Your Journey to the Beautiful Napa and Sonoma Valleys beings here.
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By the early 1970s California’s reputation for making fine wine had improved somewhat, but only serious wine enthusiasts were taking notice. In 1976, a friendly wine tasting competition was arraigned in France called “The Paris Tasting." The intent was to compare French wines with some of their upstart California wine rivals. By all accounts, the French fully expected to dominate the competition and re-assert their dominance in wine making. There seemed to be a wide spread belief amongst the French wineries that there could be only one outcome to such a head to head competition. The taste test would be blind and presided over by a panel of expert French wine judges.
I don’t think anyone on the tour was disappointed.
I was impressed by how he handled the Spanish travelers who only spoke Spanish; the guide conducted tours in both languages flawlessly.
The wines tasted were 4 whites from France’s Burgundy region against 6 California Chardonnays and 4 red Bordeaux against 6 California Cabernet Sauvignon. Much to everyone’s surprise, not to mention the delight of the California wine country contingent, the top scoring wine over all was not French, but a 1973 Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena in the Napa Valley wine country. The top scoring red wine was also from the Napa wine valley, a 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. From that point on California wine country took the world by storm with the Napa wineries leading the way.
Since that time, investment and growth throughout the California wine country have proceeded steadily. Though much of the new money has come from Europe, most of the California wine country retains a decidedly family run and local feel. The craze for the California wine country that begun in those heady, post- Paris Tasting days, picked up steam through the 1990’s as medical information about the links between red wine and cardiovascular health turned a new segment of Americans onto wine drinking. Today winemaking and wine tourism are the biggest part of the economies of the Napa and Sonoma wine country, supported by nearly 400 wineries between them. Whether you are a wine aficionado, just getting into wine, or are only interested in seeing the beauty of this world-renowned area, a Sonoma and Napa wine country tour is a great way to spend the day any time of the year.
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.