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Sonoma or Napa? How to Find The Best Wine Tour For You

Sonoma Flower Winery

If you are planning your California vacation and wine touring is a must you may be wondering what are your best options. Friends keep talking about wineries by the coast, trendy wines that have captured their attention and hidden treasures found only by those who really know every backroad in California.

Napa and Sonoma are not the same. By this we don’t mean that one is better than the other. Each region is different and both have so much to offer to wine lovers in all seasons of life.

If you are tasting wine and visiting wineries for the first time there are plenty of reasons to stick to Napa Valley. Proximity of the wineries, the ability to visit well-known vintners and a deep sense of familiarity to name a few.

Napa is the Essence of Wine

Napa Valley covers a little over 200,000 acres, yet it is home to over 400 wineries. In contrast Sonoma Valley is far more extensive covering about 600,000 acres yet the number of wineries is about the same as Napa. Many have described Napa as the Disneyland of wine-lovers. During high season many of the more popular wineries are crowded and traffic jams are not uncommon in the famous Silverado Trail.

Sonoma is Picturesque

If you are into idyllic landscape Sonoma is the place to be. Imagine a grand layer of fog covering beautiful coastal valleys giving way to mountainside vineyards that are simply perfect. Visualize small uphill roads that lead to hidden small-production wineries. Be prepared for curvy paths with astounding tree canopies and don’t discount the possibility of motion sickness for those not accustomed to intense road trips.

Napa is Better For Beginners

Napa is accustomed to high-traffic and as such it has the infrastructure to manage tourism. Tasting salons are often ready to teach you the basics and many wineries have embraced the fact that not all wine tasters will be wine buyers. To that end, there are fees associated with almost every tasting experience.

Sonoma is for Explorers

For wine collectors who enjoy pulling beautiful surprises for their guests Sonoma might just hold the key to success. There are plenty of wines to be had at a price-point that makes sense for collectors. More & more Sonoma wineries produce wines that are worth buying by the case. Think gorgeous Pinots magical cabernets and seductive chardonnays.

If you are planning on doing a wine tour of Sonoma plan at least two days if not three to be able to visit iconic wineries at a leisurely pace. Consider asking your tour coordinator to plan a picnic on a private location and be prepared to take lots of beautiful pictures.

You may also want to consider staying in a lodging venue already in Sonoma to reduce the travel times. We absolutely love MacArthur Place Historic Inn and you will never be wrong staying at The Lodge.


Ready to let us help you plan the perfect wine tour of Sonoma? Send us a quick note at concierge@sonomaprivatetours.com and we will get the ball rolling.




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