Home Food & Wine Must-See Wineries on Your California Road Trip

Must-See Wineries on Your California Road Trip


If you enjoy sunshine, great scenery, and a good glass of wine, a California winery road trip is a must-do for you and your significant other. Surprise your loved one this holiday season by presenting him or her with an itinerary that includes some of the best California wineries. Not sure where to begin? Use this example itinerary to get started.

Southern California: Gianni Buonomo Vintners

San Diego is believed to be the birthplace of California wineries, with the first record of sustained planting of the vine occurring in the 1770s at a San Diego Mission. Today, wineries dot the foothills and valleys of the warmer region of the state. While you could spend the entirety of your vacation in this region of the state bouncing from one winery to the next, you would be doing your taste buds a disservice if you failed to go north. That said, there are a few must see wineries in the region, including Gianni Buonomo Vinters.

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Gianni is a small independent production that remains small on purpose. The vintners believe in conducting every aspect of the wine-making process on-site and overseeing every procedure to ensure that the barrels age as anticipated. The result is a delectable wine that comes with the unmistakable aroma of fine wine aged in barrels. If the wine is not enough reason to visit, the view is. The winery is located on the coast, affording a spectacular view of the Pacific as you taste.

Some other wineries to consider while you’re in the region are as follows:

  •      San Pasqual Winery
  •      Broken Earth Winery
  •      Passagno Winery

Sonoma: Jordan Winery

Dubbed one of the best Sonoma wineries for atmosphere, food and wines, Jordan Winery has been praised time and time again for its exceptional service, flavorful and unique tastes, fine dining, and unparalleled customer service. The winery is located on 1,200 acres of rolling hills in quaint Healdsburg, California. Guests can enjoy garden tours, on-site apiary, gourmet food pairings, and tastes of new releases as well as older vintages. The environment itself combines the old-world elegance of Boudreaux with the Charm of Alexander Valley.

Sustainability is the foundation of the winery’s every business practice. Three-quarters of the 1,200 acres that the estate sits upon is dedicated to natural habitat, which guests can enjoy by eyesight or by food.

Some other wineries to visit while in the Healdsburg area include the following:

  •      Castella Di Amorosa – The Castle Winery
  •      Silver Oak Cellars
  •      Monticello Vineyards

Sierra Foothills: Renwood Winery

The wines at this Northern California winery are more playful and light than those typically made in wineries throughout the state. Instead of the heavier Cabernets and Chardonnays, Renwood Winery specializes in Zinfandels. Zinfandel grapes grow well in Amador County, which is where Renwood is located, and as a result, the vintners have been perfecting the fruity wine for more than 25 years.

The atmosphere at Renwood is what one might expect from a Northern California establishment: warm, inviting, and colorful. Staff are ready and able to help you identify your wine of choice and to bring you a flight that includes several varieties of your favorite blend. Of course, the Zinfandel is a fan favorite and is praised by locals and visitors alike for its blackberry notes and red fruit undertones. If you want something to take an edge off a hot day, consider the Sauvignon Blanc, which has crisp citrus tones and that is easy to drink.

The Sierra Nevada foothills may not be renowned for its wines, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have several fine wineries to offer. Some other wineries to visit while you are in the area include the following:

  •      Amador Cellars
  •      Helwig Winery

Take your significant other on a flavorful road trip this fall. Take him or her to the best California wineries.

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