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Experience Wine Country’s Uncrushable Spirit

Experience Wine Country’s Uncrushable Spirit

Make these wineries, restaurants, and other attractions part of your next visit to the region

California Wine Country’s indomitable spirit is on vivid display in Visit California’s most recent spot, “Uncrushable,” which features numerous locals as well as celebrity chef Tyler Florence. Best of all, you can visit many of the locations shown in this ad. Here’s a quick guide to the bucket list destinations and attractions seen here—places worth considering on your next trip to the Golden State.

Located within the Rutherford appellation in the eastern Napa Valley, Quintessa offers an exclusive Wine Country experience that includes panoramic views, acclaimed wines, and the sort of personalized customer service that stays with you long after your visit. Two different tours are offered—the $75 per person Estate Tasting and the $125 Quintessential Quintessa—and both include winery and cave tours as well as compelling narratives about the five different varietals grown on the property

Across the Mayacamas Mountain range in Sonoma County, Kunde Vineyards offers a diverse array of wine—ranging from a crisp $18 Chardonnay to a sumptuous $60 reserve Cabernet Sauvignon—and four distinct tasting experience options. Stop by the Main Tasting Room any day of the week to explore the offerings. Want something a bit different? Arrange a Mountain Top Tasting 1,400 feet above the valley floor, where you’ll soak up some amazing views as well as some top flight wine.

Also in Sonoma, the historic Buena Vista Winery provides a glimpse into the premium winemaking world circa 1857, its first year in business. Tastes and techniques have shifted considerably over the last 150 years (which you can see for yourself if you take the $25 Historic Wine Museum Tour and Tasting). The range of wines available here is mind-boggling, and the beautiful grounds are ideal for picnics.

Wherever you find great wine, fantastic food is sure to follow—and that is certainly the case in California Wine Country. Acclaimed chef Christopher Kostow nailed his line during filming at The Charter Oak in St. Helena; he always seems to get it right at his approachable, family-style restaurant that celebrates local bounty and a deceptively simple approach to cooking. Kostow is no stranger to more complex culinary creations: His groundbreaking work at The Restaurant at Meadowood earned the chef three Michelin stars.

Of course there’s more to this region than great grapes and elegant food pairings. Basque Boulangerie is situated in a perfect spot in Sonoma’s historic plaza—a cozy place for a coffee and pastry while you map out the day’s itinerary. That itinerary can, and should, include a visit to Kollar Chocolates in Yountville, where artisan chocolatier Chris Kollar creates all sorts of truffles, including a Sunflower Seed Praline and, of course, a Red Wine-inspired treat. And don’t miss out on the region’s burgeoning distillery scene: Spirit Works Distillery in Sebastopol creates bespoke vodka, gin, sloe gin, and whiskey, and a tasting room tour will give you a new appreciation of what goes into your glass.

And if your trip to Wine Country includes a flight to, or a stop in, San Francisco, do yourself a favor and order the fried chicken at Tyler Florence’s genial Wayfare Tavern. This always-humming Financial District hotspot possesses a feel-good vibe and specializes in crowd-pleasing plates—it’s a surefire winner for lunch or dinner.