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One region is glitzy, the other earthy, but both are perfect for a spring getaway, when the vines are budding and the crowds are still thin
North of the San Francisco Bay, the land seems to exhale. The surge of Bay Area traffic disappears, giving way to what surfers call the “outside set”: creamy waves of golden hills as legendarily tranquil as a double dose of Xanax. Taken together, Napa and Sonoma offer a glorious in-state option to Tuscany, Bordeaux, or Cork. Yet choosing one over the other for a getaway can be a Rorschach test of likes and dislikes…
Where the grapes will be depends on when you visit. Here, a farmer’s almanac
Chefs Thomas Keller, Josiah Citrin, and David Myers name their favorite wine country destinations
Ryan Sweeney, owner of L.A.’s Surly Goat bar, taps his top vineland brews
What makes Napa mud so special?
You have the wine covered. Now you need some cheese for that picnic. Norbert Wabnig, proprietor of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, recommends a few local celebrities
Where to visit? Osteria Mozza wine director Jeff Porter and Cut beverage director Dana Farner help you choose
Exploring Napa and Sonoma one stop a time, plus four shady spots away from the vineyards where you can plan a picnic