Note: Some tour providers on this list may be running more limited operations due to COVID-19 or may impose testing or vaccine requirements. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.
Sitting about 60 miles south of both Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, San Francisco is an ideal starting point for tours of these wine-producing regions. Using expert input and traveler opinion, U.S. News identified the top wine tours that leave from San Francisco. Whether you arrive to the region via bus or helicopter, you’ll enjoy delectable wine and sweeping views of the countryside.
Green Dream Tours — Combo Tour of Napa and Sonoma
Explore both Napa and Sonoma on this approximately eight-hour tour that features three different wineries and includes a lunchtime stop at Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. Each tour is limited to 14 participants, creating an intimate experience, according to reviewers. Guides earn high marks for their knowledge about winemaking and the regions’ histories. Wine lovers also enjoy the wineries Green Dream selects. Pickups at area hotels start daily at 8 a.m. and tours officially begin at 9 a.m. Tickets cost about $160 for tours departing Monday through Thursday; they run about $190 for Friday to Sunday outings. The price covers all wine tasting fees, but not lunch. Green Dream also offers tours of either region separately, as well as tours combining Sonoma Valley with a tour of Alcatraz.
Extranomical Tours — Redwoods and Wine Country Tour
This daylong excursion begins with a walk among the redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument and then continues with stops at three wineries in Napa and Sonoma. After the first tasting — which takes places in Napa — you’ll visit Sonoma Plaza, where you can purchase lunch and explore the various shops. Then, you’ll proceed to two Sonoma wineries for wine flights and tastings. On the way back to San Francisco, you’ll stop at a scenic lookout point for views of San Francisco’s skyline and its famous landmarks. Reviewers enjoy the guides’ informed commentary and rave about Muir Woods’ beauty. Tickets start at $170 for participants ages 12 and older, though you can opt to upgrade your ticket to include lunch at Sonoma Plaza for an additional fee. Tickets also include pickup and drop off at area hotels. The entrance fee to Muir Woods National Monument is not included in the ticket price. Pickup begins at 7:30 a.m. daily and tours last approximately 11 hours. Extranomical Tours also operates tours focusing solely on California’s wine country, tours of San Francisco and a trip to Yosemite.
A Taste of SF — Half Day Wine Country Tour
Travelers say this tour is perfect for both oenophiles and those brand-new to wine, thanks to knowledgeable guides who share tidbits of information along the way. Plus, many tourgoers note they learned a bit about San Francisco history, too. The six-hour outing features visits to two wineries (which could include Jacuzzi Family Vineyards and Cline Family Cellars), a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and incredible views of Sonoma and San Francisco. You can grab lunch at one of the wineries or during a visit to Sonoma Plaza. Tours depart daily at 11:30 a.m. from San Francisco. Fees start at $99 per adult. Tasting fees at the winery and lunch are not included in the ticket price. A Taste of SF also runs a daylong wine tour.
Painted Ladies Tour Company — Wine Country Tour
This daytrip takes wine lovers to three Sonoma wineries via vintage Volkswagen vans. In addition to sampling wines, you’ll visit a wine cave (except during peak harvest time) for insights about the wine-making process. You’ll also have the chance to eat an Italian lunch at one of the wineries (at your own expense). The outings also include photo stops at popular destinations like the Golden Gate Bridge. Drivers, who double as guides, provide commentary about the wine country as well as San Francisco history and are generally considered knowledgeable and friendly. Tourgoers also appreciate the variety of delicious vino sampled. Tickets start at $165 per adult. Though tasting fees aren’t included, you will receive a discount. Trips depart daily around 9 a.m. and pick up at either Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf; you’ll be dropped back off at one of those locations about eight hours later. Painted Ladies Tour Company also offers tours of San Francisco and private outings.
Gray Line — Deluxe Sonoma & Napa Valley Wine Country Tour
Buses transport riders to boutique wineries and vineyards on this eight-hour tour. The journey also includes time for shopping and lunch in Sonoma Square or downtown Napa. As an added bonus, you’ll ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy views of the Bay Area. Drivers, who reviewers describe as informative and entertaining, provide commentary along the way. Travelers enjoy the expert winery employees as well. Tours, which include pickup and drop-off at either Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf, run daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets start at $149 for adults and $79 for children 5 to 11 and include tasting fees, but not lunch. Gray Line also operates numerous other tours in the region, including a tour to Monterey and Carmel.
Beau Wine Tours — San Francisco to Russian River Valley Wine Tours
The Russian River Valley is known for its pinot noir, and this tour highlights the vineyards and wineries where the grapes are grown and the wine is produced. This luxury experience begins with pickup from your hotel and features scenic drives through the wine region. Travelers consistently praise guides as knowledgeable and personable. However, other reviewers express some frustration with staff’s poor communication when trying to plan their excursions. Tours depart around 9 a.m. Prices vary depending on group size, trip length and type of vehicle you select for the trip. A tour by passenger car costs approximately $95 per hour with an eight-hour minimum; tasting fees are not included. The company also conducts tours of other wine regions, including Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley.
Edge of the World Tours — The Great Wine Tour
Spend nine hours with up to 12 other tour-takers on this journey through Sonoma. You’ll visit three wineries, learn about each one’s winemaking process and participate in three tastings. The outing includes a stop for lunch, at your own expense. Reviewers say the tour is plenty of fun thanks to the personable guides and appreciate the small groups. Tours depart daily at 8 a.m. Fees start at $149 for adults and $125 for those younger than 21 and nondrinkers. Tasting fees are included in the cost of the tour. Edge of the World Tours also operates private excursions.
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Update 05/12/22: This article was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.