Take a bus, take a limo, take a trip in style to some of the best wineries in California on one of these five great Napa Valley and Sonoma wine country tours from San Francisco.
The film ‘Sideways’ may have propelled pinot noir wines to film-fan stardom, but the wine regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma have so much more to offer. Learn to distinguish your Riesling from your Chardonnay; your Syrah from your Cabernet Sauvignon at a wine tasting on a cheap tour. Or, if you’re already well aware of those delineations, simply explore the USA’s premier wine region and discover new local wines right at their source. Here are five of the best wine tours, all from San Francisco, to try today.
Half-Day Wine Country Excursion from San Francisco
Among the best value Napa Valley and Sonoma tours is this five-hour trip from San Francisco, taking time to stop at two wineries where you’ll be able to enjoy up to five wine tastings. The itinerary also includes time to take a wine estate tour, where you’ll learn the inner workings of the production process and see the vine-clad slopes where future bottles get their start. This tour departs on most days of the year. From $99 per person.
Small-Group Sonoma Wine Tour with Tastings
Sonoma’s wineries are not quite as globally recognized as those of neighboring Napa Valley, but that essentially means the area is less touristy. This tour visits three boutique wineries in the region, offering a wine tasting at each. Groups are limited to 13 people and there is live commentary on board the air-conditioned van as you travel through the city and countryside, with an additional photo stop at Golden Gate Bridge. Lunch is not included in this tour, although time is allowed for lunch at Sonoma Plaza. From $149 per person.
Napa and Sonoma Wine Valley Tour
For a tour that incorporates Napa Valley, as well as Sonoma, while still fitting three winery visits and tastings into the itinerary, there’s this eight-hour trip from San Francisco. There’s plenty to see during the journey, too, such as the Golden Gate Bridge. Learn about the region’s wine history, including how grapes were first brought here by Spanish missionaries, along the way. Lunch is not included but a stop will be made with time allotted at either Sonoma Plaza or The Marketplace in Napa. From $149 per person.
Muir Woods Redwood and Wine Country Tour
While there’s a great deal of rural beauty to be encountered in and around Napa Valley, the agrarian imprint of viticulture dominates the vistas with its neatly ordered lines of grapevines. The lines at Muir Woods National Monument, which you’ll visit on the way to wine country as part of this tour, are vertical and centuries old, belonging to the majestic redwood trees that the monument protects. Additionally, three Sonoma and Napa wineries are visited during the ten-hour trip. Please note that the Muir Wood entry fee is not included in the price. From $159 per person.
Small-Group Napa Valley Tour for Wine Lovers
For the very best of Napa Valley’s whimsy and history, there’s one tour which focuses exclusively on this celebrated Californian wine region. Among the three wineries you’ll visit is the Tuscan, medieval-style castle of Castello di Amorosa. Another stop is at Tamber Bey Winery, where you’ll try Merlot and Chardonnay wines. The estate also includes an equestrian ranch. Finally, there’s Carneros, where the vineyard has been producing wines for over a century. This tour runs from Sat to Thu each week. From $259 per person.