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. 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. 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. The Sonoma valley gastro scene is more low key, with goats cheese farms, pick-your-own orchards, and artisan honey producers: real pitch up and picnic stuff. 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.
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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.
The surrounding countryside also 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.
Dinner at the 3 Michelin star French Laundry is a real highlight of any visit to Napa Valley. Getting a table requires military precision as booking lines only open two months in advance.