Help! I’ve never been to wine country, what do I do?
That’s what we’re here to help you with! Every winery that we outline on this website, we’ve personally visited. We absolutely recommend exploring our pages on each winery and seeing which strike your interest. An easy way to plan a day is to find one or two that are nearby each other and possibly find a third to visit but allow yourself time & flexibility! We’ve found that a loose plan is the best plan because it’s very easy to lose track of time while you’re enjoying wine country! You’ll end up making friends and receive recommendations from pourers (they’re great resources!) and it’s best to allow extra time for unexpected fun. Another great resource is our tags we’ve assigned to each winery. Perhaps you’re looking to explore smaller, family-run wineries or maybe you’re hoping to enjoy free tastings. All of this information can be accessed through our tags here.
Where did you get all of this information?
We have been to every single winery that is on our website and everything we have written comes from personal experience. Each photo is ours unless otherwise listed. Winery information such as pricing, hours, etc. has been sourced from the individual wineries.
Can I do wine country on a budget?
Absolutely! There are many wineries that offer free tastings. Otherwise, we’d recommend looking into sharing a tasting or splitting a bottle of wine. Another option is checking if wineries offer the option of waiving a tasting fee if you purchase a bottle of wine! It’s a two-for-one situation in a sense, because you’re able to enjoy tastings while you’re in wine country while also being able to take a bottle home to enjoy later!
If I work in wine or hospitality, do I get some sort of industry discount?
Generally, yes. It’s different at every winery, however, so never hesitate to ask! If you’re looking for a discount on wines or tastings, be sure to bring a business card with you. As with most services, if you were taken care of exceptionally well, tips are appreciated.
Can we really bring food to a winery?
Yes! There are select wineries that offer a picnic option. Please see our Picnic tag here for a list.
What if I want to experience a winery but I have to drive and don’t want to drink too much?
There’s always an option to share tastings so you can have the full experience of a winery & exploring the flavors they have to offer, without imbibing an entire wine flight. Wineries truly don’t mind!
If I’m worried about traffic coming and going from San Francisco, where should I go?
Traffic can always be considered unpredictable, but we’ve found that driving to Napa can potentially come with more traffic than Sonoma. The main route in and out of Napa is a one-lane, generally heavily trafficked road. Sonoma is accessed by multi-laned, Highway 101 that tends to be less congested.
What if I have a big group? Will I be able to park my bus or limo?
We’d recommend checking out our “Good for Groups” tag. Those wineries have the capacity to host larger groups and with that, are able to accommodate parking. If you are ever concerned, feel free to reach out to the specific winery. All winery contact information can be found at the bottom of each winery page. They always appreciate a heads up & reservations are generally the best way to go when traveling in a group (sometimes required).
Do I need to dress up or follow a dress code?
Only if you want to! Most wineries are more casual than you'd think, but that doesn't mean you'll be out of place if you want to wear something special! Another thing to keep in mind - typically, Sonoma is more casual than Napa. Check out our winery photos too - if you're planning to visit a winery that is also a working farm, you may want to leave your fancy shoes at home!