Napa and Sonoma Valley: an Overview

It's quality, rather than quantity, that really sets the valleys apart from the masses in the wine stakes, with crisp Zinfandels in Sonoma, and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to rival the finest Bordeaux offerings. As well as being home to many of the country's finest vineyards, Napa and Sonoma are gastronomic centres, with a number of simply superb restaurants. Farm-to-table is the order of the day here, with restaurants competing to offer the freshest seasonal ingredients in innovative, delicious dishes.

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Why we think you’ll love it

  • Napa Valley is a place that can be visited at any time of the year, though it is extremely popular in September and October, when the grapes are harvested.
  • Home to hundreds of boutique and family owned wineries, which can be explored on foot, by train, car or bicycle.
  • Taking influence from the gastronomic hub of the north west, San Francisco, Napa and Sonoma each offer countless fantastic restaurants, with a real emphasis on farm-to-table fresh produce.

Napa and Sonoma Valley: The Detail

Whether you are a wine connoisseur or just simply enjoy a drink, you will not be short on vineyards to choose from. Enjoy tours and tastings, sampling the finest Cabernet Sauvignon from Hall Rutherford's 500 acres, or organic Pinot with unbeatable views at Robert Sinkeys, travelling by foot, car, train or bicycle.

The valleys' restaurants offer exceptional dining, and restaurants such as the French Laundry, Terra and the Auberge du Soleil are known as among the best restaurants in the world, let alone California. Sonoma valley also offers a more low-key gastro scene, with goats cheese farms, pick-your-own orchards, and artisan honey producers. This is real pitch up and picnic stuff.

The wine averse need not despair, as the surrounding countryside offers beautiful walking opportunities, through rolling farmland and carpets of wildflowers in spring time. The Napa and Sonoma Valleys are in fact such a pretty area, that people come just for the views and the clean mountain air - there is no need to have an interest in viniculture, though by the end of a short stay even the most ardent vinophobes will know their Syrah from their Cabernet Franc.

Original Travel can tailor make a fabulous Napa and Sonoma Valley holiday, including activities from wine tastings and winemaking classes, to horse riding, guided biking and hiking tours.

Top picks for Napa & Sonoma Valleys

Farmhouse Inn

Farmhouse Inn

Napa & Sonoma Valleys

Located in Sonoma County, this intimate family-run property started out as a humble B&B, and retains that personal feel. Though there's nothing humble about the accommodation, which in true Ralph Lauren fashion has taken an English look and done it better than the original.

Where to stay

The pool at Hotel Yountville, luxury hotel in Napa & Sonoma Valley

Hotel Yountville

Napa & Sonoma Valleys

Yountville is the gastronomic capital of Napa Valley, and Hotel Yountville arguably the best place to stay therein.

Where to stay

Bathhouse at Solage Calistoga, luxury hotel in Napa & Sonoma Valley

Solage Calistoga

Napa & Sonoma Valleys

Napa and Sonoma Valleys are sonomanous (sorry) with elegant country properties that verge on the cutesy, but Solage Calistoga breaks the mould in style.

Where to stay

Calistoga Ranch, luxury hotel in Napa & Sonoma Valley

Calistoga Ranch

Napa & Sonoma Valleys

The ranch is tucked away in a private canyon in the Upper Napa Valley, just outside the historic town of Calistoga.

Where to stay

Exterior at Kenwood Inn, luxury hotel in Napa & Sonoma Valley

Kenwood Inn

Napa & Sonoma Valleys

Located in the Valley of the Moon and surrounded by vineyards, oak trees and fruit trees, guests would be forgiven for thinking they’d gone to sleep in America and woken up in the Tuscan foothills, such is the Italian villa feel to Kenwood, and the Apennine Mountain-like scenery from the bedroom windows.

Where to stay

Auberge du Soleil, luxury hotel in Napa & Sonoma Valley

Auberge du Soleil

Napa & Sonoma Valleys

Auberge du Soleil began life as a highly acclaimed restaurant. Today the fantastic restaurant remains, and rooms have been added.

Where to stay

Explore Napa & Sonoma Valleys

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