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We can pick you up anywhere within 90 minutes’ drive of San Francisco—at your home, hotel, ship's terminal, or the airport!

'Napa Illuminated' Tour: Full Itinerary  (Prototype)

cakebreadseated1We greet the morning sun smiling on the East Bay as we cross the Bay Bridge and move north through Napa (city) and onto the Silverado Trail, which brings us into some of Napa Valley's most compelling scenery. We arrive mid-morning at Frog's Leap, where you taste as you move about the grounds—first in the organic garden, then the solar-powered fermentation facility, then the historic red barn. Or you may prefer Cakebread Cellars, during whose excellent grape-to-bottle tour will help you learn everything you ever wanted to know about wine-making but were afraid to ask.

For lunch we stop at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, the CIA's Greystone or any of the many wonderful restaurants which you've seen on one of the Food channels. Perhaps a picnic in a scenic overlook suits your fancy.

With a shorter lunch, however, we have time to drive to the mountaintop Kuleto Estate, with its incomparable vistas on a property you have to see to believe. (Pat Kuleto is the very successful restaurant designer and investor who lives there like a Tuscan prince.) Current admission for tour and tasting is $40 per-person. Guests have often chosen to spend a couple of hours on this extra-ordinary estate, so you end up with less time to visit other wineries.

Alternative pleasures can include Schramsberg,* the second oldest in Napa Valley, an unique and historic place to sample some of America's best sparkling wine. We then visit Chateau Montelena or Benessere or Robert Sinskey, friendly places whose wines you won't soon forget. Or Failla (an idylllic country house, wonderful pinot noirs) or Darioush (reminiscent of an ancient Persian palace with across-the-board stellar varietals)—both on the beautiful Silverado Trail.

We love to conclude the day in a particularly elegant setting, either Domaine Carneros, a French chateau with panoramic views of the Carneros region, or Domaine Chandon, the famous champagne house in picturesque Yountville. Or, if you insist, we can always stop for handmade chocolates. We return to San Francisco across the illuminated Golden Gate Bridge, as the sun sets over the Ocean.

* The entrance fee for Schramsberg is currently $45 per-person—more than at most other wineries. Schramsberg sits in a beautiful mountainside setting, and its champagne has competed successfully against Dom Perignon. But if this exceeds your budget, there are many other memorable options we'd be happy to share with you. Inglenook (formerly the Rubicon Estate...before that Niebaum-Coppola...before that Inglenook) also requires $25 per-person for their excellent basic tour and tasting: you get to explore their cavernous gift shop, or just relax by the fountains on the manicured grounds. (The desk from "The Godfather," a Tucker car, Francis' Oscars and other movie memorabilia—formerly at Rubicon—are now artfully displayed at their new Francis Ford Coppola winery, approx. 40 minutes' away in Geyserville.)


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