Wine Country Tour

On a Wine Country Tour from a Vintner’s View

Before your wine tour, you may not know that wine-making is an ancient craft, seriously begun before any historical records were kept in a part of the world that has our attention even today. . . yes, the mid-east. Although China “brewed” the first wine almost 7,000 years ago, it wasn’t the serious undertaking it became in ancient Babylon and subsequently Rome. We get a close look at the process with a visit to one of California’s renowned wineries, courtesy of a Wine Country Tour from San Francisco.

The modern version of the craft is performed by individuals who have a passion for process—for the excitement that grows with each year the bottle sleeps and dreams its way toward the day when its contents are allowed to meet the air for the first time. Of course there is the mid-process opportunity, when the wine leaves the barrel for the bottle. You can bet not only tasting, but color and aroma checking is going on then. And these guys know, with the smallest of sips, whether there’s a jewel in the making or a major unexpected turn has occurred and steps will need to be taken (like a foray into the cooking wine business)—a process few of us would have the patience to endure, nor the all-in attitude to sustain. Think about the Wine Country Tour as an exciting introduction to the vintner’s experience.

Wine Country Tour

Biodynamic Wine Tour from San Francisco

With a charming welcome sign and a gorgeous outdoor introduction, theBenziger Family Winerybestows a rich experience on their guests who have taken the wine tour from San Francisco. When the weather is lovely (which it often is) guests can make their selections in the very serious wine tasting room and wander to the scenic gardens that share the land with the notable vineyard.

The winery was founded in 1980, when Bob and Joe Benziger put their upscale New York wine shop up for sale and moved to California, where the brothers joined their brother Mike and his wife in a newly acquired Napa vineyard. So, in the middle of an economic slump, the Benzigers managed to start a successful winery Out West.

Wine Country Tour

Napa Wine Country Winery

Some wineries are “barn conversions” that fortify and add onto the original structure, which makes for an interesting setting for a Napa Wine Country winery. There are other wineries that start from the ground up, with a unique design that seems almost to have always been there. . .

Topping the first hill inNapa wine countrya chorus of soft “Oh’s!” escapes from travelers taking in the panorama of graceful hills and valleys blanketed with neat rows of trellised grapes, running in uncooperative directions, that define one vineyard from another.

“So serene,” said one of the women, sighing, “I could die here.”

“But full of life,” said her friend, “I’d rather live here.”

“Let’s stop and take some pictures,” a pragmatic husband suggested.

Their guide (from A Taste of San Francisco and Beyond) was smiling when he said, “The best views are just ahead.”

Wine Country Tour

Napa Wine Country

The San Francisco wine tour that follows the scenic drive through the hills of Napa Wine Country, is simply Old World charming and the first winery tour is an experience that goes up in the not-to-be-forgotten list. The aging caves are the best thing on the tour, where you are stunned by the sight of so-many-to-count barrels of wine as they line the walls, appearing as though they go on forever.

The caves really are caves, hollowed out of the hillside and lined with gunite, the same material used to form swimming pools.

The cave-room you share with A Taste of San Francisco and Beyond fellow visitors to this winery is spectacular. Splendid chandeliers, crystal and candelabra with glass globes that look antique and, once more, an Old World ethos charms the senses. Elegant, tables hold trays of bread and cheese to bring out the ultimate experience in traditional wine tasting. So very proper for your Napa Wine Country tour.

Wine Country Tour

Napa Wine Country Tour

Journey with us on one of our wine tours San Francisco through a landscape that begs to be captured for posterity on your trip.

The hills appear around the road one by one as the sun burns off the highest fog. Driving through the Napa wine country hills and into the valleys is a magical experience. It is a kingdom unto itself with rows and rows of vines growing across the slopes, not perpendicular as you might imagine. From the air it’s as if Prometheus’ comb has run its teeth through the ground making rows so perfect, with exact distances between them, at once seeming to be an engineer’s topographical mapping and an artist’s sensitive hand on the land.

Napa wine country holds such an attraction for some that it must be included in one of life’s premier events… the wedding. What is more romantic than getting married in a vineyard? All sorts of connotations are there to give a marriage a good start. Fruitful, is one, sweet as wine, another. You get the idea, so we won’t go on. The aroma of the grapes fills the air, lending a grace note to the occasion. Not to be soon forgotten, this wedding.

San Francisco City Tour Wine Country Tour

Tour de Forest

I’m closing my eyes, as our guide talks and picturing Muir Woods as they might have looked, smelled and sounded thousands of years ago.

Brighter or darker? Darker, I think. They would have been more dense. A “something-saurus” trumpets her presence, perhaps calling her babies and shaking the ground as she hunts for them.

Breath-stopping odors! Eeue! Disgusting! (Nothing like today with the clean, delicious scent of green and sequoia wafting around.)

And the humidity back then was dreadful. 24 hour-a-day sauna! No wonder nostrils were so big around here. You would have needed a nose-full to get oxygen where it could have done any good. Oh, large lungs in large bodies. I get it. They needed to be large to survive the climate.

Wine Country Tour

Napa Wine Country Impromptu

Friends had just pulled into the driveway and were unloading a trunk-full of fresh produce. We gawked and oohed and ahed over the gorgeousness of all this bounty. Guess our drooling made them take pity on us and they found a bag—a big bag, at that—and generously filled it to the brim.

“We had you in mind,” they said.

“Where did you get all this?” we asked.

“Thought we told you we were taking a little Napa wine country tour this week-end.”

“A tour? What tour?”

“A Taste of San Francisco and Beyond—and they weren’t kidding! Napa-Farmers-MarketTurned out we went through Napa and stopped at their Farmer’s Market. It was wonderful. Everything looked so delicious and, of course, the armomas were irresistible.

Wine Country Tour

Decisions, Decisions: Where To Find The Best Wine In Wine Country

When considering a day trip from wine country, the options can be overwhelming. Should you go to Napa Valley or Sonoma County? How will you travel from winery to winery? The easiest and most stress-free way to experience California’s wine country is through an organized tour. Your guide will take you right to the best wines, and perhaps offer the opportunity to explore other activities that the region has to offer.

What are the best wineries to visit in Napa? With over 400 to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow it down. Located just one hour from the city, Hagafen Cellars is a great place to begin any wine tour from San Francisco to Napa Valley. Nestled in a lovely garden, the tasting room is intimate and the staff knowledgeable. It is also unique in that it is one of just two kosher wineries in Napa Valley. Odette Estate Winery, a charming boutique winery located just ten minutes down the road from Hagafen, is also a great site for wine tasting in Napa and home to an award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine Country Tour

Making the Most of a Day in Napa

Why Take a Private Tour to Wine Country?

California’s renowned Napa Valley is sun-drenched landscape of vibrant colors and oak-dotted rolling hills, an iconic enclave that is home to a plethora of legendary wine estates perching like castles amongst climbing fields of vines. This idyllic region is home to over four hundred wineries, 95% of which are family owned and/or operated and most of which welcome visitors for touring and tasting. In addition to being a mecca for wine enthusiasts, the Napa Valley also boasts exceptional farm-to-table cuisine as well as boutique shopping in charming towns such as Napa and Yountville. At only 70 miles from San Francisco, a wine tasting tour in the Napa region is an easy day trip, yet a world away from the city life. This bucolic yet glamorous countryside will delight your senses as you enjoy stunning scenery and unique experiences.