A winery tour is basically a generic term for the act of visiting 1 or more wineries in a day. You don’t technically need to drink any wines to be on a winery tour if you visit a few vineyards to just take in the beautiful views and walk amongst the vines. In fact, there are plenty of completely sober activities available like olive oil tasting, tasting some gourmet foods available at some wineries, learning about the winemaking process, touring the barrel rooms and learning about the history of the region. A visit to wine country has a little something for everyone.
If you do wish to do some wine tasting on your winery tour, you will be in for a treat. If you are visiting Northern California or if you area local, the area has an incredible amount of activities, from world class skiing & snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, amazing golf courses like Pebble Beach, iconic attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge & Alcatraz and, of course, one of the best wine regions in the world. A visit to Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley will not only give you a chance to try amazing wines, but also let you see a behind the scenes look at how how the wines are made from growing the grapes to aging the wines.
While a winery tour can just be a visit to a single winery for a few hours, people typically use the term to refer to a visit to wine country that includes visits and tastings at several wineries in the area. There are a few different options for this.
Driving to wine country: While it is not recommended, especially if you are going to be drinking wine, you can drive to wine country and visit some wineries. All of the wineries have some sort of parking and it is a really nice drive, except for the fact that there can be traffic congestion at times. Make sure to plan out your itinerary before you go, call ahead to the wineries you would like to visit and make sure to leave extra driving time between wineries since it can be easy to make some wrong turns in the area.
Walking Winery Tours: Since most wineries are located on large plots of land and separated quite a bit from each other, walking from winery to winery doesn’t make sense in most cases. However there are a few sweet spots that allow you to enjoy walking through the beauty of wine country by foot. The first option would be to visit downtown areas of Sonoma, Calistoga, Kenwood, Napa and other towns and hitting up some tasting rooms. This would be more of a wine tasting tour than winery tour since you won’t be visiting any wineries, but it gives you a chance to taste different varietals and learn about winemaking from the vintners on staff. There are, however, a few areas that will allow you to walk to different wineries and get the full experience without having to depend on any transportation at all. Dubbed “California’s New Wine Trail” by Daniel Duane, there is a great winery tour walking route that will give you an amazing wine country experience. Check out the details here.
Bus Tours: By far the easiest way to enjoy wine country without having to worry about a thing, winery bus tours are available year round. There are many tour companies in the San Francisco Bay Area that offer a variety of tours that provide transportation to Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley plus visits to several great wineries for tastings. Bus tours are great for tourists and some of the are combo tours, which means you will get to go on a winery tour plus visit some other attractions like Alcatraz, Muir Woods, The Golden Gate Bridge and more. Prices usually range from $99 to $299 depending on what is included.
Private Charters: If you have a group that would like a customized wine country experience, then private tours are the way to go. Winery Tour San Francisco offers a large selection of vehicles including SUVs, Sprinters, Party Buses, Minibuses and Coach Buses to handle groups of any size. Even better, our talented booking agents are experts in setting up winery tours, so they can either give you some suggestions or plan the whole itinerary based on your interests.