Your Journey to the Beautiful Napa and Sonoma Valleys begins here.
The East Bay Urban Wine Tour from San Francisco is an excellent way to experience the famous wines of Napa and Sonoma Valleys without devoting an entire day. On this tour we will take you to lesser known boutique wineries across the bay from San Francisco, in Oakland, Alameda and Emeryville. Visit three wineries for wine tasting in just half a day, departing from your San Francisco hotel and be home in time for dinner!
Read all about our latest adventures on our blog, written by our expert wine country tour guides.
The early rains have been followed with spectacular warm summer-like weather, so the late harvests will be sweet enough to make some great dessert wines again this year.
Nature has done a superb job of not screwing it up this year, and the harvest is humming right along.
The vineyards are buzzing with activity as the early grapes are being picked, and every day sees truckloads of grapes moving from This Vineyard to That Crushpad at the Other Winery!
San Francisco Wine Country Tours specializes in providing our customers with unique wine country experiences. Our carefully designed daily tours include boutique wineries that are “off the beaten path” and not regularly visited by tourists, as well as some of the best known wine makers in the world, including Mondavi, Kendall, Sutter Home, Sterling, Korbel, Glen Ellen, Gallo, Kendall-Jackson, and others.*
We also offer individualized chartered tours that can provide you with a wine country expert tour guide, transportation, and even special “behind-the-scenes” access to some wineries. Contact us online for pricing and availability. You can also call and speak to one of our San Francisco-based customer service representatives at (866) 231-3752.
Visit our online reservations form and start your San Francisco Wine Country adventure today! We look forward to sharing our knowledge and love of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys with you.
* Subject to seasonal availability.
The California Wine Country is centered around the picturesque and historic town of Sonoma. In 1823, the site where the heart of the town now stands was selected for the 21st and final California Mission. The chain of missions of Alta California had begun as a project of Franciscan Father Junipero Serra, under the auspices of the Spanish crown in 1769. The idea was to build a chain of missions and presidios starting in San Diego and extending north up the coast of California. The Franciscans would convert and baptize Native Americans at their mission churches then set them to work on the vast mission plantations. The missions created a foothold in the new untamed land, which helped to promote exploration, settlement and colonization, thus legitimizing Spain’s tenuous hold on the attractive territory.
By 1834 Altimira’s mission and vineyards were thriving, but the political winds of change spelled doom for the old mission system. The Mexican government decided to secularize the missions and sent a military detachment under the command of a young Mariano Vallejo to Sonoma to take control of the Mission properties and establish a town. Vallejo built barracks, surveyed a town square and started doling out land grants to settlers. He also took some of the mission’s vines and planted them on his own property. Vallejo would become one of the California wine country’s first private winemakers. Several of Vallejo’s early land grants were to American settlers.
The California Wine Country and California wine making of the immediate post-gold-rush period would probably have remained an informal affair had it not been for the efforts of a flamboyant Hungarian immigrant named “Count” Agoston Haraszthy. Haraszthy - considered the “Father of the California Wine Industry,” became friends with General Vallejo (Haraszthy’s two sons would marry two of Vallejo’s daughters in a grand double wedding) and the two even had a good-natured rivalry over who could produce the best wines. It was Haraszthy who started the first commercial California winery, Buena Vista, which is still in operation today near the town of Sonoma.
1920 – 1933: Prohibition and the California Wine Country
1930 - 1960: California Wine Country’s Recovery from Prohibition
1976 – Present: The Paris Tasting and Beyond
Autumn in the Northern California Wine Country
Fermentation of Grapes into Wine
Grape Crushing and De-stemming
Grape Growing in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys
Springtime in Northern California’s Wine Country
Summer in Northern California’s Wine Country
The Aging Process
The Bottling of California Wines
Winter in Northern California’s Wine Country
Current Napa Valley Weather
Click for weather forecast
Tour prices do not include meals, lodging, or park entrance fees unless otherwise noted. We are not responsible for loss or damage of personal property on tours. We are not responsible for delays due to accidents, breakdowns, or adverse traffic and weather conditions on tours. We reserve the right to modify stops, vehicle, visits or activities based on weather conditions, group needs or conditions out of our control. We reserve the right to use other operators and/or subcontractors to operate all and any tours advertised. Trips require a minimum number of participants to avoid cancellation. Cancellations or changes must be made 72 hrs before trip departure to get partial refund. Cancellations and changes are subject to a 10% or $25 fee, whichever is greater.