With numerous wineries and many wine lovers coming to experience the tastes of premium wines, California Wine Country has turned into a chic tourist destination with comfortable lodging, exclusive restaurants, tasting rooms, featuring boutique and family-run northern California wineries, and an abundance of scenic and wine tours. The majority of small, family-run wineries give tours only by an advanced appointment and, as a rule, these tours are the most exciting, since you can speak to a winery owner and perhaps learn some secrets of best wine-making.
Any of the region's major cities, including Santa Rosa (the setting for many major films, including Hitchcock's thriller Shadow of a Doubt), Geyserville (famous for its geysers),Napa, Calistoga (famous for its hot springs), Bodega Bay (the setting for The Birds, another Hitchcock's thriller), Healdsburg, historic Fort Ross and Ukiah, are perfect gateways to explore California Wine Country.
The geography and climate determine wine sorts you can taste here: Napa is warmer in the summer than Sonoma County to the west or Santa Barbara to the south. Therefore, the Napa wineries produce such heat-loving wine varieties, as Cabernet Sauvignon, while Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are more the specialty of Sonoma wineries and Santa Barbara wineries.
California Wine Country boasts about one-of-the-kind festivals and celebrations, providing some entertainment, wine tasting, seminars and a lot more events that are connected not only with the grape cultivation and wine production, but also with the fruit growing and culinary achievements in the area. For instance, the Napa Valley Mustard Festival in the Northern Napa Valley celebrates the blooming of wild mustard with cooking demonstrations, food sampling, art exhibits and wine tasting. In April, there is the Apple Blossom Festival in Sebastopol, featuring exhibits, parades and pageants. In July, there is the Wine Country Film Festival, held two weeks in the Northern Napa Valley and the next two weeks in Sonoma. The Forth of July Parade in Sonoma is the most favorite vibe in the town with daylong parties and fireworks.
California Wine Country is great to visit any time of the year. At first, no matter what month you choose for your visit, there will be always an amazing festival, held at least in one location of California Wine Country. Second, each season has its own advantage. In winter, wineries are less crowded and you have more opportunities to enjoy wine tasting. In spring, California Wine Country is full of blooming vegetation and grasps your breath with unimaginable views. Summer shows the magnificence of ripening grapes. Fall is the harvest time and the most beautiful time in California Wine Country with a unique palette of natural colors and shades. The harvest time is different with regions, running for most wineries from late August through September. Visiting California Wine Country during the harvest time is an opportunity to take a glance at wine making in action.
Additionally, California Wine Country is home to several excellent Spas with a variety of popular among visitors Spa treatments and a relaxing atmospher.