With Access California Wine Country, your visit will be an easy, enjoyable experience—Napa, Sonoma, and the Russian River are at your fingertips.
California Wine Country has been divided and organized into wine districts, so you know where you are and where you're headed.
Unique color-coded and numbered entries allow you to discover the best:
- Shopping sights
- Parks and Outdoor Spaces
Large, easy-to-read maps with entry numbers keyed to text ensure that you will instantly find what you must not miss.
Access is your indispensable walk-around guide to California Wine Country. Our writers, who live in and love the wine country, will lead you through the valleys, sharing the unforgettable sights and pointing out the undiscovered gems and all the spectacular experiences that only California Wine Country has to offer.
About the Author
With the publication of his first book in 1962 at the age of 26, Richard Saul Wurman began the singular passion of his life: that of making information understandable. A holder of both M. Arch. & B. Arch. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, he has been awarded several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Graham Fellowships & two Chandler Fellowships. In 1991, Richard Saul Wurman received the Kevin Lynch Award from MIT for his creation of the ACCESS travel guides. In 1994, he was named a Fellow of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland & awarded a Doctorate of Fine Arts by the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. In 1995, he received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Art Center College of Design & was Chairman of Graphic Design & Product/Industrial Design of the1995 Presidential Design Awards.
Richard Saul Wurman continues to be a regular consultant to major corporations in matters relating to the design & understanding of information. He is married to novelist Gloria Nagy, has 4 children & lives in Newport, Rhode Island.
Read an Excerpt
Access California Wine Country 6e
Many people, even some San Franciscans, don't realize how close the wine country is to the City by the Bay. The town of Sonoma, where California's wine-making history began in the mid-19th century, is only about an hour's drive away, and the entire Sonoma County is close enough for an easy day trip. St. Helena and the heart of Napa Valley are less than 1.5 hours from San Francisco by car, and if the traffic gods smile upon you, you may make it from one end of the valley to the other in about a half hour. Not that you should -- there's so much to see and do along the way. The wine country of Mendocino and Lake Counties lies farther north -- about a 2.5- to 3-hour drive from San Francisco. While you're visiting wineries in Sonoma and Mendocino, take time to explore the nearby coast, which is rugged, sparsely populated, and extraordinarily beautiful.
You'll need a car to visit the wineries; another option is to look into an organized guided bus tour to squire you around (see "Tours" on page 11). Once you're in the wine country, it's easy to get around and almost impossible to get lost, except when searching for small wineries off the beaten track or for those that require an appointment and don't have a sign out front.
When planning a trip, remember that this region, especially Napa Valley, is popular. The best time to visit is during the less crowded off-season (November through May), although it's exciting to see the grape crush (generally in August through October), when the normally serene landscape is animated with grape pickers moving along the vineyard rows, the streets are lined with trucks loaded with grapes, and the scent of fermenting juices suffuses the air. It's almost worth enduring the throngs to feel a part of the wine-making experience.
During the peak season and on weekends, most hotels and bed-and-breakfasts require a minimum 2-night stay. Be sure to reserve as early as possible; lodging is limited and can be extremely hard to find on holidays and summer weekends. For help finding vacancies, try calling a referral service (for a list of agencies, see "Accommodations" on page 11).
Much of the pleasure of this type of trip lies in the planning. Start tasting wines at home and read up on those you particularly like. Taste and compare one type of wine from different producers within a region and from different counties -- Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake -- to appreciate the differences in style. Don't worry if your wine vocabulary is lacking -- people who work with wine every day can be just as perplexed when trying to describe it. After all, it is a purely sensory experience and should be approached with a spirit of curiosity and pleasure. So just swirl, sniff, sip, and enjoy.Access California Wine Country 6e. Copyright © by Richard Saul Wurman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Table of Contents
|Sonoma and Environs||94|
|Russian River Region||134|
|Sonoma Coast to South Mendocino||162|
|Mendocino County/Hopland-Ukiah Wine Road||174|