Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here. The iconic Napa Valley is visited by more than 4. Though it covers nearly square miles, most wineries are clustered in the 35 miles between the city of Napa in the south and the town of Calistoga in the north.
Starmont by Merryvale Carneros Chardonnay 2013
According to people old enough to know, Sonoma County is what Napa Valley was like 30 years ago, before the international fame and the tour buses and traffic that came with it. Now some of the most respected wineries in the world are found in Napa, and that cachet comes with a cost. Collectively, they also offer a wider variety of wines; whereas Napa concentrates on cabs and classic Bordeaux varietals, Sonoma vintners make everything from pinot to zinfandel and charbono to gewurztraminer. Sonoma is more spread out than Napa, so pick one area — such as the Russian River, the Sonoma Valley or the Alexander Valley — and stick to it to minimize driving.
In both Napa and Sonoma, visit during the week and skip the summer and harvest high seasons if you want to avoid the largest crowds. To save money, share tastings or look for 2-for-1 coupons through apps like Winery Finder. The town of Yountville packs the biggest culinary punch in the valley. Try the family-style comfort food at Ad Hoc or its outdoor outpost of fried chicken, Addendum lunch only; Thursday-Sunday. Both offer elevated pub food and allow guests to bring their own wine for a low or no corkage fee.
While not as well known for its culinary masters, Sonoma has its own dining gems. You can dine at a winery at Corks at the Russian River Vineyards , or go for seasonal farm-fresh fare at the Girl and the Fig in the city of Sonoma.
Merryvale Vineyards Pinot Noir, Carneros Review
Rooms at the ultra-lux Meadowood Resort in St. For something a bit more removed, the Calistoga Ranch is tucked away on acres above the valley. Bottom line on hotels: Luxury-lovers will find slightly more options in Napa, but both regions have incredible places — often with decent redemptions — to lay your head. For more foodie fun, learn to blend your own wine at Conn Creek Vineyards , or a take a cooking class with wine, of course at Whitehall Lane.
Sonoma County offers a wider range of outdoor adventures.
Best with a discount coupon, of course. Discounts not always available but always worth checking just to make sure. Chateau Montelena Winery: These guys smoked the French in the famous Paris blind tastings with their chardonnay. Conn Creek Winery: Right in the heart of the valley on the Silverado Trail side, if you like cabs you need to stop in — made all the better with a two for one. Consentino Winery: Impatient? Then make the first winery on Highway 29 your first stop.
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Located next to Mustards, a great stop for lunch. Cuvaison Estate Wines: A cool contemporary winery in Calistoga area, perfect for a nice sunny day. Free winetasting with purchase!
Domaine Chandon: Fantastic first stop for a glass of bubbly, essential! Duckhorn Vineyards: Such a nice winery!
Beautiful grounds and a nice tableside tasting experience. Etude: Cab lovers, pinot lovers, coupon lovers, this is your stop! Folie a Deux: Free wine. For real! Great winery! Freemark Abbey: Taste in a historic winery and sample their wine and cheese pairing, all the better with a 2 for 1. Try the chardonnay. Got that, FREE! Hall Winery: Small boutique winery on Highway 29, get a free reserve tasting with standard tasting flight.
Hess Collection: Off the beaten track, a scenic drive up the mountain, great art exhibit, two-for-one. Merryvale Vineyards : The first new winery built in Napa after prohibition has a 2-fer-1 offer.
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