country

A Perfect Week In The Heart Of California Wine Country

Spend 7 days exploring the best of Napa, Sonoma, and Healdsburg—from world-renowned vineyards to scenic hiking trails, hot air balloon rides to kayaking tours. 

Destinations Explored

1

Napa, CA

2

Sonoma, CA

3

Healdsburg, CA

Together with Sonoma County, Napa makes up the heartland of California’s iconic wine region. And if the wine and accompanying food aren’t enough of a draw, there’s stunning scenery and ample outdoor adventures to boot—including sun-drenched green hills, rivers, lakes, and mountains. In this week-long itinerary, you'll explore the idyllic region on land, sea, and air as you visit a hand-selected list of our top wineries, bike through the vineyards, marvel at the stunning aerial views from your hot air balloon ride, catch a site of rare river otters on your kayak tour, and so much more. 

Key Highlights

Outdoor tasting with a view at MacRostie Vineyards

Ride through wine country and have lunch on the Wine Train

Taste terroir-driven wines at Scribe Winery

Watch the sunrise over the valley in a hot air balloon ride

Best Times to Visit

August- October

March - May

Sample Trip Itinerary

Day 1-3

Napa

Private car from SFO to your hotel in Napa

Accommodation in Napa

Suggested options (actual bookings will vary based on pricing and availability)

Embark on a half or full-day Napa Valley bike tour with picnic lunch included

Pedal past rows and rows of vineyards on your guided cycling tour. With 3-6 miles of leisurely riding between stops at local wineries, you'll be able to take in the scenery while learning from your tour guide more about the vineyard-to-bottle wine-making process. The half-day tour, which concludes around 2PM, leaves you with the afternoon to explore an additional winery or head back to your hotel for a well-deserved dose of R&R. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, full-day tours concluding around 4PM are also available.

Taste house organic wine in a retro setting at at Ashes and Diamonds Winery

Ashes & Diamonds Winery pays pays homage to 1960s California—the decade when Napa began to earn recognition in the international wine scene—with its mid-century modern design (think zig-zag roofs and rolling berms). While the aesthetic may evoke the past, the wine production methods are entirely innovative, with state-of-the-art facilities where you're apt to find a wide range of vintages that adhere to light-handed winemaking and transparency of terroir.

Watch the sunrise over the valley in a hot air balloon ride with Napa Valley Aloft

Napa Valley Aloft was founded in 1978, making it one of the original, longest-running hot air balloon companies in the region—and the only one currently operating over Yountville. Unlike other hot air balloon companies that maximize passenger capacity, Aloft prefers smaller, less dense baskets that make for better views. On every ride is an experienced, FAA-certified hot air balloon pilot.

Wine tasting at the idyllic Peju Province Winery

Peju Province Winery has been welcoming guests to their 30-acre organic vineyard and gardens for over three decades. With five Bordeaux varietals, Peju produces a collection of small-lot, single-vineyard wines exclusively available through their Tasting Room and wine club. They are located in the Rutherford appellation, which is celebrated for its signature AVA terroir lending notes of cocoa, chocolate, or coffee to the wines—most notably Cabernet.

Taste limited-production wines at Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Robert Sinskey Vineyards (or RSV, for short) focuses on low-intervention, biodynamic wines with a palpable sense of terroir, robust mouth-feel, and bright natural acidity. While you may come for the wine, it's the charming modern courtyard outfitted with raised vegetable beds, lavender fields, and fountains that'll keep you lingering for a while after your tasting.

Take a ride through wine country and have lunch on the Wine Train

The Wine Train runs along the original, 1860s rail line constructed to transport visitors to the resort town of Calistoga. The steel train, which was built subsequently in 1915 by the Pullman Standard Company, represented the pinnacle of technological advancement at the time with its electric lights, steam heat, and arched windows. The Napa Valley Wine Train acquired the original trains in 1987 and embarked on an ambitious restoration project to both restore and reimagine the cars with etched glass partitions, fabric armchairs, Honduran mahogany paneling, and brass accents. The result? A setting that transports you back the elegant era of early 20th-century train travel. During this 1.5-hour experience, you'll enjoy a gourmet, multi-course lunch on board, private tours and tastings at Charles Krug Winery and Raymond Vineyards, and a shuttle return to the station.

Eat & drink your way through Oxbow Public Market

Think of Oxbow Public Market as a smaller version of NYC's Chelsea Market, or elevated version of San Francisco's Ferry Building. There's coffee shops, four or five different restaurants, and ample spots to grab a quick bite (it runs the gamut from oyster bars to cupcake stalls). Our go-to spots? Hot Island Oyster Co Inc, Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant, and Uncorked At Oxbow.

Explore the Napa Valley by kayak

A scenic kayak tour is the perfect change of pace for a few hours away from the vineyards. Opt for an independent adventure or join a group to learn about the development of the area and catch a sight of great blue herons, river otters, and soaring eagles.

Day 4-5

Sonoma

Private car to Sonoma

Accommodation in Sonoma

Suggested options (actual bookings will vary based on pricing and availability)

Hike Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Explore 25 miles of trails through gorges and canyons in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, which is located just east of Napa. You'll be surrounded by soaring redwood and ferns and, on clear days, enjoy views of the Sierra Nevada and Golden Gate bridge from the 2700-foot summit of Bald Mountain (about 2.8 miles to the top).

Take a cooking class at Ramekins Culinary School

Located within walking distance of the Historic Sonoma Plaza, Ramekins is a boutique inn and cooking school that offers hands-on classes and demonstrations in a charming, rustic-chic setting. Choose between interactive cooking classes (up to 20 students) or demonstrations (up to 36 students), both of which are taught in a custom test kitchen by professional chefs. From pizza making to bread baking, you can't go wrong.

Taste terroir-driven wines at Scribe Winery

Scribe is a hacienda-style winery perched on a hilltop overlooking the Sonoma vineyards. Take advantage of their outdoor picnic tables, free blankets, and twinkling lights as you sip stellar wines and snack on aged cheese, strawberries, and almonds. Alternatively, head indoors to the rustic-chic indoor space. Bonus points for the fact that Scribe is kid-friendly as well, with a grassy knoll for the little ones to run around and a welcoming staff that won't bat an eye if you pull out graham crackers.

Sip sparkling wines alongside charcuterie at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards

When José Ferrer moved from Catalonia to Carneros, he discovered striking similarities—from the Mediterranean climate to the rolling hills and maritime influences—that convinced him to begin growing two sparkling wine grapes in California: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Fast forward to today, and Gloria Ferrer has become one of Sonoma's leading sparkling wine producers, offering standard tasting flights (paired with charcuterie and cheese plates) as well as guided tours of the winery.

Taste surprising blends at Banshee Wines

Banshee Wines was started by three friends on a mission to make high-quality wines at affordable prices. True to the original mission, their Tasting Room, which opened in August 2013 in Healdsburg, exudes a refreshingly relaxed vibe—it feels like you're hanging out in the house of close friends sipping complex, delicious wines at can't-beat prices.

Day 6-7

Healdsburg

Private car to Healdsburg

Accommodation in Healdsburg

Suggested options (actual bookings will vary based on pricing and availability)

Enjoy an outdoor tasting with a view at MacRostie Vineyards

A must-visit winery in the Russian River Valley, MacRostie offers a refined (but unpretentious) atmosphere, stunning vineyard views, high-quality, small-allocation wine, and impeccable service. A typical tasting comes with three classes of Chardonnay and three of Pinot Noir enjoyed in a modern, elegant tasting room or, if the weather is nice, outdoors on the scenic veranda.

Taste eco-friendly wines at Ridge Vineyards

There's a strong ethos of sustainability at Ridge Vineyards—from the facilities made of straw bales and clay, to the solar panels. Intimate private tours are capped at 4 adults and will take you through the tranquil vineyards to discover the rich history of the land, visit the century-old estate, and finish with a tasting of Ridge's signature vintages—including the famous Monte Bello.

Enjoy California-style kaiseki at Single Thread

This fine-dining restaurant is known for its inventive kaiseki fare, intimate dining room, and flourishing rooftop garden that supplies the kitchen with fresh produce. The boundary-pushing, 11-course tasting menu—with certain dishes cooked in traditional clay pots—is designed to honor the Japanese principle of warmth and hospitality (omotenashi).

Sip some California beer at Russian River Brewing

This award-winning local brewery and brewpub is known for their small-batch varieties made with passion. Focusing on aggressively hopped California-style ales, Belgian-inspired ales, and barrel-aged beers, Russian River offers a variety of year-round and seasonal options to enjoy.

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California Wine Country

Napa, CA, Sonoma, CA, Healdsburg, CA

Prices start from $2500 per person.

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Omar’s London & Paris Family Vacation with Kids

“We really enjoyed the mix of cultural, food and shopping experiences. Most of all, it was great to hit the ground with a plan for each day, but also improvise depending on how our kids were feeling.”

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Deborah & Lew’s 25th Wedding Anniversary in Italy

“Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I had some specific ideas about what to see—what art, what part of the countryside, etc. Elena (our trip designer) was very patient with me as we worked out just the right itinerary.”

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Carol’s Family Trip to Japan

“The experience was out of this world! Anything that we requested or that we were interested in, Sarah was able to accommodate it for us.”

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Omar’s London & Paris Family Vacation with Kids

“We really enjoyed the mix of cultural, food and shopping experiences. Most of all, it was great to hit the ground with a plan for each day, but also improvise depending on how our kids were feeling.”

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Deborah & Lew’s 25th Wedding Anniversary in Italy

“Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I had some specific ideas about what to see—what art, what part of the countryside, etc. Elena (our trip designer) was very patient with me as we worked out just the right itinerary.”