Wine is the stuff of legend and in California, Napa Valley is known for some of the best wines. Visiting the valley for a day trip is fun because it is an easy one hour drive north of San Francisco.
View of Sattui Winery from the Napa Valley Wine Train
Many first time visitors like to ride the Napa Valley Wine Train from the City Center of Napa through the vineyards to the northern tip of the valley. While riding in vintage rail cars a fabulous lunch is served with local wines. The round trip back to the station takes three hours giving you a chance to see it all and plan more activities.
No Napa Valley wine tour is complete without visiting some of the famous wineries. There are over 400 wineries in the valley but a few of the well known are worth the visit. Start with the:
Robert Mondavi Winery: No single person has done more for California wines than the namesake for this winery. There are 12 different tours to choose depending on your time and interests, some include meals and all include tasting his outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
V. Sattui Winery: Probably the most popular winery to visit. They only sell their wines at this location. The stone buildings are set back from the highway surrounded with picnic grounds. Gourmet foods are for sale in the large shop-tasting room ready to be enjoyed with wine outside at the tables.
Beaulieu Vineyard: Popularly known as "BV" it is one of the first wineries established in the valley and has been long regarded as one of the best. Tours are available without an appointment. Be sure to ask for a taste of the Georges de Latour Private Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon, a signature wine of the entire valley. Hungry after all that tasting? After all food and wine go together well and the valley has no shortage of fine dining restaurants. An area close to the above wineries is the charming town of St. Helena.
You can walk Main Street sidewalks and take your pick of many great places to eat including a few pizza eateries.
If you want to spend another day or two, many affordable hotels and B and Bs are located in the City of Napa. On weekends reservations are recommended. At the hotel make yourself comfortable on the patio by the pool, enjoy some wine and watch the sun set behind the mountains.
No matter what type of Napa Valley wine tour you choose, enjoy your trip to Napa Valley for a wine tasting and food eating experience you will never forget.
This article was brought to you by Bud Anderson of the the Valley Wine Shop, where you can find Wine clubs, wine gifts and basic wine information.