California Wines and Tips for Winery Tours

May 1, 2011 by

With almost 500,000 vineyard acres and more than 1,200 wineries that produce millions of gallons of wine each year, California is only surpassed by the national yields of France, Spain, and Italy. So, if you are planning your next visit to sunny California, you should definitely consider taking some time out to see some of the world famous Californian wineries. With the brilliantly pleasant weather and the panoramic scenery, taking winery tours in California can be a heady experience and a fun way to taste some of the rich vintage wines that are available here. With more than 150 days of sunshine each year, the California weather is ideal for growing different varieties of wine grape. There are 6 principal varieties of wine in sunny California.

Production of fine vintages in California is largely concentrated in the two most famous regions, Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Sonoma County consists of several well-known locations that include Alexander, Russian River and Glen Ellen. Napa Valley is by and large biggest wine producing region of California. The more popular locations within the Valley are Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Rutherford, St. Helena, and many others. In addition, wine is also produced in regions like San Joaquin, Temecula, Monterey, the Sierra Foothills, Santa Cruz and Mendocino.

Of the white wines, Chardonnay has a rich buttery taste that goes well with seafood as well as chicken. The Sauvignon Blanc is another white wine that has a melon or herbal taste and pairs well with any kind of seafood. Of the red wines, the world famous Zinfandel has a rich herbal, spicy, or fruity taste, while the Pinot Noir has a thick fruity taste. Merlot is another red wine that has a combination of floral and fruity flavors. Another famous Californian red wine is the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Apart from the above-mentioned types of wine, there are other varieties to titillate your taste buds, and the winery tours will give you interesting insights on how wine is made. Wine tasting and yearly wine festivals that are based on harvesting also form part of these wine tours. If you time your trip to California correctly, you will be able to make the most of these winery tours.

Tips for Winery Tours

If you are considering scheduling some time to take a California wine tour, then here are a few tips for you:

. Planning your visit: As with most other things, planning ahead of your tour will help ensure a fun-filled journey. First, you must decide on what area and wineries you would like to visit. Since most of the wineries are close to each other, you can schedule your tour in such a way that you see a couple of wineries in a single day. For more information, try the trade bureaus and winery organizations, or the Internet.

. Make reservations: Most Californian wineries require advance appointments. So, if you are interested in wine tasting, it would be wise to first call beforehand and book a reservation. Make sure you have hotel and travel plans reserved before you start booking for wine tours. If there are any special functions, you may want to allot some time for those too.

. Research: Knowing where you want to go and what you want to see before you start your tour will make things easier for you. This way, you wont waste any time and energy arguing over which is the right way to go. It would be better to hire a driver who knows the area well.

Small wineries or large wineries, California has all kinds of them to satisfy all those wine lovers out there! From farmers picking grapes manually to harvesting machines, Californian wine tours will provide you with plenty of interesting insights on what it is like inside a winery. Whatever may be the case; you will surely have a fun-filled experience with your loved ones and may even gain some knowledge about the California wine industry!

Kris Koonar

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