For all wine lovers, a trip to San Francisco should also consist of day trip to some of the fine vineyards that are in driving distance of the city. Many of these vineyards have charter packages available that will pick you up and bring you on a tour through the vineyard and allow you to sample their wines and then take you back, no worrying about drinking too much and then driving. The wines that are available in the Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley of California have been known to change the minds people who claim that they don't have a taste for wine. The vast majority of the wines here are fine quality and are specially selected to show the level of quality that these vineyards have to offer. Whether you are an experienced wine taster or not doesn't matter, you will receive an excellent education about how the wine is made as well as be informed of all the different varieties available in the area. If you aren't the tourist type and don't want to take one of the chartered bus tours you can also check into the smaller and more intimate option of an SUV tour.
Granted, a tour like this will be much more expensive than the bus tours, but if you have the money to spend they are well worth the price just for the level of personal attention that you receive and the piece of mind that someone else is driving instead of you. You will also be able to take in some of the smaller independent wineries that don't make themselves available to the larger bus tours. If you think you may want to try this type of tour, plan ahead at least a week because they do not have the flexibility of filling empty seats that they larger charters have.
When you are going to a vineyard or winery for a tasting experience there are some things you will want to keep in mind to make the visit as enjoyable as possible. One of the things that many people don't think about is wearing fragrances. Don't wear any perfumes or other scents as these will interfere with the taste and fragrance of the wine.
Also, to avoid warming the wine you want to hold the wine by the stem. To cleanse the palate you should have some crackers or plain bread that you can eat between tastings. A visit to the California Wine Country will give you a great education about all of the varieties of wines and the regions they come from as well as the differences between them all which will be fascinating even if you have never had a glass of wine in your life.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about wine and Wine Gift Baskets at http://www.oldworldvineyard.com