I have friends planning to visit San Francisco over the summer and they’ve asked me where they should go if they only have time for a short day excursion to wine country. The summer is beautiful time to see the vineyards, but those tasting rooms can get crowded like your favorite neighborhood bar on a Saturday night, and the traffic on highways leading north out of San Francisco is legendary. In 2010 the Wine Institute in Californian posted over 3,300 wineries as operating in the state, against a total in the entire United States of just over 7,600. Napa and Sonoma counties are closest to SF and the choices are incredible. Most tasting rooms have fees of between $5 – $10, some a little higher but often come with a souvenier tasting glass. The California Winery Advisor website offers some great resources for planning your trip as well as a list with maps of over 180 California wineries that offer free tastings. Below is an introductory video to California Wine Country.
There are so many resources available when planning a trip to California’s wine country. Hopefully this will give you a good starting point.