Unique Wine Country Tours: Day Trip From San Francisco

Tour the best of Napa and Sonoma Wine Valleys

By bicycle, by train, by water — these are some of the more adventurous ways to visit Wine Country on a day trip from San Francisco. We love spending time among the vineyards north of the city and these are some pretty exciting ways of doing just that.

White water rafting and even a bike tour are certainly adventurous, but you don’t have to be physically challenged to have a memorable vineyard experience. Hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train and eat a leisurely 3-course meal as you chug-chug through miles and miles of vineyards and rolling hills.

We think the best way to visit Napa or Sonoma is on a small-group wine country tour from San Francisco. It’s an easy drive from the city, so you can see a lot in one day, and the small group ensures personal attention and plenty of time for interaction with the expert guide, winemakers, and wine servers. The small-group Wine Country tours we prefer include lunch, or they cover a lot of different wineries and may include both Napa Valley and Sonoma. And, if you’re pressed for time, Sonoma is close enough that you can easily fit in a visit in half a day!

Wine Country Bike Tour & Picnic Lunch

Cycle the Wine Country, sample local wine, take in the magnificent scenery, and stop for a delectable picnic lunch with charcuterie, local cheeses and fresh bread among the vineyards.

Wine Country Bike Tour

Depending on the day you, you visit might visit Napa Valley, Dry Creek Valley or Russian River Valley. Whatever the valley, you enjoy an easy, scenic bike ride from winery to winery. Best of all, a shuttle will follow you to carry any wine purchases and give you a lift when you need a break. Includes transportation to and from San Francisco.

American River Rafting Adventure and Wine Tour

Experience another side of California — see cattle & horses, ranches in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

On this whitewater rafting adventure, you’ll splash your way down the American River, navigating through the Meatgrinder, Racehorse Bend, Rock Garden and Triple Threat, ending with a mad dash through the famed Troublemaker Rapids.

Back on shore, relax, and enjoy all the Fixin’s at an outdoor BBQ lunch, then end the day with a relaxing wine tasting at a local winery. This tour is seasonal and operates from May through September.

Ride the Napa Valley Wine Train + Gourmet Lunch

This activity is a little less rambunctious! Hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train for a memorable dining experience!

Settle in your seat on the restored antique train, where you enjoy a gourmet 3-course meal with fresh, local ingredients while traveling through Napa Valley wine country — with endless views of rolling hills and vineyards outside the window. This relaxing tour includes round-trip transportation from San Francisco.

Small-Group Wine Country Tour With Lunch

After being picked-up directly from your San Francisco hotel, you travel by luxury van to the Wine Country’s lush, vineyard-covered hills.

There you visit some of Sonoma Valley’s top wineries, where you learn about the wines as you taste them. After lunch in a gourmet restaurant, you travel to Napa Valley where you toast the end of your journey with a glass of bubbly at a specially reserved table at Domaine Chandon. This scenery-filled tour is limited to 13 people to ensure personal attention.

Wine Lover’s Tour Of Napa Valley & Sonoma

Calling all wine lovers – this is another small-group wine tour we like! It takes you to some of the best of Napa and Sonoma wineries.

You visit up to six boutique wineries to discover the differences between varietals. Drive through Northern California’s famous wine appellations — Stag’s Leap, Rutherford, St. Helena and Glen Ellen.

Although there’s plenty of wine tasting, there’s also time to enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the wineries. On the way back, you have the option of ending your tour in Sausalito before taking the ferry back to the city. Includes transportation to and from your hotel.

Sonoma Wine Country Tour

Journey in a mini-bus through the rolling hills of Sonoma Valley to visit three boutique wineries, sampling five to six tastings of several varietals.

At a family-owned winery in the heart of Sonoma, you have the chance to enjoy a picnic lunch. You’re free to open a bottle of wine from your purchases, making the picnic even better! There’s a stop in Sonoma’s downtown to wander, shop and taste cheeses and local, artisanal chocolates. This tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, wine tastings, picnic lunch, and chocolate & cheese tastings.

Half a Day in Sonoma

Don’t have a full day to tour the wine country? The Wine Country is close enough to San Francisco that even this half-day tour can take you to Sonoma’s hidden, out-of-the-way wineries — making the most of every minute.

You have time to visit two highly-regarded wineries for a flight of tastings at each one. Along the way you enjoy the spectacular scenery as your guide tells you the history of wine making in California and why Sonoma produces some of the best wines in the world. Includes hotel pickup.

Top 4 VIP Napa Vineyard Tours From San Francisco

Who doesn’t like special treatment? We do, and that’s why we are always on the lookout for something special, something unique. And that’s also why we’ve selected these VIP and exclusive Napa vineyard tours of the Californian Wine Country that start in San Francisco.

In our review, we call Napa Valley a “spectacular place in the world”. It’s a must-visit place full of magic, wine lore, and great food. When you’re visiting San Francisco you have to make certain you’ve allowed time for one or two Napa vineyard tours. Luckily, it’s an easy day trip from the city.

Private Napa Valley Wine Train Culinary Experience

We think you’re going to love this insider’s peek into the culinary world of Napa Valley. On this VIP tour, you get special access to the Napa Valley Wine Train Culinary Arts Center — not open to the public — for a behind-the-scenes on-board kitchen tour with the executive chef.

Then, sit down to a gourmet lunch or dinner as you travel by train through a gorgeous Wine Country. This exclusive tour offers carefree round-trip transport and a private wine tasting at Gloria Ferrer winery.

Private Limo Tour of California Wine Country

Hop into the back of luxury, private limousine at your San Francisco airport, and your driver will whisk you off to a VIP Napa Valley vineyard tour in the most luxurious way.

Your driver meets you at your SF address and drives you north through Marin County — then suddenly it’s all lush vineyards, rolling hills, and dazzling countryside. It simply takes your breath away. And that doesn’t even consider the wines you will taste!

You travel in a luxury stretch limousine that accommodates up to eight people, making it an ideal option for a special celebration. Because it’s your own private tour, you’re able to design the day around your wine preferences. The limo comes stocked with bubbly!

VIP Napa Vineyard Tour by Helicopter

We love the idea of a VIP, fabulous helicopter ride from San Francisco to the Napa Valley. It all starts when you’re picked up at your San Francisco address and driven in luxury transport to the heliport. There it’s up-up-in-the-air to zigzag above the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County, and the glorious vineyards. In fact, your pilot lands you right in the vineyards!

Everything’s included in this exclusive Wine Country helicopter jaunt — including a gourmet multi-course lunch, guided winery tours, and wine tastings. This seasonal tour is offered from April to October and is limited to just six people. It’s just the thing if you’re in a hurry. Or want to give someone an extraordinary experience. And you have money to spare!

4 Napa Valley Wine Tours

When you’re in San Francisco make sure you set aside time to visit the magnificent California Wine Country nearby. It’s only an hour away, so it’s easy to reach on a day trip, especially when you join one of these classic Napa Valley wine tours, where all the details are taken care of for you.

Let’s take a look at four favorite day tours that take you there. One of them, the Classic Napa Valley Wine Tour, concentrates on three family-owned wineries in that famous valley. Two others manage to take in both Napa Valley and Sonoma in one action-packed day. And one of them is free!

Classic California Wine Country Tour

This full-day tour takes you to the best wineries in both Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley — California’s best wine-producing areas. Nestled in the foothills of Sonoma County, you visit Nicholson Ranch Winery, and learn why this specific climate is ideal for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah.

It’s then a short drive across the intervening hills for the Napa Valley wine tour at Madonna Estate to taste their organic wines. Shop and have lunch in the charming small town of Yountville. The final stop is historic Sutter Home winery, established in the 1800s. The tour includes luxury coach transport to and from San Francisco, wine tours and tastings. Free hotel pickup is also included.

One of the great things about visiting San Francisco is that Wine Country is practically in the city’s backyard, only an hour away. This tour takes you to über-famous Napa Valley to visit three family-owned, award-winning wineries — sampling five or six types of wine at each stop. Each winery has been selected for its unique character, knowledgeable staff and ambiance.

You learn about the winemaking process and why Napa is regarded as one of top wine regions of the world. There’s also time for a stop to shop at Oxbow Public Market in Napa. Includes transport to and from your San Francisco hotel, narrated tour, and all wine tastings.

Vine-to-Wine Day Trip with Tastings & Winery Tour

On this day trip, you taste award-winning wines, soak up vineyard views and learn about the art of biodynamic winemaking.

Travel north across the Golden Gate Bridge in a minibus for a relaxing day in the wine country. Your first stop is Benziger Family Winery in Sonoma, where you visit their biodynamic vineyards, fermentation facility and crush pad. After lunch, travel to Napa Valley for more wine tasting at premier wineries. You’re driven back to your hotel by early evening. Includes lunch and hotel pickup and drop-off.

Napa Valley Wine Tour and Tastings – FREE!

On this full-day winery tour from San Francisco, you discover the best of Napa and Sonoma Wine Valleys — and it’s free if you have the Go San Francisco Card.

Visit small, family-owned wineries as well as larger historic wineries to taste and to learn about winemaking techniques. Arrive back in the city refreshed. The tour includes hotel pickup and return plus all wine tastings.

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