Always in Season: Almonds & Wine Grapes AIS_Bertagna_EXP123116_1280x642

Always in Season: Almonds & Wine Grapes

Always in Season: Almonds & Wine Grapes
Experience Chico's family farming heritage

Surrounded by the burnished-gold foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the college town of Chico, about a 1½-hour drive north of Sacramento, has a relaxed, unhurried appeal. But don’t let that laid-back attitude fool you: locals here know quality food, and the local restaurant scene buzzes with great finds. And for good reason: the area’s chefs can turn to outstanding local growers and food purveyors for the freshest ingredients. It’s a bond that builds a richly connected community. “The vibe here is really nice,” says Berton Bertagna, the fourth-generation almond and wine-grape grower at the helm of Bertagna Orchards, Inc., and Bertagna Son Kissed Vineyards. And Berton would know: his family has been farming in Chico for a century.

That vibe also drew Leigh Ann Byerly, the owner of Farwood Bar & Grill in nearby Orland, to the area from her native San Diego. “The thing I love most about Northern California is the sense of community,” she says. “That feeling that we’re all in this together and we’re all living in the same place and raising our families together is really special.”

80% of the world’s almonds are produced in California

Farming has been the way of life in the Bertagna family for 100 years. “All the pictures of my family growing up,” says Berton, “are them out with animals they raised: sheep and cattle and pigs.” Though farming is his family’s tradition it’s also the life Berton chose. “Growing up, if you’re on a farm, you’re really involved because your family needs your help,” he says, “but it’s also a fun lifestyle.” For Berton, part of the fun has come from expanding on his family’s farming legacy. While Berton’s great-grandfather grew enough wine grapes to make wine for his family and friends, the next two generations didn’t make wine. But Berton not only rekindled wine grape farming on the family property, he eventually opened a commercial winery. “Our first year it was 250 cases, the next year it was 500 and the next year it was 1,000,” he says. “Like everything we’ve ever farmed, it’s always grown not out of economics but out of passion.”

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Kodiak Greenwood

Discover Shasta Cascade

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Average (°F)
Mar - May
June - Aug
Sept - Nov
Mar - May

California’s northeast corner is an outdoor-lover’s paradise, with safe-to-explore volcanoes, hushed forests, and trout-filled rivers. This is the place for blue-ribbon fishing, houseboats anchored in cool lakes, countless campgrounds, and inviting trails for hiking and mountain biking.

"When I first caught sight of it I was weary and 50 miles away and afoot. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”  --Author John Muir, upon seeing Mount Shasta in 1874.

All this, plus friendly towns like Chico and Chester, and inviting rural farms in fertile lands near the Upper Sacramento River. Redding, the region’s largest city, makes a good base, with riverfront trails, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, and elegant Sundial Bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

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Courtesy of Otter Bar Lodge

Otter Bar Lodge

Master whitewater kayaking at this immersive camp for paddlers of all levels

This off-the-grid wilderness lodge in California’s northwest corner is not your typical kayaking school. The family-owned ...

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Lassen Volcanic National Park is the only place on Earth where all four types of volcano can be seen.
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Rachid Dahnoun

Whiskeytown Lake

Paddle, fish, or just relax atop Gold Rush history

Summer isn’t complete without a mountain-lake swim, so drive west from Redding and dip your toes in the warm, crystal-clear waters of...

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Courtesy of Belcampo

Belcampo Meat Camp

Go glamping and grilling at this chef-worthy barbecue getaway

The hypnotic glow of the coals, the smoky aromas, the gratifying sizzle of dinner cooking over an open flame:...

Find whitewater rafting fun for all—from newbies to nerves-of-steel experts

Think of a river, and chances are you’ve got your own daydream. Maybe you want to float on inner tubes, or maybe your style is to careen through raucous rapids in an eight-person inflatable raft....

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Groveb/Getty Images
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Kodiak Greenwood

Trip 4- 6 days 10 stops

Volcanoes to the Sea

Booming Waterfalls, Craft Breweries
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Begin your trip in the center of the state, home to the capital city of Sacramento. Like many cities, California’s state capital is undergoing an energetic renaissance. Young adults looking for an urban vibe are moving into this low-key city, with microbreweries, gastropubs, and trendy boutiques...

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After so much wildness for so much of your trip, Eureka is an inviting and lively switch. This once rough-and-tumble seaport town, the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, has split-personality charm: a sense of history in the handsomely restored, Victorian-era Old...

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Kodiak Greenwood

Shasta Lake

Rent a houseboat to explore the state’s largest reservoir

There’s plenty of room to move on this 30,000-acre/12,140-hectare reservoir, the largest in California. A typical summer day finds the crystal...

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Kodiak Greenwood

Burney Falls

Visit a booming cascade nicknamed the “eighth wonder of the world”

One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the state—if not the continent—this 129-foot-tall, fern-draped cascade seems to come out of nowhere....

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Shasta Dam contains enough concrete to build a 3-foot sidewalk around the world at the equator.
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Kodiak Greenwood

Sundial Bridge

Stroll a futuristic bridge across the Sacramento River

A functional work of art, the remarkable bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, spans the tree-lined, trout-filled...

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Kodiak Greenwood

Tehama Trail Farms & Ranches

Visit farms and farm stands along the Sacramento River

Established by local farmers, the Tehama Trail meanders through rural communities, linking together nearly two dozen vineyards, orchards, and...

Going to the mountains is going home.
John Muir
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Kodiak Greenwood

Mount Shasta

Experience wildflower meadows, year-round snowfields, and a New-Age-y vibe

Soaring to 14,179 feet/4,322 meters high, this magnificent volcano scrapes the turquoise-blue sky, north of Redding, a totem from almost anywhere...

Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for kid-friendly fun zones that...

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Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Fly Fishing

Cast a fly in blue-ribbon waters

Between the volcanic summits of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen flow some of California’s most celebrated fly fishing rivers. Blue-ribbon waters lace...

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Redding's Sundial Bridge is the largest sundial in the world.
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Kodiak Greenwood

Shasta Cascade's Craft Breweries

Hoist a mug to the Californian brewers who redefined the art of ale

Northern California was the wellspring of the craft beer movement, which can be loosely traced from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco to Sierra...

Annual festivals liven up this quiet corner of California

The Shasta Cascade region is a year-round playground for outdoor enthusiasts and local events celebrate its natural bounty, from crawdads to wild rice. An annual Tribute to the Trees at Dunsmuir...

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Kodiak Greenwood
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The largest three-day rodeo in the U.S. is held on the Tehama County Fairgrounds in Red Bluff
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Oroville Temple


Find a Far East gem in this Gold Rush era town

Located on the banks of the Feather River where it flows out of the Sierra Nevada into the Central Valley flatlands, this Gold Rush town...

Kids get an inside look at wildlife, space, and more

From cool ways for your kids to learn about wildlife, to an insider’s look at a space station, to a chance to walk through a rain forest or learn about the night sky, there’s a bumper...

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Peter Alfred Hess/Flickr
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Cyril Fluck/Flickr

Lava Beds National Monument

Descend into eerie and historic lava tube caves

A surreal landscape sculpted by molten earth, Lava Beds National Monument contains volcanic tablelands punctuated by cinder cones, pit craters,...

Lava, geysers & naturally heated hot springs

From the snow-capped heights of Mount Shasta in California’s far north to Amboy Crater in the Mojave Desert, signs of California’s volcanic past—and present—dot the landscape. Explore these...

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Grant Montgomery/Flickr
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Lava Beds National Monument was a training ground for astronauts heading to the moon.