This post was written by Deborah Grossman from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Napa Valley and Sonoma present a bounty of new opportunities to taste wine and learn about wine with food. Exploring wine country in Northern California is a delicious blend of the new and the historic.
A Napa Valley winery owned by an heir to the Coors beer company and the unveiling of several renovated tasting rooms lead the news for wine country. We’ll begin our vinous journey in Napa Valley and then venture to Sonoma County.
We’d always thought of Calistoga as a quiet, laid back kind of town. However, after recently spending a few days visiting their luxury resorts and B&Bs, wine-tasting and touring four unique (appointment-only) wineries off the beaten track, experiencing a Royal Wine & Food Pairing at Castello di Amorosa, dining at fabulous restaurants any foodie would love, and indulging in a luxurious Couples Spa Treatment (mud bath, mineral pool and massage), Calistoga has taken on a whole new perspective for us – we can’t wait to go back again!
Napa Valley is one of our favorite getaways – we love playing tourist there! We’re lucky to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so it’s only a short drive from the hustle and bustle of the city (about one hour north of SF) to the scenic wine country – it makes a great day trip, romantic weekend or vacation. If you’re visiting San Francisco from out-of-town, Napa Valley is a “must-see” destination.
Napa Valley Wine Country is beautiful year-round. However, the most interesting time to visit the area is during the Harvest Season, or “Crush” (when the grapes are picked) – late Summer into Fall (August-October).Note: The Harvest Seasoncan vary due to climate. This year’s fairly cool summer in Napa means that the harvest will be later than usual, most likely not starting until after Labor Day (September 6 — for our international readers).
There’s much to do and see in Napa Valley Wine Country, especially if it’s your first visit. We get calls from around the world asking for our recommendations – where to eat, where to stay, best spas, fun wineries, tours and tastings… so we’ve put together a list (by town) and a brief description (in no particular order) of some of Our Top 20+ Favorite and Fun Things To Do in Napa Valley.