- November 12, 2018Fifty Masters of Wine Tour California Regions & Wines: A Photo Review
- October 30, 2018California Wine 2018 Harvest Report: Slow and Steady Growing Season Brings Excellent Quality Across the State
- August 23, 2018California Wine Month Events Make September the Time to Visit Wine Country
- May 23, 2018California Wine Sales in U.S. Market Hit $35.2 Billion in 2017
- March 29, 2018Winners Announced for Fourth Annual California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards
- March 27, 2018Celebrate “Down To Earth Month” in April with California Wine Events
- March 26, 2018U.S. Wine Exports Total $1.53 Billion in 2017
- November 08, 2017California Wine 2017 Harvest Report: Strong Quality Across the State as Ample Rain Ends Drought
- September 07, 2017New Wine Institute Video Series Celebrates “California Wines: Behind the Glass”
- August 21, 2017Celebrate California Wine Month in September
- June 28, 2017California Wineries Offer Top Wine and Food Experiences Year-Round
- June 08, 2017Winery Concerts, Festivals, Picnics and More: Great Ways to Experience California Wine Country this Summer
- May 02, 20172016 California Wine Sales in U.S. Hit New Record: 238 Million Cases with Retail Value of $34.1 Billion
- April 06, 2017Winners Announced for Third Annual California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards
- March 27, 2017Raise a Glass to "Green" California Wines During Down to Earth Month in April
- March 09, 2017Explore California’s Wine Regions on the Rise
- February 14, 2017California Wine Exports Reach Record $1.62 Billion in 2016
- January 05, 2017Explore Southern California on a California Wines Road Trip
- December 14, 2016Explore the Inland Valleys on a California Wines Road Trip
- November 15, 2016California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) Receives Drinks Business 2016 Green Award
- November 01, 2016Explore Monterey County on a California Wines Road Trip
- October 19, 20162016 California Winegrape Harvest: Early, Normal Yield, Exquisite Quality
- October 12, 2016Explore Paso Robles & San Luis Obispo on a California Wines Road Trip
- September 29, 2016Explore Santa Barbara on a California Wines Road Trip
- August 18, 2016Cheers to California Wine Month this September
- August 04, 2016California Wine Shows Strength in Challenging Economy: 2015 Annual Economic Impact Grows to $57.6 Billion in California, $114.1 Billion in U.S.
- July 11, 20162015 California Wine Sales in U.S. Hit $31.9 Billion Retail Value, 12% increase since 2010
- June 28, 2016Explore Santa Cruz Mountains on a California Wines Road Trip
- June 02, 2016California Wine Country and National Parks Centennial: The Perfect Summer Travel Pairing
- May 19, 2016Explore Livermore on a California Wines Road Trip
Wine Institute Series Offers Tips on How to Sip, Stay and Play in a Different California Wine Region Each Month
SAN FRANCISCO—With dozens of diverse wine regions, California wine country offers a dazzling variety of experiences to enjoy. To help visitors explore them all, Wine Institute’s California Wines Road Trips series highlights a different region each month. For December, visitors are invited to discover where to sip, stay and play in Napa Valley, located in California’s scenic North Coast region.
Napa Valley is a small region with a deservedly big reputation. Only 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley produces just four percent of California’s winegrapes. However, in 1976, Napa wines won global recognition when they famously bested French wines in the “Judgment of Paris” tasting. Napa Valley’s world-renowned wines have found an equal match with the area’s thriving culinary scene, where visitors and locals alike enjoy a range of options, from Michelin-starred restaurants to quirky and delicious food trucks.
SIP: Napa Valley is a wine lover’s paradise. Start exploring the region’s wineries with this helpful map from the Napa Valley Vintners. Or use the discovercaliforniawines.com interactive map to search wineries by amenities such as tours, gardens, art displays, concerts and picnic areas. While tasting, it is best to pace oneself by using the spit bucket, which is considered polite, and have a designated driver or take an escorted tour.
STAY: From exclusive five-star resorts to charming little inns and even budget-friendly campgrounds, Napa Valley has accommodations to suit every traveler’s preference. Start the journey with a ramble through vineyard hideaways and B&Bs listed at Visit Napa Valley.
PLAY: Take your wine country experience to new heights with an iconic hot air balloon ride above the vineyards. Stroll through “Old West” style Calistoga, where you’ll find dining, shopping and the town’s famous thermal mud baths, a fun activity to pair with wine tasting. Napa Valley also has some 40 other spas and fitness centers to experience.
For art lovers, spend an afternoon at the di Rosa Preserve, which houses some 2,000 works of contemporary art by 800 artists. Take in the symphony or ballet at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater in Yountville. Or visit during Arts in April, when cities throughout Napa Valley feature art installations, pop-up exhibitions, live performances, tours and access to private collections.
For nightlife, find live music in many of Napa’s downtown establishments, and the Uptown Theater is a restored art deco building showcasing world-famous music and comedy acts.
The ultimate Napa Valley wine experience takes place each June during Auction Napa Valley, a world-recognized charity wine event. Enjoy Napa Valley’s exceptional wines, culinary treats and intimate time with its renowned vintners wrapped in the splendor of the valley’s incomparable scenery. Proceeds from Auction Napa Valley benefit community health and children’s education nonprofits. Tickets go on sale Feb. 1, 2016.
MAKE: Many Napa wineries offer special blending seminars, where visitors can play winemaker for a few hours creating their own red wine blend. Find tasting and blending experiences here. For cooking classes, the famous Culinary Institute of America offers anyone who loves wine and food to perfect their technique with the Saturday Kitchens program or a Samplings demonstration class. View more culinary adventures here.
GROW: Named California’s first American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1981, Napa Valley has an abundance of diverse soils and microclimates and is part of or contains 18 AVAs. While internationally acclaimed for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, fine Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc and many other varieties are grown here. Home to the first Agriculture Preserve in the U.S., Napa Valley Vintners has established the goal that every eligible member will be in the Napa Green Certified Land or Napa Green Certified Winery program by 2020.
EAT: Napa Valley has a vibrant wine and culinary culture. The tiny town of Yountville alone is home to more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else in North America. For a casual adventure, visit the many purveyors at the Oxbow Public Market or grab a picnic lunch at the Oakville Grocery—the oldest continuously operated grocery store in California. For restaurants with a Napa Valley Wine List Award, check out these establishments with outstanding selections of Napa wines.
Visit discovercaliforniawines.com for information on wine regions, wines and wineries throughout the Golden State and for planning a trip to California wine country. California is the number one U.S. state for wine and food tourism with dozens of distinct wine regions, 136 American Viticultural Areas and 4,400 wineries. Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses.
Wine Institute Communications Dept.