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TOP 25 WINERIES Spring 2021: Best Bay Area Wineries to Visit

GOING WINE TASTING is one of the great Bay Area pastimes. Visiting a winery here is a chance to experience so many of the features that make this region special: the land’s natural beauty, a rich tradition of artisanal craftsmanship and a deep, abiding love for eating and drinking deliciously.

Best of all, world-class wines are now made in all corners of the Bay Area — not just in the famous appellations of Napa and Sonoma counties, but also on mountains overlooking Silicon Valley and in former military bases in the East Bay. Today’s Wine Country consists not only of palatial estates overlooking vineyards but also sleek tasting bars in downtown squares, industrial warehouses and, increasingly, sidewalks and parking lots, as urban wineries adapt to the needs of the COVID-19 era.

Schramsberg Vineyards

1400 Schramsberg Rd., Calistoga

Napa’s mandatory stop for the sparkling-wine lover.

In non-pandemic times, the best thing about visiting Schramsberg Vineyards was the chance to tour through its miles of underground caves, where millions of bottles of nascent wine are stored as they undergo the secondary fermentations that make them fizzy. There’s no better way to learn about the complicated process of Champagne-method winemaking than seeing it in action. That spelunking is off-limits for now, but it’s still very much worth visiting Schramsberg to taste what is some of the best bubbly made in California, from their affordable, everyday bottlings like the Blanc de Blancs to the pricier, longer-aged J. Schram cuvee. Tastings are currently being held in outdoor areas under tents, and visitors who don’t want to drink sparkling wine exclusively can book a tasting that includes still wines like Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon from Schramsberg’s sister label, Davies Vineyards.


Tasting fee: $50

Phone: 707-942-4558

Website: schramsberg.com

Chronicle coverage of this winery

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TOP 25 WINERIES Spring 2021: Best Bay Area Wineries to Visit