Located an hour north of San Francisco, the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country is world-renowned for its fine wine, its rich history, and its astonishing beauty. Incredible Adventures offers you multiple options to tour California's Wine Country, providing you with round-trip transportation in our small-group Biofuel mini-coaches (petroleum free)!
Our Napa and Sonoma Wine Education Tour is designed to increase your knowledge about wine making "from roots to glass", detailing the history of wine in California. A tram tour of the Benziger Family Winery is a highlight of this day. In line with our environmental ethos, Benziger Family Winery uses certified Biodynamic (organic and sustainable) farming methods to grow their award-winning wines. You will see (and taste wine in) both Napa and Sonoma Counties on this full-immersion tour.
If you want to learn some natural history and get ‘outdoors' as well as taste fine wine, our Muir Woods and Sonoma Wine Country and Beer Tasting Tour is your best choice. A relaxing walk amongst the giant redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument is a great way to start the day, and the comfortable, relaxed pace of Sonoma will complete your afternoon! You will taste wine at several small- and medium-production wineries and even check out a brewery! Explore their tasting rooms, learn the stories of their heritage, and still be back in San Francisco in time for a late dinner...perhaps with a new bottle of wine or beer?
If you want to truly savor the fruits of wine country (pun totally intended), stay overnight in a cozy hotel and enjoy BOTH of these itineraries in your two days away from the city! With a visit to Muir Woods and both Sonoma AND Napa Valleys and your hotel room INCLUDED, this is truly the all-access pass you need to make the most of your time in Wine Country. Incredible Adventures can also custom design a Private Wine Country Charter in one of our Biofueled Vans or Minibuses to accommodate your family, group of friends or organization. Cheers!
Just an hour north of San Francisco are the rolling hills and tree-lined valleys of Sonoma County, which is often called the birthplace of the California wine industry. The county of Sonoma has over 370 wineries in 15 distinct wine-growing areas in a total area just slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island.
The first wine-producing grape vines were planted by the Spanish missionaries in 1832 at their northern mission of Solano in northern Sonoma county. But it was in 1855 that a Hungarian by the name of Agoston Haraszthy arrived with thousands of grape varietal cuttings from France, Italy, and Spain. Also known as the “Father of the California Wine Industry”, Haraszthy founded Buena Vista winery and it was his report and experience that all but proved that fine wine could be produced in Sonoma County just as well as in Europe.
Sonoma county has a wide range of climates ranging from the cool foggy coastline to the warmer inland valleys, which allow for a variety of grapes to thrive here. The primary wines produced are Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir.
Sonoma County offers much more than just wine. There’s something here for everyone. From organic farms and dairy ranches to apple orchards and vineyards. From quaint towns nestled among redwood groves to the serene Russian River which flows into the mighty Pacific Ocean, Sonoma is full of picturesque landscapes that draw in thousands of visitors each year.
Just east of Sonoma county is Napa county, another one of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. The famed Napa Valley is home to over 400 wineries and enjoys a Mediterranean climate, slightly warmer than neighboring Sonoma which makes it a great place to produce Cabernet Sauvignon.
The first commercial winery in Napa was opened in 1859 by John Patchett, and the wine industry was flourishing by the early 1900’s. The enactment of Prohibition in 1920 followed by a root infestation that killed many vines were huge setbacks to the wine industry. But it was out of Prohibition that the Mondavi family from Minnesota came West to ship grapes to the East Coast for home winemaking. By 1943, 10 years after Prohibition ended, the Mondavi family including Robert, had acquired the Charles Krug Winery (established in 1861 by Charles Krug who had previously worked for Patchett) and were well on their way to fame and fortune. Robert eventually split from the family winery and established his own estate in 1965 which became the first large scale winery since before Prohibition. It was this establishment that led the way to the region’s impressive growth and notoriety.
What solidified Napa’s reputation as a producer of classy fine wine was the Paris taste test of 1976. This was a blind taste test in which a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley beat out several famous French wines.
While large scale wineries are what grew Napa Valley into what it is today, smaller boutique wineries are dotted throughout the region and provide a cozy and intimate wine-tasting experience. More than 5 million people a year visit Napa.
Taste a flight of traditional and unique beer styles at a local brewery!
Friendly tasting room staff will tell you all about their wine
Make friends and taste wine at beautiful scenic vineyards and wineries
Relax and take in the scenery while tasting some delicious California wine!
Get up close and personal with an educational tram tour through the vines!
Taste some wine and make some new friends in Sonoma!