Travel, Teach, Live in the USA and Canada

California Wine Country
By:Paul Bayliss

California Wine Country offers visitors the chance to sample the region's food and wine at the source. Farmers' markets in the Napa Valley offer a variety of local produce. Napa and the Sonoma Valley are home to California's best wineries. Make the most of your visit by finding the best time to go, suitable lodgings and expert tour guides.

Plan the time you will visit. April through November is the main season. Workers pick and crush grapes in September or October. The wine country celebrates this with festivals and fairs. Book well in advance for accommodations, restaurants and winery visits in season and on holiday weekends. Avoid crowds at the wineries by visiting early in the morning during the week.

Travel by car in wine country. Towns are relatively close together and roads between the Napa and Sonoma Valleys are well maintained. Enjoy scenic views while traveling from one end of the Napa or Sonoma Valley to the other. Avoid traffic jams by traveling during the week and in the off-season. Traveling by bus is a less convenient option. There is infrequent Greyhound service from San Francisco that does not stop close to the vineyards. Sonoma County Transit offers a daily service around Sonoma County. VINE provides a service between Napa Valley towns.

Use the Internet to research guided tours. Tours concentrate on different areas of wine country and different grape varieties. Calwineries offers a Napa Valley Sparkling Wine Tour and a Sonoma Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Tour, priced in October 2010 at $500 for up to four guests. California Wine Tours uses luxury vehicles, where you can sip champagne while being chauffeured to wineries.

Calwineries
652 California Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
310-555-5555
calwineries.com

California Wine Tours and Transportation
4075 Solano Ave.
Napa, CA 94558
800-294-6386
californiawinetours.com

Stay in a bed-and-breakfast near the wineries. Use Wine Country Inns to research places to stay in Sonoma Valley. Go to napavalley.com for options in Napa Valley.






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