Quick Trips to the Napa Valley and Carneros Wine Country


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

Carneros wine country getaway
Carneros vineyards
Perhaps you are on a business trip in San Francisco or Oakland. Your schedule gives you an afternoon off and you want to visit the Napa Valley or Carneros wine country. You want something that will make your trip useful and memorable. We have a few quick wine country getaway suggestions that will do just that.

Carneros West – In Sonoma County

First of all, we are going to take you to some very fun and cool wineries, not very touristy or commercial. Head across the Golden Gate Bridge and travel to the Carneros Highway. We are suggesting three small wineries: Schug, Robledo, and Larson Family. At the Schug tasting room we like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, as well as the great little house where the tasting room is located. Robledo is the first Mexican-owned winery in Sonoma County. They make some terrific wines using grapes from their vineyards in Napa and Lake County. Their tasting room is loaded with family memorabilia commemorating the family’s founding of the winery. Larson Family Winery is perhaps best known for its family friendliness. You can bring the kids without having to worry that they will be disturbing others; they are welcome at Larson. You can also play a game of Bocce at Larson while you sip some cool Larson Gewürztraminer wine. From the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge these three wineries are about a 45-minute drive without traffic. Schug and Larson are open daily 10 to 5pm, and Robledo by appointment. Always check the winery’s website for more information and consult our Carneros Wine Country Map for driving details. Want a quick bite to eat? Here is a list of some of the best restaurants in Carneros.

Robledo tasting room
Robledo tasting room

Carneros East – In Napa County

For this trip we suggest one very touristy winery very much worth visiting and two smaller family-owned wineries. Domaine Carneros is a landmark on the Carneros Highway. The Chateau attracts many visitors because of its sparkling wines, attractive architecture, and the spectacular vineyard views from its terrace. Very near Domaine Carneros is the wondrous Cuvaison Vineyards industrial-style tasting room. At this tasting room you can enjoy a sit-down tasting of delicious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines while enjoying beautiful vineyard views in a relaxed atmosphere. Just on the opposite side of the Carneros Highway sits Truchard Vineyards. This winery is open by appointment, so call ahead. It is one of the oldest wineries in the area and makes some very interesting wines, all very tasty and memorable. Try the Tempranillo; it is a delight. It is a family operation at Truchard, so be prepared for some old-fashioned hospitality. For this trip, approaching from the Bay Bridge is a little faster than coming from the Golden Gate Bridge. Again, consult the winery’s Website and call ahead to schedule your appointment for Robledo or Truchard.

Domain Carneros
Domaine Carneros

On our next post on the Napa Valley Wine Blog, we will suggest some quick and fun wine country getaways to southern Napa Valley.

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.