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Links at Bodega Harbor golf course overlooks Bodega Bay

Armstrong Woods State Park in Guerneville has lovely paths

Hot Air Balloons drift over Sonoma County vineyards

Wine barrels are stacked at Duckhorn Vineyard, St. Helena

Fall colors dazzle in a Napa Valley vineyard

Perspective Tasting guests at the Rudd Center at Greystone

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Visit California for the wine and the weather


Take a scenic drive anywhere in Northern California, and it won’t be long before you see a beautiful vineyard. The rows of grape vines cascading up a hill or stretched over a pristine valley only add to the rural beauty of California’s countryside. The north state’s temperate climate, with warm days and cool nights, and rich fertile soil make an ideal environment for growing perfect wine grapes. It’s no wonder this area is legendary for producing some of the world’s most renowned wines.


Opportunities to visit both world-famous and small home wineries are nearly endless, and often the friendly person serving you the wine in a tasting room is the actual winemaker. There’s no doubt an entire month-long trip could be formed around just this single pastime.


Yet wine tasting is just one of many enjoyable tourist opportunities in wine country. The mild climate also makes the region perfect for a wide variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, boating, golfing or taking a scenic and thrilling hot-air balloon ride.


Wine regions also tend to attract fine art galleries, classy boutiques and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns to please the most discriminating shoppers and travelers.


The most famous wine region is the Napa Valley, with more than 400 wine labels and 120 wineries open to the public. Here you also can pamper yourself at one of the many luxurious spas with natural spring water or enjoy a gourmet dinner aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train.


Neighboring Sonoma County has 13 distinctive wine regions of its own, featuring everything from laid-back to posh wine tasting experiences. Here, there are quaint small towns to explore, stunning beaches, river adventures, outdoor fine dining, and a wide variety of nightlife.


But don’t stop here -- branch out to coastal, foothill and central valley regions, which also produce world-renowned wines and offer many of the same attractions.


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