California has approximately 1400 wineries and 650 of them are located in Napa and Sonoma representing the most famous labels in the U.S. This is the Wine Country!
Wine Country and Redwoods Escape One-Day Tour - From $102. Discover the wonder of California’s Wine Country and the enchantment of Muir Woods on this popular day-trip tour combo. Less than an hour away from San Francisco, Muir Woods and Wine Country are two of Northern California’s popular destinations. You’ll begin your morning with a short drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods National Monument where you’ll explore the spectacular redwood forests, home to the world’s tallest tree species. In the afternoon you’ll be relaxing in wine country, visiting boutique wineries, wine tasting and strolling the vineyard grounds. The tour spends about 45 to 60 minutes at 3 different wine tasting stops including lunch at a historic wine country plaza. This tour offers you a chance to enjoy California’s wilderness and Wine Country in an exciting day trip.
Wine Lover’s Luxury Wine Country Tour - From $126. The Wine Lover's Luxury Tour is for people who love wine! And you also get to see the beautiful scenery of California’s premier wine valleys, Sonoma and Napa. You will visit four to six boutique wineries and we do our best to avoid the crowds. This trip will allow you to sample wines from well-known growing regions like Napa Valley’s Stags Leap, Rutherford, and St. Helena, and Los Carneros, Glen Ellen and Sonoma Valley. The tour is somewhat flexible, and we can work with the group to adjust the itinerary, within distance and time limitations. This is a perfect tour for wine experts and also those just beginning their discovery of California wines. Some wineries offer complimentary tastings, but many charge a fee of $5 to $10, and winery tours may also cost extra.
Premium Outlet Shopping® Tour & Napa Wine Tasting - from $77. Ready to shop as you save? Our Premium Outlet Shopping® Tour & Napa Wine Tasting caters to you - shop for about 4 hours as you save up to 70% on store brands with a complimentary VIP Coupon Book for additional savings! First stop is Vacaville Premium Outlets®, which is one of the biggest outlet malls in San Francisco Bay Area with over 120 outlet shops. There will be an optional lunch stop available nearby. Then end the day with a premium wine tasting in Napa Valley as you take in breathtaking views of Wine Country and relax your feet. There will also be a photo stop opportunity at the Golden Gate Bridge on the way back to San Francisco. Go down your shopping list and save money on this tour!
Wine Country One-Day Tours by Bus - From $86. Our Wine Country By Bus Tour starts at 9:00 AM and brings you to Sonoma Valley , the birthplace of California’s Wine Industry back in the 1850’s. Located in the Carneros Region, the first winery is famous for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and is an amazing facility that makes sparkling wines from those grapes. Your next stop, also in the Carneros, has been successful with their organically grown grapes. You will continue on to the world famous Napa Valley, where you will stop for lunch at a winery landmark which has been converted into a mall, and also has a wine tasting bar. After lunch, you will visit a third winery in Napa Valley that is the second largest, independent family-run winery in the United States, and then you will head back to San Francisco.
Muir Woods & Wine Country Two-Day Tour - From $285. Spend an overnight stay in Sonoma Valley to maximize your time in this wine region. Muir Woods and Wine Country are two of Northern California’s top travel destinations. We want to make your trip unforgettable and we do this by being the only Woods & Wine tour to visit both Napa Valley & Sonoma Valley wineries and by specially treating you to a sparkling wine tasting. All tasting fees are included on this wine country tour. You’ll even have a chance to tour behind the scenes of winemaking facilities. Great for any occasion!
Wine Lover's Wine Country Tour with Escape from the Rock - from $146. Another one of our Escape from the Rock Packages. Experience California Wine Country on this extensive semi-private tour. A full-day tour of wine-tasting as you learn about the history of wine-making. Enjoy 4-6 wineries, including boutique wineries where you can only buy their wines at the winery (wine tasting fees not included). Be fascinated by the sparkling and specialty wines. Request wineries that YOU want to go to. Relax in a 13-passenger luxury vehicle. End your day with a memorable trip to Napa and Sonoma Valley. On your next day, use your Escape from the Rock ticket for a 90-minute cruise around Alcatraz. Learn all about Alcatraz without stepping foot on the island. Listen to thrilling stories about some of the famous inmates' escape attempts. Book this Escape from the Rock Package now!
Napa Valley Wine Tours - From $80. Napa Valley is the source of wine to some people, and that's because there is a lot to choose from – almost 400 wineries! We offer a variety of tours that will show you the sights, give you background about the area’s history and the winemaking process, and bring you to the tasting rooms of great wineries that represent the wide range of grape varieties growing in Napa Valley and beyond. If you like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, and more of the hundreds of varieties from around the world, you’ll most likely find them here. Some of the most famous names in American Wine have their home addresses in the towns along the Napa Valley Highway, and we offer several different tours to meet various needs and budgets, from economy to private charter.
Sonoma Valley Wine Tours - From $75. Sonoma Valley is where the wine industry started in California, and where California the state started, for that matter. There are over 250 wineries to choose from in Sonoma County, but we’ve done our research and picked out a few that will give a well-rounded experience in Wine Country. We offer a variety of tours that will show you the sights, give you background about the winemaking process and the area’s history, and bring you to the tasting rooms of great wineries that represent the wide range of grape “varietals” growing in Sonoma Valley and beyond. Some of the most famous names in American Wine have their home addresses in the towns along the Sonoma Highway, and we offer several different tours to meet various budgets, from economy to private charter. And our most popular tour combines the best of Sonoma Valley with a morning walk in the spectacular Muir Woods, one of the last old growth forests of the Coastal Redwood Sequoias, the tallest trees in the world – a perfect blend of nature and culture in one great day.
California Wine Country Tours - From $75. We also offer tours that will take you to see and taste the best of both Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Distance and travel time dictate that we don’t get too far away from San Francisco when we go to both valleys in one day, so our time is spent in the southern reaches of both, in the Carneros Region, one of the officially designated American Viticultural Areas, known for fine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. But don’t worry, the wineries there truck grapes in from the other regions so they also offer great Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon wines, among others. The rolling hills striped with neat rows of grape vines in the Carneros offer some of the most picturesque views of Callifornia’s Wine Country, and this is the way to see them!
East Bay Urban Wine Tour from San Francisco - From $69. If you really want to tour the Wine Country, but don't have a whole day to do it, then this tour is for you. Visit the Wine Country of the East Bay, visiting three wineries in Oakland, Alameda and Emeryville. Sample wines from Napa and Sonoma, all in half a day and only minutes away from your starting point of San Francisco!
Sausalito Wine Country Tours - From $75. Sausalito is a picturesque little "Mediterranean-style" town with great views of San Francisco and the Bay, and lots of shops and restaurants, and a few small hotels. For those who choose to get away from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco, Sausalito is a quiet alternative. But to get from there to California's famous Wine Country, you might find that you need someone like us to take you there. Instead of driving yourself around to tasting rooms with a lap full of maps, you can choose an Extranomical Tour with an experienced guide to show you the sights, find the good wines and food, and most importantly, a sober driver to keep you out of the slammer! We'll pick you up at your Sausalito hotel and drop you off at the end of a great day of wine tasting and sightseeing in plenty of time to take a nap before dinner, if that suits you. Click away and choose from the different tour packages that we offer with Sausalito as your departure point.
Holiday Outlet Shopping Tour & Napa Wine Tasting - from $77. Ready to shop as you save? Our Holiday Outlet Shopping Tour & Napa Wine Tasting caters to you - shop for about 4 hours as you save up to 70% on store brands with a complimentary VIP Coupon Book for additional savings! First stop is Vacaville Premium Outlets, which is one of the biggest outlet malls in San Francisco Bay Area with over 120 outlet shops. There will be an optional lunch stop available nearby. Then end the day with a premium wine tasting in Napa Valley as you take in breathtaking views of Wine Country and relax your feet. There will also be a photo stop opportunity at the Golden Gate Bridge on the way back to San Francisco. Go down your holiday shopping list and save money on this tour!
California Wine Country Tours from San Francisco. The California Wine Country is about an hour's drive away from San Francisco and it is one of the most beautiful and popular sightseeing destinations when visiting the San Francisco Bay Area. Almost 650 wineries are concentrated in Napa and Sonoma counties, so cancel all your other plans – we’re going to see them all! Okay, not all of them, but we DO offer a variety of exciting tours that make a pretty good start toward covering the basics and giving you a great Wine Country. We also offer private wine country tours for that special occasion or wine country charters to suit your group's needs. Finally, our most popular tour is a perfect day trip that combines a Wine Country Tour with a Muir Woods Tour to see the Redwood Sequoia trees, all in one great day!
Winery Tour Stops
Each of our tours is slightly different in the number and locations of wineries visited, and on some tours we can respond to your requests. In our thousands of trips to Wine Country, we have compiled a list of wineries that range from very to small to very large, from Mom and Pop, to conglomerates, from brand new up-and-comers to brands that were household names 50 years ago. California’s Wine Country is almost the whole state, and some perfectly good wineries are well outside of the radius that would make for a one day trip. We have come up with a list of wineries that are within a reasonable distance, have good wine, are friendly and do a good presentation, and have other attractions, such as nice scenery, interesting history, or other attractions. Our list of wineries might change slightly from time to time, as we discover new gems, or someone’s staff or business policy changes. At this time, here is our list of wineries that we have visited on a regular basis. Keep in mind we won’t visit all of these on a single tour. This is just to give you an idea where we MIGHT end up when you travel with us. These are our “friends”, so to speak.
View a list of California Wineries that are possible stops on our various tours.
The Golden Gate Bridge
During our Wine Country Tours we cross one of the most famous landmarks in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge. We found a less frequently visited viewpoint to get one of the most spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the City of San Francisco that makes for incredible photo opportunities.
California Wine Country
California has approximately 1400 wineries with almost every county represented, even San Francisco! Many great grapes are produced in other regions, like Mendocino, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and the Central Valley. However, almost half of California’s wineries are concentrated in Napa and Sonoma counties, within 100 miles from San Francisco. Nature and history have blessed this region with a variety of soil types, terrains, micro-climates, and the influx of European winemaking talent to develop into a world-class wine-producing industry – not once but twice! Starting in 1857 in Sonoma, the region saw 50 years of growth and profit and a wave of tourist activity unrivaled almost anywhere in the U.S. at the time. The twin perils of the Great 1906 earthquake and Prohibition (of alcohol) from 1919 to 1933 put a majority of winemakers out of business and the industry into a depression from THE Great Depression until the 1970’s. The modern era began in 1976 (see Napa Valley) and the present day can be seen as the Second Golden Age of California Winemaking. There are about 650 wineries located in Napa and Sonoma counties, representing some of the most famous brands in the U.S., and even the world, and so constitute what many people call “THE Wine Country”. You can get great wines farther away from San Francisco, but it takes more time (and money) to get there. Our California Wine Tours give you the biggest bang for your travel bucks by giving you a great California Wine Country Experience in one great day.
Napa Valley was a few years behind its neighbor Sonoma Valley in the 1850’s and when the tourists started coming into the Wine Country in large numbers, they were in Sonoma, largely ignoring Napa Valley, which was just a place with a lot of vines. Both valleys became quiet and relatively empty from 1906 until the 1970’s. The roles became reversed and Napa Valley became a household name (in households where they read Wine Spectator, anyway) after a 1976 Bicentennial Contest between California and French wines, where the upstart Americans shocked everyone by winning 2 First Place ribbons – both from Napa Valley - and 14 out of the top 20 places. That notoriety jump-started a successful promotional campaign that soon overshadowed all other “neighborhoods” in the American wine business, and now the word “Napa” is synonymous with “Wine” in many people’s minds. It’s not that it is NOT true, but it is most certainly not the whole truth about wine in America, or specifically California. Some of the facts are that it is farther away from San Francisco and time spent on the road is time NOT spent tasting wine, the average price of a bottle or a tasting flight is higher, and the average nose behind the counter is also pointed a little higher, if you get my drift. Some of the most famous names in American Wine have their home addresses in the towns along the Napa Valley Highway, and it’s still a great place to go, but there are very few complimentary tasting rooms in Napa Valley, and when pressed for time, Sonoma is closer to San Francisco, and has lots of great wine to taste.
Sonoma County and Valley
Sonoma County is one of California's premier wine-making regions, yet it has remained relatively untouched by tourists compared to its more popular neighbor, Napa Valley (only 5-10 miles east). It is said that Sonoma Valley gets its name from the Miwok Native American Indians. The Miwok named it the valley of "many moons" - while walking through the Sonoma Valley and the Mayacamas Mountains, the moon was said to rise seven times.
In the 1850’s, it was Sonoma Valley residents who solved the imported vine disease problem by widely adopting the practice of grafting onto native (resistant) root stock. Hungarian immigrant Agoston Haraszthy basically invented large scale, industrial wine-making, and Sonoma became the epicenter for a huge new wine industry and therefore became a popular tourist destination for locals from San Francisco and visitors from around the world.
Sonoma Valley's currently more famous neighbor, Napa Valley, remained the “outback” for about 50 years. Both valleys became “ghost towns” after the Great Earthquake of 1906, followed by Prohibition (of alcohol!) from 1919 to 1933. You could say the Great Depression continued well into the 1970’s for this part of the world (see Napa Valley). Declared National Historic Landmarks, the downtown Sonoma Plaza and the San Francisco Solano de Sonoma Mission (1823) are at the heart of this renowned wine producing region. Sonoma Valley is located in the much larger Sonoma County, which also includes the equally renowned Healdsburg region, the Alexander Valley, Russian River, and other well-known Appellations.