So much to see and taste in this lively locale.
Beyond the vineyards, as the birthplace of California Wine Country, Northern California is also known for its hot spring baths, petrified forests and other natural areas. Great vistas both natural and man-made await, from the San Francisco Bay Area and the birth of Technology, Silicon Valley, to majestic redwood forests, along with the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite Valley and part of Lake Tahoe, Mount Shasta (the second-highest peak in the Cascade Range after Mount Rainier in Washington), and the northern half of the Central Valley, one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions.
Those visiting Southern California can anticipate warm breezes, beach towns and an amazing vineyard experience throughout Southern California. The wine growing regions are generally located within Santa Barbara County where the sensibilities are West Coast rural – open grass lands, light agriculture, horse farms, quaint towns and rounded hills that shift from green to gold with the seasons. Thanks to the extremely long growing season, local vintners are capable of successfully producing everything from Chardonnay and Riesling to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Relaxing in the luxurious setting of FFWS partner properties will provide members with an excellent base from which to explore area vineyards and so much more.
ABOUT THIS REGION
Wine History: As home to both California’s oldest commercial winery, and oldest family-run winery, Sonoma Valley is considered the birthplace of the California wine industry. Viticulture and winemaking have been practiced in the region since the Mexican Colonial period and after, in the mid-19th century when the first European settlers to the area planted grapes.
Further south, the first wine grapes in Santa Barbara County were planted by the missionaries associated with Mission Santa Barbara late in the 18th century. Since commercial viticulture rebounded in the 1960s, Southern California has become a prominent viticultural region. The 2004 Alexander Payne film, Sideways, set in the area, brought additional attention to the county as a wine tour de force. These days, wine grapes from this region command some of the highest prices anywhere in the state.
Natural Attractions: Expect to enjoy the region’s hiking, bicycling, hot air ballooning, and historic sites, as well as the extensive culinary choices. Society members may enjoy Yosemite Valley, famous for its glacially-carved domes, and Sequoia National Park, home to giant sequoia trees, the worlds’ largest trees, Joshua Tree National Park and the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney. The tallest living things on Earth, the ancient redwood trees, also reside along the coastline. The style is casual, the hospitality welcoming and the vistas remarkable.
When Society members wish to enhance their Winery experience, they will enjoy a great variety of famous attractions in the such as Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland and of course the nearby Pacific ocean also hosts a plethora of activities and events, marine parks and famous beaches. Whether seeking a rural or urban-based experiences, members will find a bit of glamour in everything this region offers.
Weather: The climate can be generally characterized by its marine to warm Mediterranean weather along the coast, to a somewhat Continental Mediterranean climate in the valley and alpine climate zones in the high mountains.
What to wear when touring, tasting and attending events? The desired dress code is called Wine Country Casual and loosely embodies the formality (think business casual) with the relaxed country vibe of the vineyards themselves. On the dressy side, best for events, expect dress pants, jacket, cocktail dresses paired with flats or sandals. Forget tight and restrictive. For vineyard tours, expect a more casual look which might include denim and sandals.
Learn More About The Society