Long visited by dreamy visions of starting their own tour company, Jewels Wine Tours owners and Napa Valley residents Julia Young and Ryan Raes utilize their regional intimacy to construct guided tours to the finest wineries, distilleries, and restaurants the area has to offer. The team takes great joy in customizing packages to their guests’ preferences, whether customers are looking to taste-test a certain hard-to-find vintage, or just want to be driven around by someone other than the family dog. A dedicated driver handles navigation for the duration of each tour, allowing the grape gurus to focus on enriching the tour experience by answering in-depth questions and providing insights into Napa and Sonoma Valley history.
It's a daunting task to visit all the wineries in the Napa/Sonoma region—there are more than 900 of them. Luckily, Stacy's Wine Tours is up to the challenge. They whisk visitors to a wealth of boutique wineries and vineyards during customized wine tours aboard a fleet of luxury vehicles. Guests can cruise through the grape-dotted countryside inside a stretch limo or opt for a basic designated-driver service.
They can also skip the wine tastings and head out on a brewery tour via Tap in Tours. A tour bus described as an "Irish pub on wheels"—though it's missing drunken novelists and poets—ferries passengers to various microbreweries along the 121 and 101 corridors, including Lagunitas, Hop Monk, and Petaluma Hills Brewing Company.
The history of wine in the Livermore Valley spans 250 years. Spanish missionaries planted the region's first grapes in the 18th century, and Robert Livermore sowed the first commercial vines in the mid-19th. These early efforts led to America's first international gold medal for wine at the 1889 Paris Exposition, when California grapes beat out bordeaux in the annual race to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The guides at Livermore Valley Wine & Cycle Tours lead cyclists into this historic, scenic valley in which some 40 wineries currently reside. Rides between them follow moderate routes, letting peddlers soak in views of the canyons and ridges that rise and fall between the clustered rows of vines.
Cuisine Type: Winery
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Wines and a rustic event venue
Alcohol: Wine only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
The Carvalho family's history in the winemaking industry began in the vineyards of Portugal more than 100 years ago, right after drinking wine for pleasure was invented. Although the family has since immigrated to the rolling fields of Clarksburg Wine Country, the new generation of Carvalhos still hand-crafts small batches of wine with the same dedication as their ancestors. They source their grapes from local vineyards in the surrounding area to concoct a variety of California wines, including their crisp sauvignon blanc, creamy chardonnay, smooth pinot noir, and five-barrel tawny port, which can all be sipped in their quaintly appointed tasting room. In addition to tastings, the room hosts regular events including tastings, art openings, and live music.
The family further proves that they know how to entertain in their charming Old Sugar Mill event space, which hosts weddings and special occasions of all kinds beneath it's cathedral ceilings. Owner John Carvalho renovated the space, but preserved its Old World–style brick walls and rustic doors.
With a stay at The Citizen Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel, you'll be centrally located in Sacramento, steps from Cesar Chavez Park and City Plaza Park. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of California State Capitol and California State Capitol Museum. n Rooms
Make yourself at home in one of the 198 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations and flat-screen televisions. Windows open for fresh air and city views. 32-inch high-definition televisions with premium TV channels provide entertainment, with wired and wireless Internet access available for a surcharge. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. n Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Take advantage of recreation opportunities including a fitness facility and bicycles to rent. This hotel also features wireless Internet access (surcharge) and wedding services. n Dining
Enjoy a satisfying meal at a restaurant serving guests of The Citizen Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel. A complimentary evening social is served for your convenience. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Full breakfasts are available daily for a fee. n Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge), a business center, and limo/town car service. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom.
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel is in the heart of Sacramento, walking distance from Sacramento Convention Center and Community Center Theater. This eco-friendly hotel is within close proximity of Memorial Auditorium and Cesar Chavez Park. n Rooms
Make yourself at home in one of the 503 air-conditioned guestrooms. Cable programming and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, while wireless Internet access (surcharge) keeps you connected. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, makeup/shaving mirrors, and complimentary toiletries. Conveniences include desks and complimentary newspapers, as well as multi-line phones with voice mail. n Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Enjoy recreational amenities such as an outdoor pool and a fitness facility. Additional features include wireless Internet access (surcharge), a concierge desk, and wedding services. n Dining
Enjoy a meal at a restaurant or in a coffee shop/café. Or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's room service (during limited hours). At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. n Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include limo/town car service, business services, and audiovisual equipment. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.