Celebrate Summer With a Winery Staycation

Celebrate Summer With a Winery Staycation

When it’s Summertime, everyone wants to have fun. Maybe that’s why there are so many songs devoted to it! One classic perfectly captures the warm weather joy with these lyrics, “Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the streets…” It’s an anthem that invites you to get out and celebrate the season. And what better way to do that than a staycation exploring what California has to offer. So, instead of performing a jig down Main Street, try shimmying your way into a California winery.

Let’s start off with a focus on Northern California. Comprised of the Northernmost 48 counties in the state, this mega region contains vintners known the world over for their product. And with 400 wineries in Napa and Sonoma alone, dancing your way through them all seems daunting. But, don’t let the scope of the challenge cause any missteps. We have a few tips to get you started.

 

Get on the bus

Wine tours are a great place to begin because they usually have guides who know the areas and typically have a few connections to make your experience unforgettable. Plus, you can let someone else to do the driving while you sit back and enjoy the scenery. Wine tourism is hot right now and there are tours offering just about any experience you could want.

If you’re interested in traveling in style, look for Beau Wine Tours & Limousine Service [link to:http://beauwinetours.com]. They offer “intimate day tours for couples and small groups” in leather bound luxury vehicles. You’ll find excursions to Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley and San Francisco.

Grapeline Wine Tours [link to: http://gogrape.com] offers an all-inclusive price that covers “wine tasting flights and a picnic lunch by the girl & the fig.” This tour line boasts knowledgeable and fun guides. In addition, they have a club that, when joined, offers further discounts.

If you’re looking to add a some rugged adventure with a little education thrown in, look to Jeep Tours [link to:http://www.jeeptours.com]. Their website promises you’ll, “experience the North Coast Wine Country like never before on gently rolling back roads in a customized 4-wheel drive cowboy limo.” Yeehaw!
 

Keep the car running

There is one potential downside to booking a tour--you may wind up with a guide who is not having the best of days. And it can make for a dreadful experience. So, if you don’t want to risk travelling with Captain Cranky Pants behind the wheel, you may want to consider targeting a region and exploring on your own, either in your car or on a rented motorcycle [link to: https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=motorcycle_rental&find_loc=Napa%2C+CA].

While you’ll find a slew of wineries on main roads such as Sonoma Highway, think about channeling your inner Robert Frost and go for the roads less travelled or in this case, Wine Country back roads. Here, Google Maps is your friend. You can type in various terms and find a host of options. For example, searching “Carneros Secret Road, California” will garner a number of wineries set in a lush landscape within an easy drive of each other.

Also consider skipping the valley regions and do a little “mountain climbing.” These areas sit higher up the mountain region above the cool fogs of the valley and are worth the trip. One upcoming option to an get a taste of the region with wine tastings and food pairings happens June 16 at the 23rd Annual Taste of Howell Mountain, [link to:https://www.howellmountain.org] to benefit the Howell Mountain Education Foundation. Wine and a good cause? Now that’s a complimentary pairing.

If searching using Google Maps seems overwhelming, try using the winery finder Wine Country Getaways [link to: http://winecountrygetaways.com/winery-finder/]. With this easy-to-use tool, you will be able to design your own wine route either by specific winery or by region.

Whether you book a tour or create your own staycation excursion Northern California has plenty of options for a winery staycation. Next week, we’ll discover the wine tours Southern California. .

 

 

 

Isabella Crisman