Our Top 5 Best Bay Area Wine Tours
If you’re looking for Bay Area wine tours, then you’re in luck. Home to both Napa Valley and Sonoma, California is known as a wine country. And there are a large variety of wine tours to choose from in the area, with a few that will get you directly from the Bay Area to the wine of your dreams. In case you don’t feel like traveling too far for a good sip of wine though, we’ve also included wine tours and tastings that are closer to home.
If you don’t mind a larger group and you’re looking to save a little money, bus-based wine tours could be the route to take for you. With a price range between $130-180, hop aboard a luxury coach bus with access to AC and an onboard restroom. These types of bus tours typically meet at a central spot in San Francisco, making it easy to travel to wine country even if you’re an out-of-towner.
Gray Line of San Francisco offers this type of tour for about $149. For this tour, your first stop is Viansa Sonoma Winery. On the way there, your guide will tell you all about the area’s history. Then head to Roche Winery, a family-run winery, before taking a break at Sonoma Square Plaza to snag lunch. On your last stop, you’ll head over to Madonna Estate Winery in Napa where you’ll do a wine tasting and learn about the winemaking process.
On your way back to San Francisco, guests also have the opportunity to stop and take photos at the Golden Gate Bridge before getting dropped off at either Fisherman’s Wharf or Union Square.
Looking for something just a little more intimate on your wine tour? With the Wine Country Small-Group Tour by Edge of the World, you can do just that. At about $149 per person, start with a pick-up from your San Francisco hotel. Then sit back for a scenic ride out of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County. You’ll learn about the area from your guide as you head north to Sonoma, before stopping at a few local wineries for guided wine tastings, to sample different varietals and learn about the wine-making process.
Afterwards, enjoy the chance to explore downtown Sonoma and grab yourself lunch while perusing the many historical landmarks and local shops. Lunch is followed by another wine tasting and then a short journey to the neighboring bayside town of Sausalito. There, you can decide to stay in Sausalito and take a ferry ride back across the bay to San Francisco or continue on to a lookout with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge before returning to your hotel.
If you’re looking for something completely intimate, then you might consider the 8-Hour Private Sonoma or Napa Wine Tour with Concierge Service by Wine Nation Tours. Cost is $455 per group with up to four people in a group. What makes this tour unique is that you can have it catered more specifically to your taste in wine. The tour lasts about eight hours and includes private transportation. That includes pick up from over 55 communities in the Bay area.
Don’t feel like spending eight hours on a wine tour but still want a sip of all the wines that wine country has to offer? Skip the Bay area wine tours and make a visit to Maritime Wine Tasting Studio instead, located in the vibrant North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco.
Since 2008, they’ve imported wines from all around the world in addition to making local California wine. If you’re looking to sample many different wines, they offer tastes and flights. Or if you find something you really love, they also offer the opportunity to purchase bottles and cases from their entire collection of thoughtfully selected wines.
If Bay area wine tours aren’t doing it for you and you’re looking for something that offers a more curated selection of wine country, then you might try Côte West. Old World style, yet undeniably Californian wine, they offer outdoor wine tastings on Saturdays and Sundays, with the opportunity to make a reservation in advance. With a reservation, you and your party will have 90 minutes at your table to enjoy tasting through 5 different wines, and if you become a Côte West member, the wine tasting fee is waived. You’ll also find select organic and sustainably farmed wines and can purchase by the bottle.
Smitten with wine country and looking to become a more permanent fixture in California? Del Webb offers a few over 55 communities in the Bay Area. With amenities to keep you active and personalization options to help your home match your lifestyle, these new construction homes are worth the exploration if you think California has your name on it.
Contributed to The 55+ Society
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