1. San Francisco: Small-Group Napa Valley Tour for Wine Lovers
On this all-Napa, all-highlights wine tasting tour from San Francisco, you will be delighted with the history, architecture, gardens, and memorable toasts. Your wine enthusiast guide will prepare you for experiences at the Castello di Amorosa and two other celebrated Napa Valley wineries. Once there, you will be treated to reserve wines in the California Wine Country. Your San Francisco wine tour to Napa Valley begins as you cross the Bay Bridge and take in incredible views of the city skyline. As you travel, learn about the many microclimates and soil types that combine to produce some of the world’s best winemaking grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Wine corks pop first at Castello di Amorosa, a medieval-styled Tuscan castle winery constructed using more than 200 containers of European materials and furnishings. On your way to vaulted wine cellars, check out the moat, drawbridge, towers, courtyards, and armory. Thankfully, Castello di Amorosa puts the same love and attention into its wines which are elegant, intensely flavored, and well-balanced. Next, your Napa wine tasting tour makes a fun photo stop at the Napa Valley Welcome Sign. Your lunch break is in charming Calistoga, California. Among its hot springs, elegant spas and yoga studios, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect lunch spot and perhaps sampling another locally crafted wine with your meal. After lunch, your small group heads to the intimate, yet modern winery, Twomey Cellars. Founded by the Duncan Family, owners of highly-regarded Silver Oak, the winery uses the same philosophy: use locally harvested fruit to make exceptional wines that are deliciously drinkable upon release. A laid-back Napa Valley vibe is created by their farmhouse-style tasting room that opens up onto a sun-filled courtyard and Sauvignon Blanc vineyard with views of the Calistoga foothills. The Duncans apply their 40 years of winemaking experience to create single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and estate Sauvignon Blancs that pair beautifully with food. Complete your day in the charming and historic St. Helena building that houses Merryvale Vineyards and has roots as a winemaking facility reaching back to the 1930s. Napa luminaries Robert and Peter Mondavi, the Christian Brothers, and H. William Harlan have all practiced their craft under its arched ceiling. Family-owned Merryvale Vineyards is renowned for small production lots of world class wine, especially rich, powerful Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays which you can enjoy sitting under the century-old 2,000 gallon casks that line the stone walls of the cellar room. On the journey back to San Francisco, we’ll make one final stop (weather permitting) at a scenic look-out point with sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge for you to snap some keepsake photos of Marin Headlands, San Francisco skyline, and Alcatraz Island.