California and wine make the perfect pair. The warm climate, endless sun, and rolling hills make the Bear State the wine capital of the United States. What better way to celebrate all things California than with a wine-inspired trek to some of the best vineyards the state has to offer? Make sure to visit these amazing California wineries on your next road trip.
Whetstone Vineyards – Napa Valley
A family owned and operated winery in beautiful Napa Valley, Whetstone is known for its stunning French-style chateau, which was built in 1886 by Hamden W. Mcintyre – and early proponent of gravity-flow vineyard design. Founded in 2002, the vineyard’s stunning setting and impeccable wines have earned it the reputation as one of the finest wineries in all of the United States. The winery’s vision has remained steady since opening: “…to use vineyard-based winemaking to showcase beautiful California fruit in limited-production, single-vineyard wine.” From Sonoma Coast and Russian River pinot noir’s to Napa Valley Syrah and beautiful viognier, Whetstone’s beautifully balanced wines must be tried to be believed!
Alma Rosa Winery – Buellton
Set in the stunning Santa Ynez Valley, Alma Rosa offers guests beautiful wine set against the backdrop of the dramatic natural beauty of the Santa Rita Hills featuring an outdoor tasting bar on weekends, and a tasting room with unobstructed views of the valley and hills, the vineyard is an enchanting place to visit any time of the year. The Santa Ynez Valley is famous for its delicious pinot noir wines – including Alma Rosa’s selections. The winery also has a passion for other pinot varietals, including Blanc and Gris, as well as delicious Chardonnays, which the wineries founder, Richard Sandford, was a pioneer of in California.
Acorn Winery – Healdsburg
Sonoma County and fine wine go hand in hand. At Acorn Winery, a family-owned winery, Betsy and Bill Nachbaur create beautiful, sustainably farmed wines. Their award-winning portfolio includes Syrah, Zinfandel, as well as some unique field-blends, including the simply named Acorn Hill, a Rhône, which is a Tuscany blend of Syrah and Sangiovese, with hints of Viognier, canaiolo, and mammolo. Visiting Acorn Winery is a lovely experience, complete with a private tasting hosted by one of the owners.
Bel Vino Winer – Temecula
While Napa and Sonoma are most commonly associated with great California wine, Southern California has plenty of great wineries to choose from as well. Bel Vino, located in Temecula, has earned the nickname “the friendliest winery in Southern California” for its hospitality and warm atmosphere. The diverse offerings (Bel Vino produces Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel varietals) and close proximity to Los Angeles, Anaheim, and San Diego make visiting Bel Vino a great idea any time of year. Their year-round special events and free wine tastings for wine club members don’t hurt either!
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