Wine Country

California’s first wineries were appendages of the 21 Franciscan missions that were built a day’s ride by horseback from each other in a chain reaching from San Diego to Sonoma.  The missions produced the wine for sacramental use.  Eventually the church gave up making wine, and the art passed into the realm of private enterprise. 

The most popular route for wine tasting is in the Napa Valley along Highway 29 between Oakville and Calistoga.  Not far behind in popularity is scenic Highway 12 in the Sonoma Valley.  And edging in fast is an area along Highway 101 north between Petaluma and Ukiah.  When visiting these stretches of highway, which are heavily concentrated with wineries, try to remain selective.  Experts suggest not planning to taste at more than four wineries in one day.

Many wineries have picnic areas.  An ideal itinerary is to tour a winery, taste, and then purchase a bottle of wine to drink with a picnic lunch.

Here and There
The 10 Napa wineries you need to visit
10 great Northern California wineries with free tastings

tasting set-up at Patz & Hall winery in Sonoma, California
tasting set-up at Patz & Hall winery in Sonoma, California

These listings are just a taste of each area.. They offer an introductory taste, so that you arrive with a few good leads on things to do and places to eat and spend the night. You’ll make many more discoveries as you explore on your own.

Napa Valley

Calistoga

Attractions
August Briggs Winery tasting room
Bennett Lane Winery
Castello di Amorosa
Ca’toga Galleria d’Arte + Ca’toga Villa Tour
Palisades Wine Company
Restaurants
Bosko’s Trattoria
Brannan’s Grill
Hotels
Euro Spa & Inn
Madrigan Family Winery

Napa

Articles
Artsy Napa Escape
Attractions
Antiques on Second
Bubbling Well Pet Memorial Park
di Rosa
Judd’s Hill winery
VIDEO-winery owner entertains tasters with ukulele
Napa Walking Tour
Uptown Theatre
Restaurants
Contimo Provisions
Model Bakery
Oxbow Public Market
Hotels
Cedar Gables Inn
Churchill Manor
Napa River Inn
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa

Rutherford

Attractions
Inglenook winery
Hotels
Rancho Caymus Inn

Silverado Trail

Attractions
Darioush
Kenzo Estate

Quixote Winery
Hotels
Solage Calistoga Resort+Solbar

St. Helena

Attractions
The Cameo Cinema
 Charles Krug Winery
Clif Family Velo Vino Tasting Room
Long Meadow Ranch
Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Co.
Olivier Napa Valley
Sutter Home Winery
Restaurants
Acadia House
The Model Bakery
Las Acobas
Wydown Hotel

Yountville

Attractions
Cosentino Winery
Goosecross winery

VIDEO-demo of orbital wine decanter
Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley
Yountville Art Walk
Restaurants
Bouchon Bakery
Hurley’s Restaurant & Bar
Mustards Grill
Hotels
Hotel Yountville
Lavender
Villagio Inn & Spa

Sonoma Valley

Glen Ellen

Attractions
Benziger Family Winery
Jack London State Historic Park

Kenwood

Attractions
Chateau St. Jean Vineyards and Winery
Deerfield Ranch Winery
Paradise Ridge Tasting Room & Art Gallery
VJB Vineyards & Cellars
Restaurant
Tips Roadside
Hotel
Kenwood Inn & Spa

Sonoma

Attractions
Baksheesh Fair Trade
Buena Vista Winery
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards & The Olive Press
Sebastiani Theatre
shops
Sojourn Cellars Tasting Salon
The Sonoma House at Patz & Hall
Viansa Winery
Restaurants
Basque Boulangerie Cafe
The Chocolate Cow
The Girl & The Fig
Sonoma’s Best Market Cafe
Hotels
The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa
Sonoma’s Best Guest Cottages