One of the most beautiful things about living in Northern California is the wine tasting. We have vineyards for days. We also have a growing market of urban wine cellars. Needless to say, if you are in your 20’s and 30’s in Northern California, you will celebrate a lot of birthdays at the wineries.
People that aren’t from here just go to Napa Valley. I know, it’s a tourist destination, and talked about in all the tour books. Oh, those silly little fools. Wine is everywhere. Here are the different areas in California you should go for wine tasting.
Sonoma County: Napa’s cooler laid back sibling. It’s about 1 hour north of San Francisco. Sonoma has the same amount of wineries, but the scene is more laid back and more about trying new wines instead of taking pictures of the wine. In Sonoma, you will find an array of fancy wineries with a full menu. These wineries cost about $20 a tasting, however, there are smaller local ones that have a great environment and affordable wine. This county is the place to go if you want some amazing Pinot Noir.
- Ferrari-Carano Winery: http://www.ferrari-carano.com/
Napa Valley County: Okay, okay. You have to see Napa if you’ve never been. It has a collection of fancy wines, but your server will be a little bit more um….stuck up. But don’t let that deter you.. If you love some Cabernet Sauvignon, try this region.
- Hope and Grace: http://www.hopeandgracewines.com/
Livermore: About an hour east of San Francisco, you will find yourself in the country. You will see cows, farmers and tractors. Livermore is the last town that classifies as “Bay Area” before you cross that hill and go into the Valley. But, Livermore is coming up. And, it has wineries! It is not as huge as Sonoma or Napa Valley, but it has a few great places. Livermore is a hot, dry place in the summer. So, bring a hat and sunscreen. The atmosphere is more low key, so you don’t have to dress super fancy for these wineries. This area is great if you want to do a party with a collection of different people. White wine lovers, you will go bananas for the Chardonnay grown in this area.
- Boa Ventura Vineyard: http://boaventuravineyard.com/
Pismo & SLO If you are doing a California trip and want to see all parts of California, I suggest stopping in the Pismo and Santa Barbara area. It is a good halfway point between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Pismo and Santa Barbara have some quaint wineries. You will find yourself in nature surrounded by trees, or across the street from the beach. While you are there, try the Pinot Noir–it will be different than the one in Sonoma–and make sure to give the Syrah a try as well.
- Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards: http://www.kelseywine.com/
California’s weather is ideal for the growth of a variety of grapes. Each region produces different and distinct types of wine. The next time you are in California, especially Northern California, try our wine. You won’t forget it.
Hugs and Smiles,