California Wine Country

Nowhere else in America is as closely associated with wine as California. The industry began in 1769 when vines were planted by Franciscan missionaries at Spanish Mission San Diego de Alcala, resulting in California’s first vintage in 1772.

Today, California has 3,800 wineries and over half a million acres of wine grapes under cultivation, producing 90% of all US wine and making California the world’s fourth-largest wine producer after France, Italy and Spain.

Wine is grown throughout the state, in 48 of its 58 counties, and there are116 federally-approved wine regions, or American Viticultural Areas.

California’s wineries are far more than just about wine production, and attract 20 million visitors a year. You can enjoy gardens, tours, tastings, wine caves, wine classes and seminars while staying in lodges, hotels and inns overlooking vineyards, some with spas offering vinotherapy (wine and grapevine) treatments and even a mud bath. Many wineries also offer restaurants, fine art displays, museums and music or theatre performances.

Sonoma County

Wine has been made in Sonoma County for over 130 years and the region has more than 250 wineries producing some of the state’s best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Explore Northern Sonoma County’s Wine Road – not a true road, but a collection of wineries and lodgings in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys that include some of California’s oldest and in some of the most picturesque wine country in California.

Beyond wine, visitors to Sonoma County will discover 50miles of rugged coastline, a plethora of farm-to-table culinary experiences, quaint towns and towering redwoods.

 

Napa Valley

The most famous of California’s wine regions, Napa Valley was also the first American Viticultural Area to be designated in California, in 1981. It is also surprisingly small, at just 30 miles long and a few miles wide. But its picturesque rolling hills, diverse microclimates and fine soils provide a year-round growing environment that are perfect to produce a range of world-renowned wines from more than 400 wineries.

Take wine tours on its famous Napa Valley Wine Train, by bicycle, in a vintage open-top vehicle or in a stretched limousine. Napa also offers cultural options from stage productions at the Napa Valley Opera House and jazz recitals at Silo’s music room in the historic Napa Valley Mill to the five-day Napa Valley Film Festival each November.

Fantastic!!! Left wanting more, and plan to return. Cannot fault any aspect of the holiday!!! Many thanks for all of your help - we had the best holiday ever!!

Mr Blyth - Travelled to New York