In the rolling hills of Northern California, Napa Valley is picturesque, making it a prime vacation destination. During the fall, the mountainous terrain is covered with various hues of yellow, orange, and red-the perfect autumn setting. For food and wine lovers alike, Napa Valley, the food and wine capital of America, has the best of both to offer. From countless restaurants and bed and breakfasts set between wineries and vineyards is the perfect setting for a senior trip.
One convenient way to enjoy the best of Napa is taking a wine tour. There are many companies that offer discounted senior group tasting tours. The specifications for the tours vary by company; most, however, stop at five wineries by way of private car, bus, or limousine. Routes often vary-some tours begin with a ferry ride from San Francisco while others begin in Sonoma Valley. Public and private tours are both widely offered for senior tours. Private tours have the advantage of being customized. This may be appealing to those who are making return trips to this senior travel destination.
Another tour offered in Napa Valley is the wine train. This train offers a unique experience to visitors who are able to eat either gourmet lunch or dinner accompanied by fabulous wine while touring wine country.
If tours are not your style and you’d rather take a leisurely customized visit to Napa I have included some of the top rated wineries.
The Kuleto Estate Winery
This secluded estate winery founded in 1992 by restaurateur Pat Kuleto offers tours by reservation only. Tours are led by wine educators that feature current wine releases with cheese pairings. This vineyard is respected for its exclusivity as well as its highly rated wines.
The Beaulieu Vineyard
This century old vineyard has a legacy of benchmark wines. Known for its years of innovation in the wine making process, Beaulieu was responsible for the oak barrel aging process. This traditional vineyard is a must see. Visitor offerings include a variety of tours and tastings fitting every budget. A group may reserve a room or table and select the type of tasting experience they would like to experience, from cabernet tasting to a retrospective reserve tasting.
Primarily known for its sparkling wines, champagne, and restaurant, Domaine Chandon offers many tour and tasting options as well as a package in cooperation with the Hilton and the wine train. Chandon offers many events throughout the year as well. Planning a visit here to taste the sparkling rose Chandon is a necessity.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Founded in the 1970s, the Joseph Phelps Vineyard has already produced 30 vintages receiving ratings over 90. This winery is known for its seclusion and attention to detail and intimacy in the wine making process. Many tour and tasting options are available.
The Robert Mondavi Winery
For those seeking to tour a larger more widely known winery, the Robert Mondavi estate fits the bill. This winery offers several art collections ranging from sculptor to painting collections as well as several exhibits. The Mondavi estate is also a popular event location. Tours and tastings range from wine education to food and wine tours.
There are many wineries and restaurants of interest in the Napa and Sonoma Valley areas. To plan a vacation that you can truly enjoy, be sure to do plenty of research! Look up your favorite type of wine and wineries in the area that are known for its production. Visits to Napa can be very leisurely making it a great destination for seniors who can take their time to relax, eat good food, and drink great wine.