from around 9am to 4.30pm. Napa Valley is the top destination of travelers to the wine country. Sonoma Valley, Healdsburg and Santa Rosa are comparatively less crowded. The best time to visit the wineries is when the grapes are being crushed in September or October.
Most top brand wines of California, including the premium cabernet sauvignon and the products from Francis Coppola and Robert Mondovi, come from the Napa Valley fruits. Napa, Calistoga, Rutherford, Oakville and St Helena are some of the idyllic towns of the valley. Epicureans would love to sample the culinary delights of Yountville.
Besides the beautiful vineyards, Sonoma Valley is noted for its impressive 19th century buildings. Healdsburg is a popular town in Sonoma Valley, where you will find some elegant boutiques and some wonderful restaurants. The panoramic beauty of the surrounding countryside of Alexander Valley, Russian River and Dry Creek, is well suited for relaxing while enjoying some exquisite chardonnay, zinfandel and pinot noir.
For city dwellers, the farmers markets, present in nearly every town of the wine country, is the best place to shop for seasonal and local products. These markets are open on Saturday mornings and occasionally on Tuesday evenings. May to October is the best time for water sports lovers to canoe on the Russian River. Di Rosa Preserve located off Carneros Highway comprises of art galleries and gardens of natural art works.
Wine Country Festival
From February to March, Napa Valley celebrates the Mustard Festival. Early June is the time for the world’s largest charity wine auction held in Napa Valley. The Sonoma jazz festival is held in late May. Sonoma County hot air ballon classic is held in July. October is the time when Sonoma Valley has its harvest fair. On two weekends in March, the Russian River wineries welcome visitors to their cellars to sample their upcoming products.