Love fine wine? You’ll experience some of the world’s finest on our wine-tasting tour of Napa and Sonoma Valley wineries. Not a wine expert? Not to worry! You’ll have a great time, meet some really cool people, see amazing sights and learn all about fruits of the vine that have made valleys north of San Francisco so famous.
No crowded tour-bus hassles here! You’ll join 6-12 guests and one of our experienced (and hilarious) Expedition Leaders in a tour of four wineries (wine tasting at two are included). All along the way, your guide’s wonderful tales of wine country – its fascinating history and rich culture – will have you smiling from ear to ear as you roll along in our luxury coach. And you’ll love this: We pick you up right at your hotel in downtown San Francisco. (Good morning! Climb aboard!)
You’ll leave the bustle of The City behind as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge or Bay Bridge heading for wine country. As you roll through wine country, you’ll experience the many microclimates and see the soil types that combine to produce some of the world’s best winemaking grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc. (Oh my, I’m thirsty already!)
Along the way, keep your eyes open for endangered critters that make a home in the area, especially near the Napa-Sonoma Marsh. You may see a California brown pelican or a black rail, a Ridgway’s rail or a Suisun shrew. The lush hillsides of the wine country are home to black-tailed deer, coyotes, red-tailed hawks and even a mountain lion. (Don’t worry, your guide will keep you safe!)
Long before Spanish explorers arrived (and a really, really long time before your visit), the native Miwoks named the area “Sonoma” (Valley of the Moon). American immigrants took control of the region in the 1800s. At some point, you may want to give a shout-out to George Calvert Young. He planted the first Napa Valley grapes in 1839. (“Cheers, George!”)
Fast-forward to today, and you’ll see a beautiful region that produces some of the world’s best wines. Don’t just take our word for it. You can look it up! At the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, a contest conceived by a British wine merchant with French judges, California wines won best-in-the-world honors. (Take a bow, California!)
You won’t be asked to do any blind-tasting comparisons during your four-winery tour. (We’ll leave that to those stuffy French judges.) Instead, just remember these five easy wine-tasting steps: See, swirl, sniff, sip, swallow. Repeat. Now you’ve got it! (A person could sure fall in love with this course of study!)
Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch with your tour companions and try out a variety of food-wine pairings and see what delights your taste buds. (Future picnics will never be the same!) Whether you consider yourself a wine connoisseur or a wine-tasting novice, you’ll be warmed by the good company of the people in your tour and your friendly vineyard hosts. And, in an exclusive part of our adventure, you’ll explore a wine cellar, cave or barrel room and take part in a unique barrel tasting. (Tasting wine, of course, not the barrel!)
Though Napa and Sonoma wineries are the stars of this tour, your Expedition Leader (a star in his own universe!) will make sure to stop on the way back so you can take some amazing selfies in front of the Golden Gate Bridge or Bay Bridge before arriving back at your hotel.
Is there a favorite type of wine or appellations you like to visit? The afternoon portion of this tour is flexible. Just email us at [email protected] and we’ll let your Expedition Leader know. Please note that most wineries charge a wine tasting fee of $20 to $40.
How many ounces of wine do you serve for a tasting?
2 ounces of wine is an ideal amount for 2-3 sips during a tasting
How far is Napa Valley from San Francisco?
How much are wine-tasting fees in the country?
The average Napa Valley fee for a basic tasting is $15-$25. But don’t worry, two of these are covered in the tour price.
Are kids allowed on wine tasting tours?
No. Age limitation applies. Only 21+ are allowed on this tour.
Facts & Figures
- The town of Sonoma was the seat of power for Alta (Mexican) California.
- There are 475 wineries in Napa Valley producing more than 1,000 different wine brands.
- Grape harvest begins in August with light-skinned grapes (Chardonnay) and ends in late September or early October with dark-skinned grapes (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon).
Related Blog Posts
Tour is available Thursday through Sunday only.
Click here for a list of the wineries that we visit on this tour