Wanderlust: California Wine Country

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winery in california

How many countries can fit in one state? When you think of California wine, one of the first places you think of, probably, is Napa Valley. Famous for their romantic vineyards (and delicious wine), the regions in California are easily some of the most recognized and infamous around the world.

If baecations are on your mind, escape into this overview of just a few of Cali’s most beautiful spots for winery dates south of the border.

Central Coast Wine Country: Miles of rolling hills and sunny valleys occupy this wine region. It’s every bit romantic and historic as it is modern and stylish. This region has transformed over the years and boasts hundreds of wineries visitors and residents can enjoy.

Gold Country: This region has some of the old and the new. The region dates back to the Gold Rush days, but today, there’s more than 100 wineries producing a wide range of varietals.

Lodi Wine Country in the Central Valley: New-world wines are this region’s hallmark, especially big red wines. Lodi Wine Country is 100 miles east of San Francisco and is a leader in eco-friendly winemaking. They also have an annual three-day Zinfandel tasting party called Zinfest (it takes place in May). 

Mendocino Wine Country: Hoping for an under-the-radar wine region in California? Mendocino Wine Country is one of the least populated areas to sip local wine. Also home to the state’s most progressive winemaking because of their organic sustainable techniques and boutique vineyards.

North Coast Wine Country: Here you’ll find one of the most peaceful vineyards in the state bound by thick forests. This region produces sublime Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Gewürztraminer towards the west, while Redwood Valley produces the heartier reds including Zinfandel because of the warmer climate.

San Luis Obispo County Wine Country: This wine region is described as a cowboy-meets-wine-country town. Dating back to the 18th century, San Luis Obispo is  home to some of the top wineries in the state including Tolosa, Chamisal and Balleyana. 

Santa Barbara County Funk Zone: Maybe not quite a whole wine country, but the Funk Zone is situated in Santa Barbara between U.S. 101 and East Bench, and is a narrow band of warehouses that have turned into urban wine-tasting rooms, art studios and bohemian restaurants. Definitely a different wine experience as opposed to the traditional vineyard touring, you can sip your way through renovated warehouses towards the beach.

Santa Cruz Wine Country: The ideal picturesque wine country; tucked away in beautiful coastal mountains. You can find Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon here thanks to the mountains and bright sun.

Santa Ynez Wine Country: Like every wine? Don’t know which one your favourite is? Want to try them all? Santa Ynez is perfect for dabbling in many quality varietals. 

Silicon Valley Wine Country: Wineries are scattered throughout charming villages and you can even find in-town tasting rooms and summertime entertainment in the evening. 

Temecula Valley Wine Country: Close enough to the California desert to surprise people with its green, rolling hills and vineyards, Temecula Valley has been producing top wines since the 1970s. Just like the grapes, the experiences vary and you can visit posh, lavish wineries as well as old-town, relaxed wineries with quaint boutiques and eateries.