Napa Valley and Sonoma Road Trip
Photo By: seligmanwaite, Flickr
Photo By: Jim G., Flickr
Photo By: Chuck O'Rear
Photo By: Kunal Mukherjee, flickr
Photo By: Kopol Bonick Studio
Photo By: Oxbow Public Market
Photo By: Jim G., Flickr
Photo By: collectmoments, Flickr
Photo By: Napa Downtown Association
Photo By: Getty Images
Take California State Route 29 to see some of the region’s best vineyards and wineries. Through Napa Valley, Highway 29 passes through Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville and Napa.
Hit the road early to capture the serene vineyards along the Silverado Trail, a scenic route along the eastern edge of Napa Valley. Most locals suggest taking this route to avoid traffic on California State Route 29, which runs parallel to the Trail.
Northern California's wine country beckons visitors with hundreds of wineries spread across 3 counties.
Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa Winery is located near Calistoga, CA. The 121,000-square-foot medieval replica castle includes 107 rooms and 8 levels above and below ground. Among its many features, it has a moat, drawbridge, defensive towers, interior courtyard, chapel, torture chamber and a great hall. Visitors to the vineyard can sample the wines sold at the castle.
Northern California's climate is ideal for growing grapes like these ripe ones used to make a fine cabernet.
Beringer Rhine House
Make a stop at the Beringer Rhine House -- Napa Valley’s oldest continuously operating winery. Enjoy the award-winning wines, rich history and beautifully landscaped grounds.
The best way to appreciate Northern California's wine country is to sample the goods along the way.
Old Faithful Geyser of California
While you’re on your road trip, we suggestion stopping by the Old Faithful Geyser of California, located in Calistoga, CA. It’s just one of many roadside attractions you’ll see along the way.
Bring along a camera for photo opportunities in the acres of rolling vineyards in Napa and Sonoma.
Staglin Family Vineyard
The Staglin Family Vineyard, a family-owned Napa Valley winery in Rutherford, CA, produces a variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sangiovese and a Bordeaux-style blend. Take a guided tour of the winery, and then at the end of the tour, experience an intimate tasting of Cabernet Sauvignons produced on the estate.
These terraced vineyards in Sonoma rely on biodynamic agricultural techniques to produce local wine.
Oxbow Public Market
Go local! Visit the Oxbow Public Market in Napa Valley to sample the local community’s best, including fresh food, wine and cheese. Take Highway 29 to the city of Napa; take the 1st Street Exit (bear right to head east); and look for signs marked ‘Oxbow Public Market’.
Pre-veraison, these grapes will be used to make Merlot once they ripen.
Several vineyards, including the Sterling Vineyard (pictured) in Calistoga, CA, are fun getaways for tourists. See picturesque views from their aerial tram. Guests can also travel the grounds by foot. And with a glass of wine in hand, stroll through art galleries and elevated walkways that allow visitors to see the winemaking process from grape to glass.
Years of Preparation
These vines in Sonoma have been used for growing grapes for nearly 90 years.
Di Rosa Preserve
While you’re on the road, we suggest you visit the Di Rosa Preserve, a 35-acre lake and wildlife. The area is not only rich in an array of flora, fauna and wildlife, but it’s also the canvas to display a broad range of art created by Bay Area artists. Art aficionados can walk the grounds to see art work in the Main Gallery, Gatehouse Gallery, Historic Residence, Courtyard, North Lawn and Sculpture Meadow. It’s an art lover’s paradise.
These grapes may become a bottle of your favorite California wine, but you'll have to wait a few years to try it.
If wine tasting and tours isn’t you’re thing, then make a pit stop in Downtown Napa. The area has dozens of shops, dessert cafes, bars, restaurants and spas. Hotels and B&Bs are available in the area. It’s a perfect home-base location for visitors to explore nearby vineyards and mix with the locals.
Unwind and relax with a mud bath at one of several spas located in Napa Valley, including Meadowood, Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs, Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa, Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Indian Springs Resort and Roman Spa Motel.