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The 10 Most Romantic Experiences in Wine Country

Find out why you should plan your next couple's getaway in Northern California.

Just being in wine country can be romantic. With mild weather year-round, a picturesque countryside of vineyards and undulating hills, Michelin-starred restaurants and hundreds of wineries making some of the world’s best wines, this part of Northern California seems made for love. Here are 10 of the most romantic things you can do in this idyllic region.

Hot air balloons over vineyards
Hot air balloons over vineyards (©Visit Napa Valley)

1. Hot-Air-Balloon Rides

Float up to watch the sunrise over an endless landscape of vineyards, valleys and mountainsides. Up & Away Ballooning serves Sonoma, and Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides lifts off in Yountville. 

Bathhouse at Solage Calistoga
Bathhouse at Solage Calistoga (©Solage Calistoga)

2. Geo-Thermal Waters

It’s easy to unwind on the manicured grounds of the chic Solage Calistoga resort, where the spacious spa offers Starlight at the Bathhouse. You’ll have the spring-fed pools to yourself as you steam and soak under the stars after hours. Sparkling wine and dessert included.

Kollar Chocolates
(©Kollar Chocolates)

3. Artisan Chocolates

The handmade, jewellike truffles created by self-taught celebrity chocolatier chef Kollar at Kollar Chocolates in Yountville’s V Marketplace come in unexpected flavors like fennel pollen and lavender that are inspired by the surrounding flora. In downtown St. Helena, family-owned Woodhouse Chocolate turns out European confections like Champagne truffles at its elegant store with a soaring ceiling and grand crystal chandelier. 

4. Cooking Classes

Team up to learn new skills at Ramekins Culinary School by the Sonoma Plaza. Workshop titles include the Art of French Cooking, a Taste of Spain and Italian Countryside. Peju Province Winery’s Interactive Experience Culinaire will have you trying out professional techniques in the kitchen. After the peeling and chopping, you’ll take a tour of the estate and enjoy a wine and cheese tasting followed by lunch.

Domaine Chandon entrance
Domaine Chandon (©Jennifer Whalen)

5. Sparkling Wines

Sip bubbly overlooking Carneros vineyards on the patio or balcony of Domaine Carneros’ grand French-style chateau. Or share a toast at Domaine Chandon’s shaded, hilltop estate.

Castello di Amorosa
(©Jim Sullivan)

6. Castles

Feel like you’re in a fairytale at Ledson Winery and Vineyards, where the tasting room and winery is housed in a French Normandy castle complete with spires, turrets, balconies and fountains. You can taste Italian-style wines at Castello di Amorosa, a model of a 13th century, 107-room Tuscan castle that has a moat with a drawbridge.

Peju Province Winery
(©Peju Province Winery)

7. Gardens

Choose a bottle and roam the grounds at Peju Province Winery, where you’ll find plenty of spots in the garden to settle in and sip, surrounded by flowers, lush lawn and sycamore trees. The fountain, koi pond and marble sculptures invite lingering. Far Niente Winery’s sprawling gardens look like something out of a storybook—a wonderland of azaleas, tulips, dogwoods, magnolias and stone bridges and pathways.

Biking in the vineyards
(©Jennifer Whalen)

8. Tandem Bikes

Roll through wine country on a bicycle built for two. Rent a sporty tandem bike from Wine Country Bikes to ride around Healdsburg or explore Sonoma with a set of wheels from Wine Country Cyclery.

RELATED: Exploring Napa and Sonoma Wine Country by Bike [VIDEO]

Wente Winemakers Studio
(©Wente Winemakers Studio)

9. Custom Blending

Work together to create your own signature wine during a blending session at Wente’s Winemaker’s Studio. Save the bottle for a special occasion. 

Round Pond Estate terrace fireplace
(©Round Pond Estate)

10. Fireplaces

Take in the sweeping view of Napa Valley while getting cozy around the big fire pit on Cade Winery ‘s patio, or curl up by the grand fireplace on Round Pond Estate’s veranda overlooking its vineyards.