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.
Since 2004, Super Jet Limo's smartly dressed chauffeurs have transported clients in a fleet of stylish town cars. They drive travelers to and from San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. In addition, they facilitate sightseeing tours and provide transportation for special events, such as proms and weddings. In the case of the latter, they'll even outfit limos with customized Just Married signs.
On Flying Dolphins' tours, dolphins don't fly?participants do. They skim the waves or soar high above California on an amphibious flying trike, helmed by an FAA-certified pilot. From their bird's-eye view, riders often catch glimpses of aquatic life, from dolphins and sea lions to elusive whales. Riders can fly over the coast or fly over Lake Tahoe.
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 family of vintners at Sorelle Winery, established on the historic Dodge Estate, curate its original 1866 home, tend to their vineyard, and ferment a collection of choice vintages. Though in its nascence, the winery has already taken home a gold medal from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition for its 2009 sangiovese. Inside, the wood-walled tasting room invites couples to sip from crimson and amber glasses, comparing flavors, aromas, and who can spit-take the farthest. Lush lawns and low trees surround the outdoor patio, which grants views of the historic Dodge House property, a land once roamed by Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, and horses with a nose for a good sangiovese.
Northern California Travel and Tours books trips with Delta Charter Bus to get people to and from local casinos such as Jackson Rancheria Casino. The buses stop at 11 prearranged locations and drop people off at the casino. After five hours, the bus makes the return trip.