Napa County, once the producer of many different crops, is known today for its wine industry. In 1976 the region rose to the first rank of wine-producing areas when entries from local wineries Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Chateau Montelena won the “Judgment of Paris” in a storied global competition in France.
Founded in 1875, Beringer Vineyards claims the title of “the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley,” and is thus listed under both the National Register of Historical Places and as a California Historical Landmark. Beringer was the first California winery to offer public tours after Prohibition’s repeal.
Sonoma Valley. Known as the birthplace of the California wine industry, the Sonoma valley is home to some of the earliest vineyards and wineries in the state. Sonoma is a word of the Miwok, Pomo, and Wintun indigenous peoples that is thought to translate to Valley of the Moon.
Sonoma Plaza. is the central plaza in the former town of Sonoma, California. The town of Sonoma is centered around this plaza, the largest in California. Many historical buildings surround the square, including the Mission San Francisco Solano, Captain Salvador Vallejo’s Casa Grande, the Presidio of Sonoma, and the Blue Wing Inn.

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The Napa and Sonoma wine country forms an intricate patchwork of appellations that span three counties. Together they include more than 400 wineries. The estates showcase distinctive contemporary and historical architectural styles, breathtaking panoramas, world-class restaurants, and gourmet food stores.

The Mediterranean climate of the region provides exceptional growing conditions for several grape varieties, as well as olives, lavender, and farm-to-table herbs featured in many area restaurants.

The region is also home to several resorts, spas, with horseback riding, hiking trails, and tourist attractions all within easy access.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley is one of the leading travel destinations in the world. And not just because of the renowned wineries. Breathtaking views attract the eye at every turn.

Winery visits range from large, world famous labels to small, intimate, family-run wineries where the person behind the counter is often the winemaker.

Whether you are wine tasting, dining at renowned restaurants, pampering yourself with a mud bath in Calistoga, or just enjoying a relaxing stay, Napa Valley is your bit of heaven on earth.

Sonoma Valley

The historic town of Sonoma is the birthplace of California. Sonoma Plaza was designed by General Mariano Vallejo when this was Mexico. The 1823 Mission de Solano, the Bear Flag Revolt Memorial from 1846, the 1909 Swiss hotel, Vallejo’s Military Barracks, and other historic sites face the plaza.

Architectural styles represented in the valley include Neo-classic, Gothic, Bordeaux, Greco-Roman, and Cape Dutch. Some wineries boast magnificent structures worth a visit for even people who do not drink wine.

In addition to wineries, the shopping offers variety: boutiques, lavender purveyors, spas, specialty wine and cheese shops, jewelry stores, gourmet food provisioners and restaurants, olive oil suppliers, and kitchenware stores, plus art studios and galleries.

Primary grape varieties grown in the region

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Zinfandel, Malbec, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Trampanillo, Muscat, Sangiovese, and late harvest varieties.

Our Favorite Wineries for Tours

Wineries we recommend for our tours meet several criteria. First, they produce good California wines. Second, the facility stands out in some way. Third, the folks at the winery treat our visitors well. 
  • Castillo Di Amoroso
  • Darioush
  • Duckhorn
  • Far Niente
  • Joseph Phelps
  • Pine Ridge
  • Silver Oak
Our list of favorites changes as the wineries and wines change.

Our Favorite Restaurants

“When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving toward perfection becomes clear: to make people happy, that is what cooking is all about.” —Thomas Keller
  • Auberge Du Soleil
  • Bistro Don Giovanni
  • Bistro Jeanty
  • Bottega
  • Bouchon
  • French Laundry
  • Tra Vigne
Restaurant suggestions are subjective and subject to change. Please ask us for current recommendations as we plan your tour with you.

Napa Sub-Appellations & Varietals

Napa Sub-Appellations Primary Grape
  • Stag’s Leap
  • Cabernet
  • Merlot
  • Howell Mountain
  • Cabernet
  • Syrah
  • Zinfandel
  • Trempanillo
  • Spring Mountain
  • Merlot
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Calistoga
  • Cabernet
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Carneros
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Merlot
  • Diamond Mountain
  • Cabernet
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot

Sonoma Sub-Appellations & Varietals

Sonoma Sub-Appellations Primary Grape
  • Dry Creek Valley
  • Zinfandel
  • Cabernet
  • Alexander Valley
  • Zinfandel
  • Cabernet
  • Russian River Valley
  • Zinfandel
  • Cabernet
  • Chalk Hill
  • Zinfandel
  • Pinot Noir
  • Cazadero
  • Pinot
  • Chardonnay
  • Sonoma Coast
  • Pinot
  • Chardonnay