Your Guide to Enjoying Napa & Sonoma's Best Vineyards

Among the many reasons to explore what California has to offer, wine is certainly one of the top attractions to travel through its varied ecosystems and landscapes.

The state of California is one of the world’s biggest producers of wine, with areas all around San Francisco that have a rich viticultural history reaching back more than 200 years. Given the breadth of its climates, it’s a region that can offer many varieties of wine to interest connoisseurs and newcomers alike.

When looking at two of the most popular destinations for wine in California, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, there are hundreds of vintners to pick from. It can be difficult to know which destination is worth your time, so this guide was created to help you decide which world-class winery is.

In order to help you coordinate your trip, it’s best to make sure your group transportation is in order. Learn about our chartered bus services from San Francisco here.

Visiting the Wineries of Napa Valley

Centuries old, superb vineyards dot the hillsides that run throughout an area filled with adventures and resorts.

1. Brasswood

1 hour 30 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Enjoy Brasswood's Sauvignon by renting a charter bus.
Brasswood’s Sauvignon Blanc expresses scents of tropical fruit that will burst through your palate. It’s perfect for any occasion! Photo Courtesy of Brasswood.

The estate of Brasswood offers a lot to groups, with caves, a restaurant, a bakery, a curated sensory room, and a bottle shop to explore. The Brasswood Bar + Kitchen offers private lunches with pairings, as well as tours of their winery.

The Brasswood crew is passionate about celebrating the Napa Valley lifestyle. Whether it be making a vibrant wine or cooking breathtaking food, you can book a tour by calling (707) 968-5434, or by visiting the homepage of their website.

2. Round Pond Estate Winery

1 hour 15 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

This winery’s annual Sunset Palm Dinner is only part of the reason to visit; it’s a producer of famous grapes, has its own olive oil mill, and develops several other artisan products. Round Pond knows its food, offering a five-course midday services called the Il Pranzo lunch.

At Round Pond, they offer four different and unique guest experiences; at the winery, at the olive mill and in the garden. To visit this wonderful estate, visit their website or call 888.302.2575 for more information.

3. Robert Mondavi Winery

1 hour 20 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Enjoy one of Robert Mondavi's Wine by renting a charter bus.
Indulge all of your senses by visiting this beautiful winery. Be sure to try the Moscato D’Oro, a Mondavi classic. Photo Courtesy of Robert Mondavi Winery.

If you have something of a grand scale in mind for your next trip to a vineyard, Robert Mondavi Winery encourages visitors to act as hosts to their own events, in addition to educational and entertainment planning that’s supplied. What better place to have a team-building event than with a view of the mountains and a glass of award-winning pinot noir in your hand?

Robert Mondavi offers three different wine tasting experiences. Book reservations online or call (888) 766-6328, ext. 2.

4. Long Meadow Ranch

1 hour 20 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Enjoy Long Meadow's Restaurant by renting a charter bus.
Visit Long Meadow’s restaurant. As they showcase items fresh from their farm and ranch, the menu is continuously changing. Talk about spontaneity! Photo Courtesy of Long Meadow Ranch.

There’s two routes to choose from at this sprawling ranch of three estates: Either a free-for-all visit replete with entertainments like live music, visits from guest chefs, and a farmer’s market, or a selection of one of their outdoor venues to enjoy an event package they offer indoors or outdoors. Long Meadow Ranch  grows 16 acres of vineyards in the Mayacamas Mountains.

Wether it be for a wedding, a bite to eat, or a visit to one of their three different estates, there is no shortage of events here! Book reservations online or call 707-963-4555 to visit this exciting Ranch.

5. Robert Sinskey Vineyards

1 hour 15 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Sip some wine at Robert Sinskey Vineyard by renting a charter bus.
There’s truly nothing better than taking a relaxing break while drinking a fine merlot. Enjoy one at this gorgeous vineyard. Photo Courtesy of Robert Sinskey Vineyards.

Smaller groups are given more of a directed experience at this location, where a reservation can be as simple as visiting their Vineyard Kitchen, followed by a library tasting. It can also be as big as large groups seated at the Chef’s Table after touring the culinary gardens and vineyards.

Robert Sinskey Vineyards is dedicated to the agrarian, culinary experience and they host some of their amazing experiences on a “first come – first served” basis. Thinking of something a little more elaborate? Call 707 944 9090 for more information.

6. Joseph Phelps Vineyards

1 hour 30 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

This winery also has an amazing culinary program that was launched last August. Get the most out of your experience! Photo Courtesy of Joseph Phelps Vineyards.

Visiting these vineyards gives one of the best experiences in how it lays the landscape on a complete 360-degree display. The cooking here is high-class, and when it comes time to taste, there’s ample room to wander and relax.

Joseph Phelps Vineyards offers a variety of wine tasting experiences seven days a week by prior appointment. Interested in visiting this beautiful vineyard? Call the winery at 800 707 5789 or email a request .

7. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

1 hour 15 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Enjoy this Sauvignon Blanc by renting a charter bus!
Enjoy a well-made Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of citrus, guava, lemongrass, orange blossom and hints of boxwood and tangerine. Photo Courtesy of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.

Napa Valley was put in the spotlight thanks to this winery and a cabernet sauvignon that won the 1976 Judgment of Paris. In addition to a world-class glass, they’ve launched paired food with their selections on afternoons from Monday to Thursday. The ambiance of their private spaces are great for gathering informal or formal, large or small.

To book at reservation with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, visit their website or call 707 261 6410. They are open daily from 10M-16:30pm, and their last walk-in tasting begins at 16:15.

Visiting the Wineries of Sonoma Valley

Deemed the ‘young sibling’ of Napa Valley, wine country here is both easy-going and indulgent.

8. Jordan Vineyard & Winery

1 hour 25 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Visit Jordan's Vineyard by renting a charter bus.
Learn more about Bud Break by visiting Jordan Vineyard’s amazing blog. Photo Courtesy of Jordan’s Winery. 

Estate tours and tastings come highly recommended in this decades-old establishment, especially during the peak summer season. Hikes through the vineyard reveal awesome views of mountains and wildlife, lakes and vistas.

Jordan Winery hosts many different visiting experiences. You can reserve online or call  800-654-1213 for more information.

9. Scribe Winery

1 hour Bus Ride from San Francisco

Visit Scribe by renting a charter bus.
Not only does this Winery have amazing tasting tours but they also have fun and on going upcoming events! Checkout their website for more information. Photo Courtesy of Scribe Winery.

This hilltop location in wine country excels in celebrating some of the varietals that are unique to its area, such as Sylvaner, Riesling and St. Laurent. Their hacienda is almost painfully bucolic here, and following a tour of their vineyard, make sure to enjoy the light stylings of their kitchen.

At Scribe Winery reservations are required. If you would like to plan a visit, call 707.939.1858

10. Seghesio Family Vineyards

1 hour 20 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Play a game of Bocce Ball at Seghesio Family Vineyards by renting a charter bus.
Guests are invited to taste the wine, play a game of Bocce Ball, or relax in the picnic grove. There’s no shortage of great experiences here. Photo Courtesy of Seghesio Family Vineyard.

For some looking for the more Italian experience, this winery proudly offers an experience that goes back more than a century. That means grand tables are among the wine barrels with white tablecloths and ornate centrepieces. Seghesio‘s is undoubtedly a gorgeous and storied place.

At Seghesio, they offer three unique experiences ; The Heritage Flight tasting bar, Flounder’s Flight, and Chef’s table experience. To get a better understanding of these amazing experiences, contact [email protected] or call (707) 433-3579

11. St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

1 hour 20 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Taste Old Vines by renting a charter bus and visiting this winery.
It may be called “Old Vines”, but enjoying a glass of Zinfandel never gets old! Photo Courtesy of St-Francis.

Deemed one of the best in America by several forums for international diners, this winery deals with large gatherings in their gardens strung with lights. It’s two acres of sustainable wines to enjoy over plates topped with surf and turf.

It all begins in the vineyard. You can examine the lifecycle of the vine and then taste it. For more information on reservations and booking tours, visit St-Francis Winery’s website or call 888-675-WINE (9463).

12. Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards

1 hour 20 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

Visit and taste Hill's Chardonnay by renting a charter bus.
After all, tomorrow is just another Chardonnay! And at Chalk Hill, they do it best. Photo Courtesy of Chalk Hill.

A well-kept secret among lovers of reds and whites, this winery offers a more rugged experience when visiting its patchwork of vineyards filled with delicious varietals. This one is also connected to the Taste of Chalk Hill Road tour, where a princely sum will take you to a total of three other estates. Inquire within.

For more information on the unique kinds of tours and experiences Chalk Hill offers, visit their website to receive three different phone numbers.

13. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards

1 hour Bus Ride from San Francisco

Crack open a bottle at this winery by renting a charter bus.
Toast to today! At this Winery, there’s never a reason not to celebrate. Photo Courtesy of Gloria’s Ferrer Vineyard.

Seasonal menus are all the rage, and this winery understands the importance of the combinations to be made between food and wine. Imagine delicate plates of flavours that are coordinated with accompanying cask selections. Wine fanatics, this is your jam.

Gloria’s is gloriously delicious! Make sure to checkout their website on how you can visit this amazing Vineyard, or call 707-933-1917 for more information.

14. Ram’s Gate Winery

50 minutes Bus Ride from San Francisco

As one of the first notable wineries one passes on the way into the valley, it can go overlooked, but the pairing skills here cannot go unvisited. The picturesque views overlooking their vineyards are a perfect way to spend a day trip.

At Ram’s Gate Winery, they recommend making an appointment for each type of tasting offered. Call 707-721-8700 for further inquiries.

Feeling inspired to organize an outing to one of these gorgeous California vineyards? Make sure your group stays safe and in good spirits by securing a charter bus rental, and a designated driver to go with it!

First time booking a bus? Check out our ultimate guide to bus rentals for more information!