Every visit to Wine Country should include a walk through the vineyards. (©Jennifer Whalen)
World-famous wines, gorgeous landscapes, sunny days...getting to know Sonoma County and Napa Valley Wine Country is a highlight of any Bay Area visit. You’ll find opportunities to get up close and personal with the grapevines—the real stars of the show. Step right into the vineyards on these walks providing wine lovers with an appreciation of the source of Mother Nature’s gift.
Follow the Vine Trail starting at Cru @ The Annex, the newest, most stylish wine tasting venue in downtown Napa, ideally located beside the popular Oxbow Public Market. If you’re up to walking or biking four miles, follow the trail to Whetstone Wine Cellars, a renovated authentic 19th-century stone chateau nestled under ancient cedar and oak trees.
Walk beside more stunning vineyards along the next eight miles of the Napa Valley Vine Trail from south Napa to Yountville. This section of trail is now complete as stage one of the new 47-mile-long hiking and biking trail system that will connect the entire valley from Vallejo to Calistoga.
One of the California’s best and oldest producers, Beaulieu Vineyards offers tours of its original 1885 winery building and its first vineyard, aptly named by founder Fernande de Latour, translating to “beautiful place.” These signature Cabernet Sauvignon vines produce private and reserve quality. No appointment is necessary.
Splash into the basics of California winemaking. Bring the family to wander along creeks and among rows of grapevines to have a look at sustainable farming practices at Francis Ford Coppola Winery before taking a refreshing swim in the estate’s outdoor pool.
Just south of Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Jordan Winery offers a vineyard hike experience on select dates throughout the year. The three-mile guided journey begins with a continental breakfast at the highest hilltop on the property and takes you across hills, valleys and vineyards. You’ll also pass lakes, olive orchards and gardens, in addition to an apiary and cattle ranch. The experience concludes with a charcuterie picnic and wine tasting.
As a biodynamic certified winery, visiting Quivira Vineyards is like exploring a cheerful mini farm. Your guided property tour explains how clucking chickens, munching cows, spawning Coho salmon, Steelhead trout, a greenhouse, beehives and small lake contribute to the natural balance. Reserve ahead.