Sonoma VineyardCourtesy of Sonoma Valley

The resplendent Napa Valley, nestled in Northern California a short drive from the iconic city of San Francisco, along with its neighbor, the gorgeous Sonoma County wine region are home to some of the oldest vines in North America, dating back to the 1840’s. Separated by a low mountain range both Napa and Sonoma are world famous for their superb wineries, award-winning vineyards and known for some of the finest restaurants not just in California but in the world. Sonoma also has more than 50 miles of stunning Pacific Ocean coastline on its border.

Sonoma itself has more than 400 wineries, over 600 restaurant choices, and numerous organic farms. Napa is home to two three-star Michelin restaurants including the renowned The French Laundry from acclaimed chef and restaurateur, Thomas Keller and The Restaurant at Meadowood Resort.  Both have long been favored by those who appreciate good food and wine and such lodgings as the gorgeous Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, the romantic Auberge du Soleil at the top of a hillside overlooking the Napa Valley, as well as the Harvest Inn by famous chef Charlie Palmer and other properties ranging from quaint Bed and Breakfast spots, charming Inns to a range of beautiful hotels ensure ample choice for a stay in the region.

Fairmont SonomaCourtesy of Fairmont Hotels

The Four Seasons has just announced they will open a property in Calistoga at the north end of Napa Valley in 2018 which will include an on-site winery overseen by local winemaker Thomas Brown. This great brand will be a wonderful addition to wine country with 85 rooms, a spa and 20 villas offered as residences – each with their own wine cellar.

Many wine Country tours are available, as are bicycle tours – a great way to see and sip – numerous tasting room opportunities abound and to get a birds eye view of this spectacular region, why not take a hot air balloon ride as the sun rises over acres and acres of vineyards and gorgeous wineries. Hands on experiential cooking classes, cheese and artisanal festivals, candlelit dinners in wine cellars and the opportunity for romantics and wine-lovers to enjoy all that this remarkable area has to offer are just some of the reasons to put this part of California on your must visit list.

Originally published in Vacations Magazine, Spring 2016 issue.

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