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Wine Country

Make Your Own Wine at Napa Valley Wineries

While starting a winery is still exceedingly difficult and expensive, you can now create your own wine with ease.

Experiences range from quick and fun to serious and studious. At the end, you’ll have a custom wine and label, a good buzz, and a better understanding of winemaking.

Here are a few favorites that are open to the public:

Is 2012 the Best Vintage Ever for Napa Valley?

Members of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers seemed almost disappointed by how little they had to report on Wednesday, September 5 at the annual harvest press conference held at PlumpJack’s newest winery, Odette, in the Stags Leap district. “We’re here with breaking news that 2012 is going to be the best vintage ever,” joked Amy Warnock, the viticulturist for Stagecoach Vineyards on Atlas Peak.

Five Unique Tasting Experiences in Sonoma County

For many people, wine tasting may be no more than pulling their car into a winery, paying the nominal cost of a wine flight, and moving on to the next tasting room. However, there’s much more to the wine tasting experience in Sonoma. Below, we feature a few unique wine tasting experiences in Sonoma County.

Taste Napa Valley on The Appellation Trail This November

This November 16th, go on a world-class tasting trek in Napa called The Appellation Trail, as part of Flavor! Napa Valley. It's ground zero for wine enthusiasts, because over 100 wineries will be pouring everything from Albariño to Zinfandel.

The Napa Valley has been endowed with the perfect environment to cultivate some of the world’s finest wine grapes, and an exploration of its sub-appellations (defined grape growing areas) reveals the amazing array of soils, microclimates and topography that enables growers and winemakers to craft wines of the finest quality across a broad range of varietals.

Five Things to Do in Wine Country This Month

Originally published on

As the summer crops reach their peak, Wine Country is filled with the aromas of young wine and sweet produce. Here are some great things to do in Wine Country in September to celebrate harvest and ease into the fall design and arts season.

Grapes, Champagne, and Giant Trees in Wine Country

As 101 winds north the changing scenery lets you know when farm country gives way to wine country. But a little more than an hour past the Golden Gate, a giant opportunity is tucked away to the west of all those distracting vines.

Take the River Road exit off 101 in Santa Rosa and head 15 miles or so to Guerneville. But instead of heading into town, hang a right on Armstrong Woods Road and explore Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve.

New Life for California’s Oldest Winery

What does an eccentric Hungarian Count born 200 years ago and a charismatic modern-day Frenchman have in common? Oddly enough, a passion for making wine… in Sonoma. Last year, Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates, a negociant wine company based in Burgundy, purchased the oldest winery in California — Buena Vista, just outside the town square in Sonoma — and has set about painstakingly restoring the historic cellars.

Brand New Wineries and Experiences in Napa Valley

Despite significant obstacles, there are new brick and mortar wineries popping up in Napa Valley, and we’ve found the latest and greatest. So take pleasure in knowing that you’ll be the first of your friends to hear about these hot new spots, and try them out!

SoMA, Meet Wine Country's St. Helena

If the very thought of Wine Country evokes images of stretch limos teeming with feather boa-draped bachelorette parties, hordes of Midwesterners bellied up at tasting room bars, and grapevine-swathed, cork and barrel everything, you wouldn’t be totally wrong. But off the beaten path, curious city folk may find tiny civilized hubs where the art and design are contemporary, the cuisine is cutting-edge, and the shopping is more Manolo Blahnik than The North Face. In other words, not so unlike San Francisco.

How One of Italy’s Most Celebrated Wines Became a California Exclusive

Tocai Friulano is one of the best and most popular white wines in the northern Italian region of Friuli. They’ve been growing the grape and making the wine for a long time. But in 2007, after Hungary joined the European Union, it was determined by that governing body that one of their wines, Tokaji (a sweet wine made from the grape furmint) could potentially, due to its similar pronunciation to Tocai Friulano confuse consumers into…what? Thinking they were the same wine? I guess so. So poor Tocai Friulano had to change its name to simply Friulano.

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