If you’re harvesting dreams of living the wine country lifestyle, look no further than the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino. “Wine Country,” as the region is informally called, has been steadily climbing to international fame over the last three decades thanks to a new crop of exclusive wineries, award-winning spas, and celebrity chefs with their Michelin star restaurants.
Located about 50 miles north of San Francisco, Wine Country offers a mild, Mediterranean climate, combined with scenic beauty and sweeping hillside views. It is little wonder why it consistently attracts wine enthusiasts, families, and retirees, as well as a number of celebrities who have not only launched their wineries but also own vacation homes in the area. While the region is most famous for wine tasting (current count is 400 wineries), people come from all over the world to escape the city and enjoy everything from hiking and bicycling to hot air balloon rides and hot spring baths.
Living in Wine Country
The area has also emerged as a world-class food destination, with several top chefs and restaurateurs like Thomas Keller, Sondra Bernstein and Michael Chiarello opening up critically acclaimed eateries. Napa County offers five school districts, while Sonoma County boasts over 40 school districts. Higher education includes Sonoma State University, Pacific Union College, and Napa Valley College.
Homes in Wine Country range from sprawling Tuscan and French Country vineyard estates to cozy Victorians and Contemporary abodes with nothing but views for company. Communities associated with Wine Country include: Napa, Yountville, Calistoga, Santa Rosa, Glen Ellen, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Guerneville, Kenwood, Geyserville, Petaluma, Sebastpol, Ukiah, and historic Fort Ross.
Sonoma Valley is the birthplace of the California wine industry and remains the largest producer of state’s Wine Country region to this day.
Gundlach Bundsch Winery was launched in 1858 and is the oldest, family-owned winery in California.
Legendary quarterback Joe Montana famously put his Calistoga estate on the market for $49 million in 2009.
The cities, towns, and neighborhoods that make up Wine Country include: