California is home to some seriously breath-taking views and the golden state is quite infamous for the many terrains it supports. From deserts to Mediterranean style beaches to large evergreen forests. From glorious mountains to deep valleys, and most important of all the beautiful wineries, where grapes grow in constant golden California sun, raised to perfection, and suited to satiate your taste buds, putting a smile on your face. Raise your wine glasses in the air as we toast to the beautiful wine regions of California and the glorious wine they offer us as well as a toast to the potent health benefits this elixir can bring. If you are planning your next California vacation and need a guide on all the best places to hit up, let me help fill you in on the best wine regions and wineries to visit while you are in the golden state. Golden it is indeed and this article will prove to you all the liquid gold this golden state has to offer (aka I mean wine).
Best Wine Regions in California
California has twelve amazing wine regions that are an absolute must see. This can greatly help narrow down your wine choices and what you are looking for in your next getaway and if you plan a trip to these wineries you certainly will not regret it. From great views, sun, and wine I give you the best wine regions to check out in the state of California!
You knew we were not going to forget about this special place! It is the most popular wine place to visit around the world and for very good reason. It offers picturesque, rugged, and golden beauty and gives way to over 400 different winery locations that you can check out! With that diversity in wineries and the wide array of options to choose from you would never get bored of this place! Some popular Napa wineries that you should consider visiting include the Darioush Winery, Opus One, Inglenook Winery, Artesa Vineyards, Chateau Montelena, Castello Di Amarosa, and many more! Each winery offers something uniquely special in the category of fine wine from Cabernets, to fruity Merlots, and rich Chardonnay as well as everything in between. There is a wine for everyone to dive into on their visit to Napa and you can do this all while soaking in the green, rustic, and sunny style that is Napa Valley!
This beauty is located on the coast of Central California between the scenic drive of Los Angeles to San Francisco. The wine region boasts a historic and old downtown charm, decorated with boutiques, restaurants, and wine shops. The region carries large, deep valleys, luscious green, and golden soil for a breathtaking scenic view you would not want to miss out on! Pair the view with some quality and diverse wine varieties and you and your friends or family are in for a serious treat. Some notable wineries of this place include Jacob Toft, Kolanu Vineyards, Pear Valley Vineyard and Winery, Tablas Greek Vineyard, Fratelli Perata, Ranchita Canyon Vineyard and many more! You can also enjoy lovely and decadent dinners hosted by the wineries and winemakers while enjoying the view and getting your fill on all the different wines there is to experience. The most well known and publicized winery of the Paso Robles region would have to be the Justin Vineyards and Winery. They are a larger and corporate owned winery, but still offer an amazing experience with excellent dining and interior design followed by an equally beautiful outside experience. This vineyard is definitely one you want to check out at the very least when at Paso Robles!
The Monterey Wine Region is located about an hour south of California’s infamous and well-known Silicon Valley. Monterey grapes are strong and distinct in flavor and are all carefully grown and ripened to perfection. The largest and most important grapes in Monterey are owed to the Chardonnay grapes which comprise about 40% of the total grape acreage in this wine region. The land is warm and green and also offers rugged landscape for the eyes to enjoy. Another quality that makes this region distinctive is the fact that this region is home to the development of mechanical harvesting which is a type of harvesting in which grapes that have the best sugar-acid balance are instantly harvested through a mechanical harvester that instantly vibrates the vines and then drops them on a conveyer belt. This allows for the best grapes to be picked and delivered to a winery for the best quality of wine produced possible. It has singlehandedly become the quickest and most effective method for harvesting and for this reason you would be crazy not to try out their wonderful wine! Choose from wineries such as Hahn Family Winery, Carmel Ridge Winery, De Tierra Vineyards, Paraiso Vineyards by Smith Family Wines, and more! All of notable and memorable wine tasting experiences and definitely worth thinking about on the next wine getaway.
Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara is a city known to be of extreme beauty and excellence for it’s beautiful ocean beach view and its laidback beach vibe. The city boasts a tropical vacation vibe mixed with rustic charm and is the perfect place to vacation and enjoy wine. Choose and taste for elegant Pinot Noirs, Syrahs, Chardonnays and more! The wine variety to try from are endless and easy to pair with delicious snacks and meals to enjoy as well. Who can think of a better vacation? The city boasts a cool ocean air and warm weather which is prime for growing the best grapes. All varieties of grapes and wine are supported in the fertile soil and climate that Santa Barbara offers. Some notable vineyards and wineries to check out include the Santa Barbara Vintners, Fess Parker, Brewer Clifton, Melville, Sanford, Foxen, and more! Enjoy an urban wine scene mixed with a breathtaking suburban landscape view and you are in actual heaven!
Sonoma Valley is located in southeastern Sonoma County near the San Francisco Bay Area. The valley is filled with large green hills and mountains along with breathtaking and expansive greenery all while factoring in a very natural and old charm to it. Visit this place and you can enjoy historic beauty that is over 100 years old. The wineries are tucked into beautiful, hidden lanes and leafy areas and hold a quiet, but exciting environment. You can even plan your trip around heading to Sonoma Valley’s infamous harvest hangouts in which wineries come out to showcase their unique and delicious wines for you to sample and enjoy. Get conversation flowing and interact with multiple different wineries at once as you enjoy and understand all that Sonoma Valley wines have to offer. You will even get to taste incredible wine with the best food pairing options to go with it. The food is surely delicious and prepared by over 60 different local chefs who know the lowdown on great wine and food pairings and can offer you all of this without ever having to drive from place to place. Some notable wineries to check out on your own include the Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyard, Benziger Family Winery, Corner 103, Joseph Jewell Wines, Petroni Vineyards and more!
Here is to Your Health
Just when you though delicious wine and food could not get any better, here is another thing about wine that will make you see wine in an even more esteemed light (if that is possible). Wine while coming in such different variety, offering superb flavors, emphasizing tastes of foods, and more, can also pose some serious benefits for your health in ways you never even thought of! If you don’t believe me, I will just leave a few of the many benefits proven to be given by moderate consumption of wine! Keep in mind that these types of benefits are not for the heavy wine drinkers as one excess in too much wine drinking (or anything really) is detrimental. When talking about consumption of wine and health benefits we normally refer to one glass a day for women and two glasses a day for men! When we refer to one glass we refer to four ounces of wine.
Eric Rimm, a professor for epidemiology and nutrition, has actually been studying the link between alcohol and chronic disease for decades. He studied this at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has had findings that support the idea that wine allowed for a 30% reduction in the rest of heart disease when it was compared to nondrinkers. In addition, this finding has been repeated for over 30 years in various countries and the result have all turned out to be very similar!
Healthy Eyes and Skin
It is known by many that wine contains a certain antioxidant called resveratrol that is actually very effective for promoting healthy eyes and skin. A study done by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri have concluded that resveratrol helps to stop blood vessel growth in the eyes which as result could stop diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. In addition, the antioxidant is able to inhibit the growth of acne causing bacteria better than the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide which is found in most acne treatments and creams. It has also been found that it is better to drink or eat this antioxidant through wine or fruits instead of buying topical creams with the antioxidant in it. They don’t work as effectively.
Ward off Cancer
Multiple studies have been done to try and find the link between consumption of wine and various forms of cancer and the results look pretty refreshing! It is thought to be able to lower the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. Red grapes found in red wine have the abilities to suppress the activity of aromatase which is an enzyme that breast tumors use to produce their own estrogen. In addition, studies have supported the statement that moderate red wine consumption can reduce the risk of colon cancer by about 50%. It is thought that red wines are very protective against aggressive or advanced cancers and the doctors have speculated that red wine carries resveratrol which is potent in antioxidants and can counterbalance androgens which are male hormones that stimulate the prostate. Therefore, studies have supported the claim that men who drink 4-7 glasses of red wine a week have a 52% less chance of developing prostate cancer.
Wine consumption is thought to lower bad cholesterol by increasing good cholesterol by about 12%. Once again, the antioxidant resveratrol is thought to have the ability to reduce LDL and increase HDL. This means that our blood vessels will have a far less likely chance of being coated with plaque, and this all happens without changing a single thing in our diet!
This article has given you a quick rundown of the best wine regions to take note of the next time you plan a trip to the lovely golden state! From endless natural beauties to endless wineries and events happening, every wine region in California offers you something new, different, and exciting for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy. Take time to plan your getaway right and you will have no regrets with choosing to spend your money and time in California and all that its rich wine regions have to offer. In addition, hopefully the little bit on moderate wine consumption and health has made you see that wine is never the enemy and always the friend and poses great health and fun for you. You just need to take the time to research and realize yourself all the great that wine can offer you in your life, making you feel better and a lot happier. Who wouldn’t want that?