Living in Marin County it’s easy to get spoiled. Just about everything you could ever want is right outside your front door: amazing views, outdoor recreation, and shopping. Marin even has some of the best cheese in the world. But, every once in a while it is good to get out and see what the surrounding communities have to offer. One of the best places to go is to Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley wine country.
More Than Just Wine
It’s no secret that the Napa and Sonoma valleys are no longer just local wine scenes. They are now international stars. While the wine may be world class, there are other reasons to visit the wineries besides the wine.
The wineries themselves are becoming almost as much of an attraction as the liquid aging in their cellars. Many local wineries are gorgeous examples of architecture and landscape design.
One notable example is the Quixote Winery, which also happens to be the only building in the United States designed by the eccentric Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. A magnificent pointed golden dome tops the building. Hundertwasser once said that straight lines were the devil’s tools. This philosophy is in full display at the Quixote Winery where not even the walls have right angles.
It’s About the Wine Too
Napa Valley may be about more than just the wine, but the wine is still the main attraction. Coming to the Napa Valley and not having at least a glass of wine is like going to beach and not touching the sand.
If you are in the mood for fine French wine in a French setting, you need to head to Domaine Carneros. When you drive up to the winery you feel like you are traveling back in time to a classic French chateau. Everything from the meticulously landscaped grounds to the chateau itself will make it easy to forget you are in California and not in southern France.
When visiting Domaine Carneros make sure to try both their sparkling wines and their Pinot Noir.
Sonoma Valley may be less of a name in wine circles that the more established Napa Valley, but it still boasts gorgeous views and incredible wines. Sonoma Valley hosts one of the finest Italian style wineries in the United States. Viansa is only 33 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, but is a world away. Situated on the idyllic summit of the Sonoma Valley, Viansa is a breathtaking spot to have a luxurious picnic and a sip of one of its award-winning Merlot or Chardonnay. Sitting at Viansa and looking over the vineyards in the Mediterranean climate is as close to visiting the Italian countryside as you can get in California.
Make sure to take the time to visit the wine country. After all one of the things that makes Marin so special is that it has such great neighbors.
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