Quick Trips to the Napa Valley and Carneros Wine Country

Carneros wine country getaway

Carneros vineyards

Perhaps you are on a business trip in San Francisco or Oakland. Your schedule gives you an afternoon off and you want to visit the Napa Valley or Carneros wine country. You want something that will make your trip useful and memorable. We have a few quick wine country getaway suggestions that will do just that.

Carneros West – In Sonoma County

First of all, we are going to take you to some very fun and cool wineries, not very touristy or commercial. Head across the Golden Gate Bridge and travel to the Carneros Highway. We are suggesting three small wineries: Schug, Robledo, and Larson Family. At the Schug tasting room we like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, as well as the great little house where the tasting room is located. Robledo is the first Mexican-owned winery in Sonoma County. They make some terrific wines using grapes from their vineyards in Napa and Lake County. Their tasting room is loaded with family memorabilia commemorating the family’s founding of the winery. Larson Family Winery is perhaps best known for its family friendliness. You can bring the kids without having to worry that they will be disturbing others; they are welcome at Larson. You can also play a game of Bocce at Larson while you sip some cool Larson Gewürztraminer wine. From the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge these three wineries are about a 45-minute drive without traffic. Schug and Larson are open daily 10 to 5pm, and Robledo by appointment. Always check the winery’s website for more information and consult our Carneros Wine Country Map for driving details. Want a quick bite to eat? Here is a list of some of the best restaurants in Carneros.

Robledo tasting room

Robledo tasting room

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Cuvaison in Carneros

For many years the Cuvasion tasting room in Calistoga has been a favorite of wine country visitors. Now these visitors have a second option for tasting Cuvaison wines, an absolutely amazing and beautiful new tasting room located in Cuvasion’s Carneros vineyards. The Carneros tasting room opened in the spring and last week was our first chance to visit this stunning tasting room. It is a modern but classic tasting room that is open and airy, with the most amazing views of the Carneros vineyards.

When the folks at Cuvasion planned this tasting room they decided to take a different approach to the old tasting room idea of people standing up at a long bar. They decided with the mood and pace of Carneros, the tasting experience would be better as a sit-down wine tasting. When visitors arrive they are asked to sit at one of the tables either inside or out. It almost feels like a private tasting. At first, we were a little apprehensive thinking this might be one of those elaborate over-the-top and expensive wine tastings. Not so, we had a choice of two sets of tasting of four wines each for $15. Our server snuck in a couple of extra wines because as she said “We have these wines open and we don’t want them to go to waste.” [Read more...]