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Napa & Sonoma Wine Regions

  • Napa & Sonoma Wine Regions

    Sitting to the north of San Francisco, Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa Counties are home to a myriad of wineries, tempting visitors from across the globe to taste their award winning wines.

    • ZD Wines Vineyard

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    • Napa Valley Welcome Sign

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    • Ripe Grapes

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    • Napa Valley Wine Train

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    Boasting a near perfect climate, soil and water supply speciality chardonnays and zinfandels are produced to exemplary standards. In addition you will find locally grown produce and cheeses in the charming markets and a scattering of small towns with big personalities.

    Our top 5 winery recommendations for the California Wine Country region

    Jordan, Sonoma
    Explore the architectural splendour of the iconic Winery Chateau in Healdsburg that has defined Jordan for four decades. We recommend their Winery Tour & Library Tasting where you’ll walk the cobblestone terrace and enjoy the scenic views overlooking the Sonoma wine country garden and vineyards, explore the iconic Jordan chateau followed by a seated tasting in the wood panelled library, where you’ll sample Jordan wines, hors d’oeuvre pairings, their home pressed olive oil and more.

    Chalk Hill, Sonoma
    The true essence of Chalk Hill is its estate.  A unique corner of California wine country. Here, proprietor Bill Foley both preserves the nature of the land and honours it by producing wines reflecting its exceptional qualities. Sonoma County’s premier food & wine pairing experience! The ultimate experience is the Culinary Tour and Tasting.  Your adventure will begin by touring the estate’s private culinary garden, where organically-farmed produce is the inspiration for their Executive Chef’s culinary artistry. Following a brief excursion through the vineyards, you will arrive at a gorgeous setting — a conservatory overlooking the equestrian centre with panoramic views of the Chalk Hill valley. There, you will enjoy a sit-down tasting of our exquisite estate wines paired with culinary offerings from our Estate Chef. This tour makes any visit to California’s wine region something special.

    St Francis, Sonoma
    For more than four decades, St. Francis Winery has consistently produced luscious, elegant, fruit driven wines so whether you’re visiting Sonoma for the first time or you’ve been many times before, make sure you include the Wine & Food Pairing experience at St. Francis on your next visit. Enjoy small dishes paired with fabulous wines hosted by a wine expert. You won’t regret it!

    Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma
    Before Napa and Sonoma were household names and before there was a California wine world at all, there was Buena Vista. Founded in 1857, Buena Vista is California’s first premium winery, and its history is as colourful as it is proud. Just outside the town of Sonoma, the original winery is now a California Historic Landmark, and home to the winery, tasting room, and visitor’s centre. If you’re looking for a wine region experience with a difference, try their Be the Count Blending Experience.  You’ll be guided through the art of blending and create your own personalised bottle with your customised label. An experience that’s educational as well as fun!

    Trefethen Family Vineyards, Napa
    One of Napa’s classic wine estates, Trefethen is still a hidden gem. Designated a National Historic Landmark, the 19th-century redwood winery is still a working cellar, and along with the gracious staff it provides a warm, comfortable environment in which to sample their distinctive, award-winning wines. Try the Reserve Tasting and savour a selection of special, limited release wines as well as the occasional older vintages from the cellar.

    Sonoma

    Sonoma Wine Country is located just 45 minutes north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, provides a genuine and adventurous California wine country experience. With more than 425 friendly wineries, 40-plus spas, 55 miles of stunning Pacific Coast, farm-to-table restaurants, rivers to kayak or float down, redwood forests to explore, shops and galleries that entice, and hiking and biking trails that meander over oak-covered hills, Sonoma Wine Country beckons the adventurous, the curious, and the lovers of the laid-back Northern California lifestyle.

    Activities include:

    • All things wine - tastings, tours, wine and food pairings
    • Twenty two golf courses
    • Biking routes - suitable from novice to expert riders
    • Hiking trails in more than 60 regional and state parks
    • Kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding
    • Horse riding along the coast
    • Hot air ballooning over the vineyards
    • Zip-lining through the Redwoods
    • Food walking tours
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    Watch this video...
    • Top Tip 1

      Everyone should drive Highway 1 - the Pacific Coast Highway, but our tip is to do it from north to south. Whichever direction you take the scenery is stunning but you get a better view going south because you're on the ocean side of the road.

    • Top Tip 2

      Hearst Castle is a must-see stop as you drive along the coast, taking you back to the early days of Hollywood.

    • Top Tip 3

      Wine tasting tours are plentiful in Napa and Sonoma. Our favourites are Jordan's and Chalk Hill. Try the Library Tasting tour, a wine and cheese pairing at Jordan's and the Culinary Tour at Chalk Hill, a wine and food pairing prepared by Chef Didier. Both are exceptional experiences and amazing value.

    • Top Tip 4

      Visit the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. On Thursdays, from 6pm, enjoy music, cocktails and entertainment whist experiencing world class exhibits and star gazing on the living roof.

    • Top Tip 5

      San Francisco - where do you start? Visit North Beach for the cafe culture, take a tour to Alcatraz (we recommend you pre-book it), see Lombard Street, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, take a sightseeing tour of the city on a fire engine, shop in Union Square.

    • Top Tip 6

      For spectacular scenery, and to escape from the desert heat, take a ride on the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway. If you're in downtown Palm Springs on Thursdays, you'll enjoy VillageFest, offering live entertainment and an array of stalls selling food and gifts.

    • Top Tip 7

      Yosemite National Park is one of California's great natural wonders. Stay for a couple of nights and include a guided horseback ride for a tour with a difference.

    • Top Tip 8

      Follow the scenic 17-Mile Drive coastal route between Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove for stunning views of the Monterey Peninsula. There's a small fee to drive this route but it's worth it.

    • Top Tip 9

      Rent a bike or rollerblades and enjoy people watching along the boardwalk at Santa Monica and Venice Beach.

    • Top Tip 10

      When visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, book the VIP ticket which allows you to jump the queues and includes behind-the-scenes access.

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  • Sample San Francisco & the Wine Region

    Begins in and ends in San Francisco, California

    8 Days / 7 Nights

    Departures: year round

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    Your fly drive includes

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation
    • Accommodations as stated

     

    • Grapes

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    • Golden Gate Bridge

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    • ZD Wines Vineyard

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    Day
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    Arrive San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer independently to the Hotel Zelos, which is your accommodation for the next 4 nights.

    Hotel: Hotel Zelos

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    San Francisco

    The next 3 days are at leisure to explore the 'city by the bay'. No trip to San Francisco is complete without a trip to Alcatraz, riding one of the trolley cars down the steep streets or seeing the sea lions down in the harbour at Fishermans Wharf. Your hotel in San Francisco is ideally located in Union Square, making it the perfect base for sightseeing and also shopping and dining.

    Hotel: Hotel Zelos

    46Mi/74Km

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    Napa Valley

    This morning you will collect your hire car from downtown San Francisco before driving out of the city and heading for the wine region of Napa Valley. Widely considered one of the best wine regions in the US, Napa boasts more than 400 wineries. During your stay in Napa, you will have chance to partake in wine tasting sessions at a variety of different wineries or maybe take a trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Your hotel in Napa, the River Terrace Inn, is located on banks of the Napa River and offers an idyllic setting for a relaxing stay.

    Hotel: River Terrace Inn

    59Mi/95Km

    Day
    08

    Journey Home

    Enjoy time for some last minute sightseeing or shopping before making your way to San Francisco Airport for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £1449 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    Cycling California's Wine Country

    Napa, California

    9 Days / 8 Nights

    Departures: April to November

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    Your fly drive includes

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodation 
    • Services of a cycling specialist and support staff
    • Private transportation in a custom-designed vehicle
    • Daily luggage transfers
    • 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners included

    From vines to waves and back again, get ready for a trek through California’s famous Napa and Sonoma counties. You’ll get a taste of some of the best wine, beer and cycling routes California has to offer, as you embark on a multi-day adventure.  From pastoral country roads under millennia old redwoods to climbing rocky coastal cliffs, the diverse beauty of Northern California’s Wine Country is a true treat to behold

    • Cycling California's Wine Country

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    • Home to over 300 wineries

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    • From vines to waves and back again

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    • Pastoral country roads

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    Day
    01

    Arrive San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer independently to the Handlery Union Square Hotel, which is your overnight accommodation.

    Hotel: Handlery Union Square Hotel

    Day
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    Napa Valley

    This morning you will transfered by motorcoach from downtown San Francisco heading for the wine region of Napa Valley. Widely considered one of the best wine regions in the US, Napa boasts more than 400 wineries. You will have the rest of the day/evening in Napa at your leisure before starting your cycling tour first thing tomorrow morning.

    Hotel: Best Western Inn at the Vines

    46Mi/74Km

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    03

    Cycle Napa Valley to Sonoma

    This morning you will join your group in Napa for a pre-tour briefing, cycle fitting, and picnic lunch with your cycling professional and support staff as you prepare to set off on your journey. You’ll start things off with a 30-mile ride to the city of Sonoma, with a taste of the hills to come. Spend the evening getting to know the city, and its historic colonial era Sonoma Plaza, which features numerous art galleries, restaurants, and shopping options. Main Route via Glen Ellen - Distance: 30 miles (48km) - Elevation gain: 900m

    Hotel: Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn

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    04

    Cycle Sonoma to Bodega Bay

    Today is not for the birds, but the night may be as you finish your ride in Bodega Bay, the filming location for Alfred Hitchcock’s “the birds”. Today you will have 2 route options, as you can choose to push yourself to conquer the Marshall Wall or enjoy a more level ride through pastoral Petaluma. With a total elevation gain of 4429ft, the Marshall Wall is considered by locals to be the best climb in the county. Grab some oysters or seafood fresh from the Pacific, and head out to any of the incredible local beaches such as Bodega Head State Park, or Doran Beach to soak in the sun. But save room as you’ll rejoin your group to share stories of the climb, and prepare for tomorrows adventure over dinner. Main Route: Via Petaluma and Tomales Distance: 48 miles (77km) Elevation gain: 750m Burner Route: Via Petaluma and the Marshall Wall Distance: 58 miles (93km) Elevation gain: 1367m

    Hotel: Inn at the Tides

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    05

    Cycle Bodega Bay to Healdsburg

    Today’s ride will bring you through Sonoma Coast State Park, before following the Russian River back inland to the heart of Sonoma’s Wine Country. Enjoy your supported nutrition stop in the shade of the awe-inspiring, millennia-old Redwood trees in Armstrong State Park. The next two nights you’ll be staying in the quintessential wine town of Healdsburg, which serves as the hub of Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and Alexander Valley. Spend the night exploring fashionable boutiques, art galleries, and some of the best restaurants in Wine Country. Main Route: Via Jenner, Duncan Mills and Guernville Distance: 40 miles (64km) Elevation gain: 632m Burner Route: Via Jenner and Willow Creek (Dirt Road) Distance: 51 miles (82km) Elevation gain: 1391m

    Hotel: Best Western Dry Creek Inn

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    Cycle Healdsburg

    Explore more of the surrounding valleys and vineyards with the option of two routes. You’ll be exposed to the ashy remnants of volcanic activity in Chalk Hill, and the world’s largest geothermal field known as the Geysers before returning to Dry Creek for a free afternoon of wine tasting or relaxation. One of the best and most classic Sonoma County rides, The Geyser provide a challenging, remote ride, seeing a 2330ft elevation gain over 24 miles. Return to town down Dry Creek road, home to 50 unique and renowned wineries, which produce some of the best Zinfandel in the world. Stop by the historic Dry Creek General Store for an incredible selection of lunch options before enjoying a free afternoon to explore these local institutions. Main Route: Via Chalk Hill and West Dry Creek Distance: 40 miles (64km) Elevation gain: 402m Burner Route: Via Geysers Loop Distance: 54 miles (87km) Elevation gain: 1332m

    Hotel: Best Western Dry Creek Inn

    Day
    07

    Cycle Healdsburg to Calistoga

    Today’s ride will see you leave Sonoma County for a return into the more rural northern section of the Napa Valley. En route, you’ll stop for a supported nutrition stop at the quirky Jimtown Store, a true Sonoma County Landmark. If you’re still feeling strong, ride an additional 25 miles, with 5000ft of elevation gain through Middletown before returning for your night stop in Calistoga. Noted for its geothermal activity and geyser known as the “Old Faithful of California”, Calistoga is the perfect place to recover in comfort with an included hot spring spa and massage treatment. Main Route: Via Jimtown Distance: 25 miles (40km) Elevation gain: 297m Burner Route: Jimtown and Middletown Distance: 50 miles (80km) Elevation gain: 1773m

    Hotel: Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa

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    08

    Cycle Calistoga to Napa

    All good things must come to an end, as you begin a leisurely ride back down the Napa Valley. Celebrate your successful journey with an included sendoff lunch at Stone Brewery. The rest of the day/evening is yours to relax and savor the memories you have created over the past few days. You will stay overnight in Napa before heading back to San Franciso for your flight home tomorrow.

    Hotel: Best Western inn at the Vines

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    09

    Journey Home

    Enjoy time for some last minute sightseeing or shopping before making your way to San Francisco Airport for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £2309 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request

    Please note that due to the remote locations visited, some accommodation is below the standard that we would normally recommend.

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  • Napa Valley Wine Train

    Napa Wine Region

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    • Napa Valley Train at Sunset

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    • Le Petit Gourmet

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    • Napa Valley Wine Train

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    • Vine Trail Selfie

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    • Gourmet Dining

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    Board the Napa Valley Wine Train and sail through the picture-postcard setting of Northern California's Napa Valley region. This three hour excursion, starting and terminating at Napa Valley Station, follows the historic train line built in 1847 by Samuel Brannan. The 36 mile journey takes you through famous wine valleys to the quaint town of St Helena, then loops back to Napa Valley.

    The vintage carriages, built between 1915 and 1952, have been lavishly restored to their original decor of a bygone era to enhance the experience. Napa Valley Wine Train has a choice of two excursion options, Gourmet Express or Champagne Vista Dome, for either lunch or dinner.

    Guests choosing Gourmet Express travel in the Pullman Lounge Car, enjoy picture windows, rich polished woods and custom designed fabrics.

    The epitome of elegance, those choosing the Vista Dome are treated to perfect views of the manicured vineyards and unique California architecture through the elevated dome windows. Passengers dine at their lavishly appointed tables with fine velveteen chairs, reminiscent of the early 1920's.

    Prices

    From £135 Gourmet Express (Lunch or dinner)
    From £220 Vista Dome (Lunch or dinner)
    Per person, round trip.