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Even for locals, the beauty and bounty of California Wine Country is a never-ending wonder and sweet surprise. For visitors, California’s wine country often sneaks up on them in the same way love does.  Without warning, without expectations, and with amazement.

The first people who planted California’s vineyards were trappers, hunters, immigrants, priests.  All were people outside the mainstream of society.  They recognized the raw beauty of the land, the rich soil, the wavering light and they were pulled in.  Those who were free spirits, and had never settled before, were the pioneers of California’s Wine Country.

Today, from Temecula to Mendocino, from the Russian River to the Sierra Foothills, pioneers still arrive, planting and nurturing California’s vineyards and olive orchards.  Should you visit California Wine Country?  Absolutely.  Without a passport or an exchange of currency, you’ll be transported to numerous vineyard appellations, fresh local foods, and restaurants that boast come of the finest chefs in the world.  Chefs who are breaking the rules and creating food that tastes like a bursting miracle.  It’s the pioneers who still come to wine country and settle. Wine country is not only about the food and the wine.  It’s about the redwoods, the lush rolling vineyards climbing up golden hills that curl like a lion’s paw, about the Russian River rolling to the sea welcoming kayakers and sunbathers.  It’s about the art that grows in wine country as easily and lovingly as the vineyards and apple trees.  And, it’s about the history of a state that, for a little while, was its own country. The country of Sonoma.

When you visit, and you will, take a break and drive on small country roads.  Some wind to the grand Pacific, some roads lead to gold country, others to farmhouses defying time and gravity. Let your dreams become possibilities.  California Wine Country has nurtured dreamers for centuries.