Highlights on the Wine Roads Less Traveled
SAN FRANCISCO, May 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — California is home to dozens of distinct wine regions, including some of the world’s most famous destinations for wine. But hidden among even the high-profile appellations are the wine roads less traveled, featuring stunning rural scenery, delicious wines and, often, fewer visitors. To help wine lovers discover new wine roads and wineries this summer, Wine Institute’s California Wine Country Back Roads series highlights off-the-beaten path wine roads and regions. The five-part series begins with the back roads of California’s North Coast.
Home to nearly 500 wineries, rolling hills, redwood trees and 55 miles of coastline, Sonoma County is one of the most well-known wine regions in California. Even so, there’s always something new to explore along Sonoma’s rural roads.
TASTE: Best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma has diverse climate and soils allowing vintners to grow dozens of other varieties. The country roads in Alexander Valley lead to more than two dozen wineries. Hidden treasures can also be found in the nearby Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley.
TOUR: On June 22-23, Experience Alexander Valley invites groups of 20 or less to experience blending seminars with winemakers, ravioli-making workshops or bocce in the vineyards. On June 8 – July 14 is the Art of Wine with a Vintage Palette at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts, featuring 60 artists celebrating wine country culture of the North Bay. The free opening reception is June 8.
For information on lodging, dining and events, see Sonoma Tourism.
Napa Valley is known the world over for its acclaimed wines—primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Bordeauxvarieties—and a culinary scene that includes Michelin star restaurants, delicious food truck fare and every level of cuisine in between.
TASTE: Bordered by two mountain ranges, the Napa Valley has several less-traveled mountain roads to meander and discover. Spring Mountain Road, just a few minutes off busy highway 29, is a rural respite of family owned wineries and 1,000 acres of hillside vineyards. Likewise, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, Howell Mountain and Diamond Mountain reward travelers with mountain vistas and limited-production wines.
TOUR: Festival Napa Valley is in July, featuring a full slate of concerts, operas and winery parties. Free outdoor concerts will be at the St. Helena Concert Series, held on alternating Thursdays, June-August, in Lyman Park.
For information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Visit Napa Valley.
Fifty miles north of Healdsburg lies Mendocino County where over 90 percent of the land is wild and undeveloped. The region has a small-town vibe and relaxed hospitality.
TASTE: Along Highway 128 in the Anderson Valley are more than two dozen small wineries producing everything from sparkling wines, Pinot Noir to aromatic whites. A high percentage of the wineries use sustainable, organic or biodynamic methods.
TOUR: Celebrate Father’s Day weekend June 15-16 with A Taste of Redwood Valley, a chance to sample library wines and small-production lots. Anderson Valley wineries host their Barrel Tasting Weekend July 20-21.
For information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Visit Mendocino.
Bordering Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, Lake County was named for the region’s many picturesque lakes. Vineyards are planted throughout the valley to the rocky red soil around Mt. Konocti, a dormant volcano.
TASTE: Home to 30-plus wineries, Lake County is known for its high-elevation Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc wines. Check out the Mini-tours around Clear Lake.
TOUR: On June 16, the Lake County Beer, Wine & Swine Baconfest brings together dad-friendly favorites for Father’s Day. Red, White, & Blues celebrates the best of Lake County wines on July 6 in Middletown.
For information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Lake County Wineries.
For all the wine regions in this series, use the discovercaliforniawines.com interactive map to search wineries by events and amenities such as tours, gardens and picnic areas.
About Wine Institute
Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for California wineries, which produces 80 percent of U.S. wine and accounts for more than 90 percent of U.S. wine exports. As the nation’s number one state for wine and food tourism with 138 American Viticultural Areas and 4,800 wineries, California attracts 24 million visitors to its wine regions annually.
SOURCE Wine Institute