With rolling hills of green vines and stunning displays of architecture, there’s nothing more therapeutic than a trip to one of California’s wine regions. Especially when there are so many delicious wines to taste! Because the state is filled with varied climates and mostly temperate weather, these regions can be found throughout. Whether you wander through Sonoma, or wind down in Temecula, these relaxing trips can’t be beaten. Here are California’s best wine country vacations:
There are so many astounding destinations for wine lovers. Possibly the most well-known wine region in California is Napa Valley. It’s a sprawling area in Northern California that is filled with glitz and glamor. Jumping from winery to winery in a stretch limo will have you feeling like a celeb yourself.
Napa Valley is known all over the world for its fruity Merlots and buttery Chardonnays. There are hundreds of wineries spread out across nearly 50,000 acres of land. As this region is so popular, California vacation rentals are preferential to luxury hotels. You’ll save a little money and still have amazing accommodations.
Located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Paso Robles is a laid back wine region that is often thought of as the Old West of wineries. They have grown in number over the last few years, up to a couple hundred of mostly-small places, owned and operated independently.
The wines that are produced in this region range from Zinfandels and Syrahs to unique, innovative blends. The creation of these varietals by smaller producers, coupled with the local hot springs and almond orchards, makes it perfect for a vacation.
Hands down the best spot for wine tasting in Southern California, Temecula has an upscale atmosphere in a desert setting. Though there are less than 100 wineries in the area, the sprawling properties offer stunning views and delicious wines.
Temecula is home to many varietals. This includes Cabernet Sauvignons, Syrahs and Pinot Noirs. Aside from wine tasting, the area is popular for hot air ballooning, combining the two activities for romantic sunrise flights and sunset rides with impressive views.
Of all the regions on this list, Carmel Valley is easily the smallest. There are only a number of wineries in the area, but there are also numerous tasting rooms and local wines served in the town’s restaurants.
The wineries in the valley are often home to private events, weddings and parties. This makes it a relaxing place to get away for a few days and enjoy some wine tastings.
The valley is only a few miles from Carmel by the Sea. It’s a small coastal town that offers art galleries, amazing sunsets and innovative restaurants. The leisurely area is rarely crowded and makes the trip a combination of coast and valley.
Wines typically created in cool weather climates—like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc—flourish in Santa Barbara. Local wine country is only a half hour from the city. This makes it so easy to reach! It’s nestled between two mountain passes providing rolling hills and valleys perfect for vineyards.
There are many places to go wine tasting nearby. This includes areas like Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, Lompoc, Happy Canyon and Los Alamos Valley.
Sonoma isn’t far from Napa Valley, but it sure does have a very different environment. Napa is expensive and flashy. Sonoma is more relaxed. It has more than 70,000 acres belonging to over 400 wineries.
The region offers less crowds, casual patio tastings and reasonable prices. For those looking for stellar wine tastings, their varietal specialties are sparkling wines and red blends. There are also the usual favorites like Chardonnays and Zinfandels.