Editor’s Note: In preparation for my trip to Europe I’m taking my very first wine tasting class next week. This week Kalin shares a post on great wine touring adventures during California’s Wine Month.
I wouldn’t call myself a wine connoisseur, but I do enjoy wine tasting. I’ve toured wine country in the Tuscany region of Italy; the wine region of Cape Town, South Africa; and of course Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California.
Every September the golden state celebrates “California Wine Month,” where wineries offer special events and tasting throughout the month.
Napa Valley is the jewel of California Wine Country with more than 300 wineries. It’s also where I found a great way to go wine-tasting without needing a designated driver – I toured by limousine.
Elegant Wine Tours offers custom limousine tours, with knowledgeable drivers/guides, of Napa and Sonoma Valleys for six to 10 passengers.
A six-hour tour usually includes four wineries that the guide can choose for you, or you can choose yourself. Lunch is not included in the cost, so guides suggest a picnic lunch from a winery or one of the restaurants in town.
I like the Calistoga Inn Restaurant and Brewery in Napa. But if you want to work off your calories, visit Bistro Sabor which hosts Salsa dancing on Saturday nights.
Right now, Elegant Wine Tours has a special internet rate of $299, but be prepared for 13% tax and 20% gratuity. It’s not a bad deal for a group of six to 10 friends.
There are also six to 18 passenger SUV’s available, and you can even buy tour packages that include a hot air balloon ride or spa treatments.
But if limousines aren’t your thing, try a wine tour by horse & carriage with The Wine Carriage, or by shuttle with an added San Francisco Bay ferry cruise with Wine Country Tour Shuttle, or by the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Touring California Wine Country by limo, train or horse & carriage is a fun and safe way to celebrate your 40th birthday or as a perfect girlfriend getaway. Tell me about your wine tour experiences. And remember: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain.
Kalin Thomas is Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. She is also Senior Writer/Photographer for SoulOfAmerica. Before starting her own multimedia company, Kalin spent 17 years at CNN where she won several awards for her work as producer/correspondent for CNN’s weekly travel program, CNN TravelNow. She is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information on Kalin, visit www.seetheworldproductions.com.