Wine Country is a region of Northern California known worldwide as a premium wine-growing region. There are over 400 wineries in the area north of San Francisco, mostly located in the areas valleys. Tourists come to the region not only for wine-tasting, but also for hiking, bicycling, hot air ballooning, and historic sites, as well as the extensive culinary choices. Numerous notable chefs and restaurateurs are present in the Wine Country, including Thomas Keller, John Ash, and Sondra Bernstein. Besides the obvious winery attractions, the Wine Country is known for its hot springs baths, petrified forests and other natural areas.
Some of the attractions around the Wine Country include activities such as Wine Tasting (not surprisingly!), Day Spa’s, Golf, Farmers Markets, Parks & Beaches to name a few. For the more adventure spirited, there are activities such as hot air ballooning, sky diving, mountain biking, motor biking rentals as well as a fantastic selection of bars & nightclubs.
Sure – wine tasting is a major draw in the wine country but there is a lot more to the region than vineyards. It is a destination with history, art, luxurious spas, rolling hills and graceful rivers and lakes. It is a great location for exploring nature and there are several ways to do so.
Hot air ballooning is an exhilarating way to take in the natural beauty of the region. The area has vast rolling hills covered in flowers and other natural delights. You can admire the tranquil lakes and rivers. This is perfect for getting away from it all while enjoying a bird’s eye view of one of the most beautiful places in the world. Another way of exploring the enchanting area is by cycling and hiking.
The wine country has always been sanctuary for artists due to the inspiring and harmonious natural setting that evokes creativity. There are magnificent galleries dotted throughout the region. The Healdsburg Center for the Arts (130 Plaza Street) features art pieces by regional artists. The Capture Gallery (105 Plaza Street) offers high-end photography, paintings and mixed media.
Of course when in wine country – the delicious wine is always on the itinerary. With literally hundreds of vineyards in Sonoma and Napa Valleys alone; this is a wine connoisseurs’ dream come true. The wineries vary from the ultra luxurious to more homely estates. One of our favourite wineries in Napa Valley is Quintessa (1601 Silverado Trail, Rutherford). It is a large winery that still manages to retain its charming character. They offer visitors private guided tour of the estates vineyard, wine making facilities and caves. Frog’s Leap (8815 Conn Creek Road, Rutherford) is a delightful winery with lush gardens and a beautiful historic main building known as – the ‘Red Barn’ built in 1884. Scribe (2300 Napa Road, Sonoma) is a family-owned young winery set in a 200 acre estate with a dusty road and a beautifully rundown hacienda. Most wineries in the region are by appointment only and it is wise to book in advance.ion of bars & nightclubs.
Please check some amazing videos of Wine Country, California:
The next best thing, some might say, to drinking the bounty of the wine country is eating it. In a region best known for its grapes, other produce is just a step away. Fresh fruits and vegetables, however, are only one component of great wine country restaurants. In the wine country you will find dining in any style, whether it be upscale, casual, or al fresco. The cuisine is just as varied as the atmosphere: amazing seafood, outrageous desserts, four-star dining and celebrity chefs are to be found; Italian fare, Chinese restaurants, Mexican restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and even your garden variety fast food.
Shopping in Wine Country
An art form of its own, shopping deserves a place on everyone's itinerary. Wine country offers an outstanding experience for those looking for gifts, distinctive apparel, or unique home items. There are two premium outlet locations and the downtown mall in Napa. Cities of Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga offer specialty stores, galleries, and antiques all within walking distance.
Weather in Wine Country
No matter what time of year you choose to visit the Californian Wine Country, you will find that the Mediterranean climate is without parallel. The Spring and Summer months feature cloudless days and balmy nights, the Winter rainy season is relatively short and the Fall is so vibrant with color that you will be dazzled daily by the changes!
Average Monthly Temperatures