How to Savor California Wine Country

A Sonoma Vineyard!


Napa and Sonoma Valley is home to more than 400 vineyards and the task of fully appreciating these vineyards can be quite a daunting one unless you have a plan of action. Here are some tips on how you can pack in as much as you can during your visit.
Pick Your Region: Don’t try to do both Sonoma and Napa in a day. They are completely different regions (there’s also Calistoga, which has several spas because of its natural healing springs). Pick your region and really try to savor one at a time because the grape varieties of each are so different.

Do a few vineyards a day:
There are so many wineries that offer tastings, so chances are that you’re never going to be at a loss for picking a winery. It’s more important to understand and appreciate the genius behind each winery, so pick a few a day (I recommend three, maximum) so you can get a solid appreciation of what makes the region so special.
Ask Questions: It’s important to get a full appreciation of the wines you are drinking, so don’t be afraid to ask questions during the tasting. Sommeliers and wine educators are there to give you their wisdom so you can fully appreciate the wines. Ask them about the best vintage years, how to fully savor a glass (including the proper way to swirl and sip), and what wine pairs best with food and cheese.
Purchase a few bottles: Be sure to extend the experience of each vineyard by purchasing a few bottles to use at home, especially if you’re planning to entertain guests. A fine palate can take years to develop, so it’s a good idea to extend your education past the vineyards and into your home.
Go beyond the vine: Napa Valley isn’t always about wine tasting. You can go shopping and support the local farmers by eating at farm-to-table restaurants, or purchase local art done by the talented local artists. Practice your photography skills by taking exquisite sunrise and sunset photos of the Valley.
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