FROM ABALONES TO ZINFANDEL

Northern California Gourmet Adventure

California

Duration: 10 nights

Price: From £4,200 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation, car hire, experiences as stated and taxes

California is home to some of the best food and wine anywhere in the USA, and on this gourmet self-drive tour through the north of the state you’ll get to experience some of the very finest. Beginning in food-obsessed San Francisco, you’ll head to Yountville – home to the most Michelin stars per capita anywhere in America – before delving deep into the wine country of the Napa Valley and Sonoma.
Perfect forGourmands and wine lovers looking to experience California’s finest.
In the knowAdding in a few days after San Francisco to explore the up-and-coming Paso Robles wine country.

Best for

  • Food & Wine
  • Couples
  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Off the Beaten Track

All Exsus holidays are tailor-made

This itinerary is just a starting point. Tell us your budget/wishlist/preferred length of stay and we'll help you select the best hotels and experiences, so your holiday is totally personalised.

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Itinerary details

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3 nightsSAN FRANCISCO

Your gourmet journey begins in San Francisco, long known as a foodie haven from gourmet restaurants – a record 40 of which were awarded Michelin stars in 2014 – to pop-up street outlets. Your hotel, Cavallo Point, more than does justice to the city’s culinary reputation, and is home to Murray Circle, one of the Bay Area’s most acclaimed restaurants, which serves beautiful Northern California cuisine overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s also home to a world-class cooking school, where hands-on classes are held in small groups – a maximum of 20 people – teaching you how to cook dishes from across the world. While you’re nearby, head to Berkeley and Chez Panisse, a high-end but informal restaurant based on organic, locally grown produce; founder Alice Waters is a pioneer of the locavore movement and is Vice President of Slow Food International.
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2 nightsYOUNTVILLE

The next stop on your gastronomic adventure is Yountville, around 90 minutes’ drive north of San Fran. Named for George Yount, who established the first vineyard in the Napa Valley, it will come as no surprise that wine is superb here. In the town centre, head to Maisonry Napa Valley, a winery and art gallery where you can enjoy the produce of more than a dozen local boutique winemakers while enjoying the work of local painters, sculptors, photographers and artisans. It’s not just the wine that gets star billing in Yountville, though – despite its size and rural location, it has more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else in America. Three of those belong to The French Laundry, one of the finest restaurants in the world, which can be booked with sufficient notice (normally around three months).  The elegant Bouchon, owned like The French Laundry by Thomas Keller, claims the town’s other Michelin star. During your two nights, you'll stay in the Bardessono, a luxury hotel surrounded by Michelin-star restaurants and with excellent facilities for relaxing after a day exploring the region.
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3 nightsFORESTVILLE

Departing Napa Valley, you’ll drive for around an hour to Forestville, in Sonoma County. While it may be quieter and less well known than Napa, Sonoma is home to some of the finest and oldest wineries in California. With Silver Service Wine Tours, you can customise an itinerary to take in the wide variety of producers and wines in this region, from the Pinot noirs of Russian River Valley to the Italian producers of Dry Creek Valley and the sparkling wines of the southern Carneros region in Sonoma Valley. Your hotel, the rustic and homely Farmhouse Inn, is within easy reach of all these areas and also offers sommelier-led wine tours and educational classes.
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2 nightsMENDOCINO

The final stop on your gourmet food and wine adventure is Mendocino, which you’ll reach after a scenic two hour drive north from Forestville. Mendocino County, like Sonoma, produces a diverse variety of wines, but it is particularly renowned for its organic viticulture, with a quarter of all the grapes in the county grown organically. Your hotel, Brewery Gulch Inn, is a luxurious B&B a couple of miles down the coast from Mendocino village and offers guided wine tours throughout the region. Mendocino is also home to some great restaurants, from upmarket California French cuisine at Café Beaujolais to hearty sandwiches and seafood at local favourite, Patterson’s Pub. After two nights at Brewery Gulch Inn, your gourmet food and wine adventure reaches its end, and you’ll drive to San Francisco International Airport for your flight home.
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  • Dec
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