Regional Spotlight: Napa Valley

California wine country is a beautiful destination for wine and food lovers alike. Northern California’s Napa Valley has garnered international attention for its influence in the wine world.  The region’s Mediterranean climate and geology make it ideal for vineyards.

There are numerous wineries across the region that offer tastings and tours, which means you do not have to travel all the way to France to experience a truly indulgent vacation. The region cemented its place as a leading wine producer when a chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon from Napa outshone the competitors at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976.

Although Napa is recognized as wine country, that is not the only reason to visit. Go for a bike tour through the scenic vineyards or take a ride on the wine train. It’s like a boozy Disney World for adults. The food scene in Napa Valley is also exceptional. Many wonderful chefs were attracted to Northern California for the abundance of fresh ingredients. The appreciation of fine wine begs for complementing cuisine and Napa Valley has no shortage of that.

If you plan ahead, you may be able to dine at the famed French Laundry, which is consistently recognized as one of the top restaurants in the world. While reservations often fill up months in advance and prices are rather high, the restaurant is a destination in and of itself. Napa is full of Michelin-star restaurants that pair memorable meals with their acclaimed wines.

Although it is wine country, kids are welcome to sip grape juice as you enjoy some wine and visit the Scientopia Discovery Center. The allure of the region has made it an ideal location for year-round festivals like the July Festival del Sole and the Truffle Festival in January. So take a trip to Napa Valley any time of year and indulge your senses – but be careful, you may never want to leave. Just don’t forget to drink some water too or you may not be able to make the most of your time.

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