Do you have any idea that California serves shelter to over 100 grape varietals stretched across 100 or more AVAs (American Viticultural Areas)? If you are a wine lover in search of the best vineries to visit, we have the top 6 vineries or wine countries for wine lovers on California road trip. These wine regions will make your taste buds asking, “How long till we are there?”
Napa Valley – Silverado Trail
The first to start with is the Napa Valley wine tour route, one of the most dynamic wine regions in California since the 1970s. It is at a few hours’ drive from North San Francisco and the most ideal way to explore the winery is the offbeat Silverado Wine Route. The serene, bi-lane country road passes through alluring vineyards, soaring oak trees and showcased art galleries. The agrarian stretch is mostly utilized by the locals of Napa and offers a wonderfully picturesque view for the onlookers. If you want a less hectic way to the vineyards, take the State Highway 29. However, Silverado Wine Route still remains to be a worthy road.
Placer County – Gold Rush Country
Another unique route is to the Placer County’s wineries lying somewhere between the Lake Tahoe ski fields and Sacramento right at the foothills of Sierras. The first grapes plantation here in the gold rush country clashes with the one in which the first nuggets was discovered by the carpenter James Marshall in 1848. The place experiences a super warm climate in summers which suggests the 20 something wineries by Interstate 80 are capable of producing bolder varieties much similar of Italy or Spain, rendering a perfectly scenic setting for the wine lovers on road trip in California. You can get away to this place with your picnic blanket and spend quality time with your favorite people or simply be with yourself.
Mendocino & Sonoma – The Wine Road
Head on to the Sonoma Road trip driving through a spectacular route “The Wine Road”, encircling Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley. Located almost 65kms north of San Francisco, it has around 150 vineyards twisted along the waving hills and Redwood forest. With the policy adapted by several wineries of charging tasting fee, taking the ‘pass to the wine road’ option is worthy indeed. With a range package of 1-3 days, they provide discounts on tastings, wines and above all accommodation on the self-guided tours to the cellars in the region. If not a resident of California, do book your last minute flights to the city in order to suffice your love for wines as you take a drive to The Wine Road.
Ventura County – Town and Country
When on this trail, you will come across varieties of cellar rooms and tasting rooms – the ones from ramshackle country side to much urbane township set ups. Taste the New American variety at Tierra Sur or get the sample barrel tastings along with delicious cheeses in Camarillo. You can also stop by Old Oaks Cigar Company. Trust me, it will be great fun. When there, you can have the choice of reclining in the room at the back and choose from the 300 lines of Cigars. If you are lucky enough, you can get to meet the winemakers. Fortunately, if you have booked business class flights to California for a conference, escape to the land of wines with your colleagues for refreshment.
Temecula Valley – Up and Away
If you are a wine lover, spend one day in California wine country and make sure to visit Southern California for a splendid experience. Although the location is at the outskirts of desert, it is from the 1960s that wine has been grown and reached a number of 40 over these years. Some of these wineries produce bolder varieties like Zinfandels and cabernet Sauvignon. All thanks to its toastier climate. The dry and still year turns it into an ideal hot air ballooning location. Plan a trip in the first week of June to experience the popular Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival.
Santa Barbara – Santa Rita Hills
A more placid option and one of the wineries you must see in California wine country is the wonderful area with the Pacific Ocean and wineries less than 10 – Santa Rita Hills. The cooling breeze from the Pacific Ocean makes it ideal for producing Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. As you cross the beautiful orchards, hills and towns with a Western set up, gaze at the spectacular wineries like Lafond, known for its heavy hitting Syrahs, Mosby for the Italian varietals and amazing boutique pick at Babock Winery. Enjoy the appealing coastal views by 7 Highway 101 while driving across Santa Barbara.
Hope you now know the best places to visit on your road trip to the wine country. These are the ultimate selective for wine lovers on California road trip. Taste the best wines ever!