Join us on this fantastic tour in California and visit the world renowned wine groves in Sonoma County and Napa Valley...
Sonoma County and Napa Valley
Sonoma County is one of California's premier wine-making regions, yet it has remained relatively untouched by tourists compared to its more popular neighbor, Napa Valley (only 5-10 miles east). It is said that Sonoma Valley gets its name from the Miwok Native American Indians.
The Miwok named it the valley of "many moons" - while walking through the Sonoma Valley and the Mayacamas Mountains, the moon was said to rise seven times.
In the 1850’s, it was Sonoma Valley residents who solved the imported vine disease problem by widely adopting the practice of grafting onto native (resistant) root stock. Hungarian immigrant Agoston Haraszthy basically invented large scale, industrial wine-making, and Sonoma became the epicenter for a huge new wine industry and therefore became a popular tourist destination for locals from San Francisco and visitors from around the world.
Its currently more famous neighbor, Napa Valley, remained the “outback” for about 50 years. Both valleys became “ghost towns” after the Great Earthquake of 1906, followed by Prohibition (of alcohol!) from 1919 to 1933. You could say the Great Depression continued well into the 1970’s for this part of the world (see Napa Valley). Declared National Historic Landmarks, the downtown Sonoma Plaza and the San Francisco Solano de Sonoma Mission (1823) are at the heart of this renowned wine producing region. Sonoma Valley is located in the much larger Sonoma County, which also includes the equally renowned Healdsburg region, the Alexander Valley, Russian River, and other well-known Appellations.
The Napa Valley Wine Train is one of the most scenic and enjoyable Napa Valley wine tours. This train has 9 historic cars that have been restored and renovated to accommodate diners in its classic interiors filled with fine brass fixtures, mahogany paneling, and elegant partitions of etched glass that you can enjoy a meal in as you ride past 26 Napa Valley wineries.
Since 1989, the Napa Valley Wine Train has been ferrying visitors between Napa and St Helena to the north. You can book a lunch or a dinner time ride in one of these elegant cars, two of which are filled with splendid dining areas with table set with fresh flowers, delicate china, crisp white linen and silver utensils. You can sit in the Silverado Trail car, which is open air, and enjoy views of Napa Valley as you enjoy a superb meal.
Wine tasting on-board the train is a fun and an excellent way to take in the countryside at a relaxed pace, for an enjoyable afternoon or evening while seeing the extensive wineries go by. Get champagne and outstanding appetizers to enjoy while you relax in the lounge car before going to the dining car for your next three courses.
You can walk anywhere you want in the Napa Valley Wine train, since it is all open. The kitchen car has glass walls so that you can watch the talented chefs prepare meals onboard. Of course, you can enjoy selections from the top Napa Valley wineries while you’re touring the California wine country.
The history of the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge has always been painted orange vermilion, deemed "International Orange." this color was selected, because it blends well with the span's natural setting. Named Golden Gate because it is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.
Painting the Golden Gate Bridge is an ongoing task and the primary maintenance job.
The Bridge paint protects it from the high salt content in the air, which rests and corrodes the steel components. Many misconceptions exist about how often the Bridge is painted. Some say once every seven years, others say from end to end each year.
Actually, the Bridge was painted when it was originally built with a red lead primer and a lead-based top coat. For the next 27 years, only touch up was required. By 1965, advancing corrosion sparked a program to remove the original paint and replace it with an inorganic zinc silicate primer and acrylic emulsion topcoat. See the box to the right for more information on this great marvel of engineering...
- San Francisco - Napa Valley Wine Country
- Napa Valley Wine Train with Gourmet Lunch
- Muir Woods & the mighty Redwoods
- Sonoma County & Napa Valley - even more wine!!!
- General sightseeing in San Francisco
- Fully escorted
- All baggage handling & taxes included
Book this great tour now!
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