When God made California, he made it with wine in mind. The nearly perfect weather and relatively dry climate is the ideal recipe for grapes to flourish all along the central coastline. Even better, the Golden State's diverse terrain makes it possible for several different varietals to thrive. It almost goes without saying that Napa Valley and Sonoma are two of the best-known wine regions in the United States. However, those aren’t the only two places worth visiting.
Of the six grape growing regions in California, some of the oldest and most notable wines in the state can be found right in the San Francisco Bay area. With no long road trip needed, you can get your swirl on almost as soon as you step off the plane at SFO. We'll cheers to that.
The Press Club
Newbies to the wine scene can stick around downtown at The Press Club. Located in Union Square, the sophisticated space is full of friendly waitstaff happy to patiently walk you through the art of pairings and tastings so you can spend the rest of your trip schmoozing at a winery like the pro you are.
The husband and wife duo that own R&B Cellars share a deep passion for both wine and music, which they believe to be the perfect pairing. As you sip on a signature red blend (or wine flight if you can’t decide), you’ll be treated to 270-degree views overlooking the bay in this haute, modern space. You may even get lucky enough to be serenaded by the owners themselves!
The only thing better than taking in the views of the Bay is being out on the water...with a glass of wine. Pegged as one of the only wine cruises in the San Francisco area, the Wine Therapy (that's really the boat's name) takes guests on a special 90-minute cruise around the harbor. There's plenty of wine involved too, including an open bar and a four-flight tasting from select wineries within the area.
Wattle Creek Winery
Thanks to the folks at Wattle Creek, city dwellers can have a taste of Sonoma right in the city at their tasting room in historic Ghirardelli Square. The family-owned business has been wowing tourists and locals alike with their sparkling wines and sweet reds for years. As an added perk, they’ve started offering Groupon deals more frequently, so you can expect to find a good price on a wine flight almost anytime you go. Plus, it’s kind of fun to see “Wattle Creek” when you’re a little tipsy.