As you begin to THINK about 2018, and where you’d like to TRAVEL to this year, I wanted to point out some GREAT California Wine Regions worth visiting. This article focuses more on the smaller, wine regions throughout California that may GET overlooked, and may just showcase WHY they’re worth looking into:
- Santa Ynez Valley
- El Dorado County
- Amador County
- Livermore Valley
- Mendocino County
Santa Ynez Valley:
I absolutely FELL in love with exploring the Santa Ynez Valley this past May. The area includes beautiful locations such as Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and towns on the outskirts of Santa Barbara County. And this Wine Region is really starting to come into their own in terms of wine making.
Stop into OstrichLand While in Buellton, just outside of Solvang
The small town of Los Olivos is now host to over 20 Wine Tasting Rooms within walking distance of one another. REALLY, it’s a one stop shop when you visit this town. Stay at the beautiful Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa, and walk to the many surrounding tasting rooms through town.
The town of Solvang is the largest Danish Village on the West Coast, and its adorable buildings, wind mills, shops and bakeries make a GREAT Day Adventure while visiting the area. Great Restaurants, Hotels and Tasting Rooms surround this town. They have great festivals throughout the year including: Taste of Solvang (March 15-19), Old Santa Ynez Day (June 10), Solvang Danish Days (September 15-17), and their Holiday Wine and Beer Walk (December 9-10).
El Dorado County:
For those in the Bay Area that have made the trek to South Lake Tahoe, you may recognize the region known as Apple Hill, although just one part of El Dorado County. Apple Hill is an area full of Apple Farms, Fruit Growers, Wineries and Breweries within one area of El Dorado County. It is the perfect stopping location between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe.
This region is now home to over 42 Wineries within the El Dorado Winery Association! Each Winery having their own story and passion for Winemaking, it’s an entire region worth discovering.
Start your visit out with the Boeger Winery, one of the oldest family run wineries within the region, and continue your Gold Country Trek with a visit to Downtown Placerville, where great shops and restaurants await your arrival!
The Beauty of Skinner Vineyards in El Dorado County
Or take in the views at Skinner Vineyards, or get inspired by artist turned Winemaker at Chateau Davall, or explore the Rhone Varietal Wines at Holly’s Hill. There’s a little inspiration at every turn in this fun wine country region!
After spending time in El Dorado County, it’s time to take your wine tasting adventure to the next county over, just 20 minutes away in Amador County. It’s perfect to plan your wine country vacation by visiting both of these REGIONS.
Let this Gold Country County take you away to great wines just waiting to be discovered by you. This region, that sits in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas offers great views, hospitality, and a slower pace of life.
Amador County is always a FUN LITTLE ADVENTURE, and a great place to escape any type of city life for a weekend or much needed time away. The county is now home to over 40+ wineries that are small, family owned wineries, where often, you’ll see them pouring your wine, as you visit!
Mark the calendars for some of their BEST annual events including: Behind the Cellar Door (March 2-4) and their Big Crush Weekend Event October 6-7.
I always LOVE reminding people about Livermore Valley, because, it is probably one of the closest wine regions within the Bay Area, just 45 minutes outside of San Francisco, and even closer to the South Bay.
This wine region is home to California icons such as Wente and Concannon, huge proponents in bringing Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon to California, and a HUGE reason why EVERY wine lover needs to visit this area of California. To honor the lineage to California Wine.
This region is now home to over 50 wineries that excel in making excellent Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and great Port Wines. It’s the perfect weekend getaway!
For me, residing in Sonoma County, I always love taking a weekend getaway to Mendocino County. It’s where I go when I need to get away for my everyday routine, and where I go to get renewed. It’s a slower pace of life, but this region makes some incredible wines. And it’s just north of Sonoma County.
Yorkville Cellars within Yorkland Highlands of Mendocino County
Whether you’re visiting Anderson Valley, which excels in their Alsace style White Wines, or their cooler climate Pinot Noirs, and even Sparkling Wine, or whether you choose to explore more inland of Mendocino County and visit the small town of Hopland or north of Ukiah in the Redwood Valley, there’s a lot of GREAT wine meaning to be explored.
Greenwood Ridge Vineyards in Anderson Valley: Mendocino County
This region has quietly been making wine for the past 20-30 years, and the ones that know GREAT wine know to keep coming back here! It’s also a region that has always had great sustainability practices when it comes to wine thanks, in part, to the Fetzer Family, who has helped shaped so much of Mendocino County, and the future winemakers of this region!
Along Bonterra Vineyards: McNab Ranch: Mendocino County
Happy exploring in 2018, where are you headed off to first?