This rich and fertile stretch of valley, a little over 35 miles in length, is home to almost 300 wineries, most of which line Highway 29. Many of the large wineries offer guided tours of their facilities including the underground limestone caves and storage casks.
There is typically a nominal tasting fee at most wineries ($5-$20 per person). This fee often includes a souvenir glass and the opportunity to taste three to six wines. A good strategy is to research wineries before visiting to ensure they are open to the public and their hours of operation. Most visitors will find wine tasting is both enjoyable and educational.
Clos Pegase (707) 942-4981
Frank Rombauer Cellars (707) 942-0859
Schramsberg Vineyard (707) 942-2414
Sterling Vineyards (707) 942-3344
Pine Ridge Winery (707) 252-9777
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars (707) 944-2020
Trefethen Vineyards (707) 255-7700
La Famiglia Di Robert Mondavi Winery
Silver Oak Cellars (707) 944-8808
Vichon Winery (707) 944-2811
Beaulieu Vineyards (707) 967-5230
Niebaum-Coppola Estate (707) 968-1100
Mumm Napa Valley (707) 942-3434
Beringer Vineyards (707) 963-7115
Charles Krug Winery (707) 967-2200
Conn Creek Winery (707) 963-9100
Louis M. Martini (707) 963-2736
Sutter Home Winery (707) 963-3104
V. Sattui Winery (707) 963-7774
Domaine Chandon (707) 944-2280
Sonoma is regarded as the birthplace of California viticulture. The history of the Sonoma wine industry is closely tied to the early Spanish missionaries. In 1823, Franciscan fathers founded Mission San Francisco Solano, the last mission in the El Camino Real chain which runs the length of the state. Sonoma is known as having the ideal conditions for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production.
With its mild sunny climate and fertile soil, Sonoma was the perfect setting for the missionaries to plant the first crops of grapes used in making wine for the Holy Eucharist. Later, Count Agoston Haraszthy imported cuttings from Europe and produced the first European varieties in America.
Literary legend and one-time Bay Area resident, Jack London created one of the most memorable images of the Sonoma Valley from an Indian fable. He called it the Valley of the Moons as the moon appears to rise several times over succeeding peaks in the Valley.
Healdsburg, Glen Ellen and Kenwood are small towns in the Sonoma Valley that are home to many award-winning boutique wineries.
Some of the best-known wineries in Sonoma include Sebastiani Vineyards and Buena Vista Winery (both in the Carneros District).
Glen Ellen Winery (707) 935-4046
Grand Cru Vineyards (707) 996-8100
Korbel Champagne Cellars
Chalk Hill Winery (707) 838-4306
Mill Creek Vineyards (707) 431-2121
Piper Sonoma Cellars (707) 433-8843
Clos Du Bois Winery (707) 433-5576
Simi Winery (707) 433-6981
Kenwood Vineyards (707) 833-5891
St. Francis Winery (707) 833-4666
Buena Vista Winery (707) 938-1266
Gloria Ferrer Winery (707) 996-7256
Sebastiani Vineyards (707) 938-5532
With its mud baths and natural hot springs, Calistoga is heaven for those who like to be pampered. Relax and soak in a hot tub of mineral water or mud and ash.
HOT AIR BALLOONS
Above the West Ballooning
A unique way to see the Napa Valley is from a hot air balloon. Sunrise flights with champagne breakfast. Transportation from SF.
Kingsway Limousine Service
Great rates to SF and Oakland airport, Wine Country, special occasions, any occasion! Specializing in corporate accounts. 307-3000
SFs Finest Limousines
Providing full-day Napa Wine Charters. Ride in style and comfort in a stretch limousine. Private San Francisco city tours also available.
$61 Wine Country Tour & Tastings
San Francisco discount tickets. Buy online and save on city tours, wine country, attractions, more! Online only discounts from Bay City Guide advertisers. www.GuideYou.com
Wine tasting/Muir Woods combo. Wine tasting in Sonoma & a walk in the Coastal Redwoods $75 incl. hotel pick-up, fees. www.incadventures.com
Napa & Sonoma Wine Country Tour
Visit the wine country, enjoy private tours and tasting at both high-tech and boutique wineries. Time for shopping, lunch. 775-1200