Top Wine Tour Destinations in California

Top Wine Tour Destinations in California

Last Updated on October 28, 2022 by Maria Kennedy

So many people come to California wine country and never leave Napa. That’s a shame because there are some amazing wineries in Sonoma County, just an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. Here are some of our favorite Sonoma wine tour destinations.

1. Kenwood Vineyards

 

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With its beautiful setting in the Valley of the Moon, Kenwood Vineyards is a must-visit destination on any wine tour. The vineyards here date back to 1879, and the winery produces some of Sonoma’s most beloved wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay.

2. Viansa Winery

 

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Viansa Winery is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley and is known for its stunning views of Mt. Diablo. The winery produces a variety of red and white wines, including Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.

3. Rutherford Ranch

For a truly unique wine tour experience, Rutherford Ranch is the perfect destination. The winery offers horse-drawn carriage rides through the vineyards, and you can even stay overnight in one of the on-site cottages.

4. Chateau St. Jean

Chateau St. Jean is one of Sonoma’s most popular wine tour destinations. The winery is located in the picturesque town of Kenwood, and it produces a variety of red and white wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. You may even see a celebrity or two while you’re here!

5. Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens 

Located in the rolling hills of Healdsburg, Kendall-Jackson is one of Sonoma’s most popular tourist destinations. The wine estate features a beautiful garden with more than 200 varieties of roses, and the winery produces some of California’s most well-known wines, including Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

6. Gloria Ferrer


Gloria Ferrer is the first sparkling wine producer in Carneros, and three-quarters of their land consists of Pinot Noir vines. They have 17 different clones of Pinot Noir, so you’re sure to find the perfect taste for you. The winemaking team carefully selects Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines that will prosper in the diverse climate and soil types present on their two ranches. By doing this, they are able to create a beautiful bouquet of still and sparkling wines that truly reflect the land they came from- including the highly acclaimed Pinot Noir-based sparkling wine.

7. Anaba Wines

 

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Anaba Wines, located in the Carneros appellation, produces high-quality wines with rich flavors and unique varietal features. At their picturesque estate, you’re welcome to taste a variety of excellent wines. Popular choices include Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Roses.

8. Kivelstadt Cellars 

Looking for a unique wine-tasting experience in Sonoma? Kivelstadt Cellars & Winegarten is the perfect place to relax and explore. With its fun, approachable style and playful atmosphere, Sonoma wine tasting has never been more accessible or enjoyable.

9. Ceja Vineyards 

 

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The Ceja family went from being immigrant vineyard workers to winery owners in one generation, and they now share their heartwarming story with guests during wine tastings. Their award-winning wines are produced using grapes grown on estates in Napa and Sonoma, adding an extra layer of depth to the tasting experience.

10. Scribe Winery

At Scribe Winery, enjoy not only remarkable wines but also delicious food all while surrounded by picturesque hacienda-style architecture and palm trees. The winery is managed by fourth-generation California farmers who strive to create terroir-driven wines that are reflective of the vineyard’s natural expression.

We also have some known and not-so-well-known names in Napa:

1. Beaulieu Vineyard

One of the most historic wineries in Napa Valley, Beaulieu Vineyard was founded in 1900 by Georges de Latour. The winery is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, which has been produced here since the early days.

2. Chateau Montelena

 

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Chateau Montelena is one of the most famous wineries in Napa Valley, thanks in part to the 1976 “Judgment of Paris” tasting, in which its 1973 Chardonnay beat out some of the best white wines from France.

3. Clos du Val

Clos du Val is a small, family-owned winery that has been producing world-class wines since 1972. The winery is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, which has earned a reputation as one of Napa’s finest.

4. Artesa Vineyards and Winery

The vineyard at Artesa cannot be missed when touring Napa Valley for its grandiose architecture and modern design. You’ll feel like royalty walking up the few flights of stairs to get to the entrance, which is lined with infinity pools and fountains. The actual building looks like an overgrown chic cottage, adding to the overall experience, which should not be missed.

5. Darioush Winery

Darioush Winery, a family-owned business founded in 1977, is located on 120 acres atop Mount Veeder with a picturesque view of Napa Valley. The Darioush cabernet sauvignon reserve is one of their well-known wines. Darioush features towering ancient Persian-style pillars and block limestone lining the entrance for a regal wine-tasting experience. journey into the heart of Darioush in the wine caves, where you will find our state-of-the barrels equipment and award-winning wines.

6. Alpha Omega

Alpha Omega is one of the best wine estates in Napa Valley that provides visitors with a unique outdoor wine-tasting experience. The terrace offers a stunning view of the vineyard and valley beyond, making it perfect for large groups. Or, if you’re looking for something more intimate, there is also the option for a private indoor tasting.

7. Spottswoode 


The vineyards at the Spottswoode Estate are some of the most beautiful in Napa Valley, and they produce cabernet sauvignons and sauvignon blancs that are deliciously unique. The estate Cabernet Sauvignon features blackberry flavor mixed with various spices, while the sauvignon blanc is crafted to produce a wine of exceptional quality.

We imagine you are already craving a glass (or two) of wine, so let’s get started on your wine-tasting tours in Napa Valley! But how to organize your trip to make sure you get the most out of Napa and Sonoma’s wine regions? You’ve come to the right place!

Here is the list we’ve put together of our tips for the ultimate wine country experience:

1. Start your trip in Napa Valley

Napa Valley is the more well-known of California’s wine regions, and for a good reason. The region is home to some of the world’s most famous wineries, and it’s just a short drive from San Francisco. If you’re short on time, Napa is the place to go.

2. Head to Sonoma for a more relaxed experience

Sonoma is quieter and less crowded than Napa, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the wine-country lifestyle. There are plenty of great wineries to visit, and you’ll love exploring the quaint towns and beautiful countryside.

3. Stay in a vineyard villa or wine country inn

For the ultimate wine country experience, stay in a villa or inn located right in the heart of the vineyards. This way, you can wake up each day surrounded by the beauty of Napa or Sonoma, and you’ll be within easy reach of all the best wineries.

4. Take a wine-tasting tour

One of the best ways to sample the wines of Napa and Sonoma is to take a wine-tasting tour. These tours typically include stops at several different wineries, and they’re a great way to learn about the different styles of wine produced in California.

5. Attend a wine festival

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during the summer, take the chance to attend one of Napa or Sonoma’s many wine festivals. These festivals are a great way to sample the wines of the region, and they also offer live music, food, and other entertainment.

With all this in mind, we’re sure you’re ready to start planning your trip to California’s wine country. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets and get ready for an unforgettable experience! Cheers!

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About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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