Bed and Breakfast Wine Country California

Perhaps no other region outside of France is as well known for its superb wine culture as California’s wine country. Central to the attraction is, of course, the fruit of the vine itself. But vintners and aficionados from all over the world come to explore the wine country bed and breakfast inns as well.

Bed and Breakfast Wine Country California

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Explore Wine Country Bed and Breakfasts

Wine tasting is considered by many to be the national sport of Northern California, and these enthusiasts train long and hard to perfect their craft. Accordingly, they demand top-class lodgings where they can recover for the next day’s exertions.

For every type of grape and every nuanced flavor the area produces there are at least as many bed and breakfast inns that cater to the upscale tastes of those passionate about their wine. Often located in areas with scenic views overlooking the rolling hills or acres of lattices supporting their bounty, bed and breakfast inns have no shortage of world-class views to accompany their lodgings.

In addition to a wine that pairs well with a meal, bed and breakfasts are top of the list when seeking that special place to relax and unwind after a fruitful day of wine tours and tasings. Sonoma Valley doesn’t just produce world-class wines; some of the finest B&Bs in all of California can be found across the region. From sumptuous meals and extravagant breakfasts to over-the-top comfort and endless romantic views that stretch for miles, there is an inn to satisfy any taste.

Napa Valley needs no introduction as one of the top wine-producing regions in the world. With its variation in climate, soil conditions, and temperatures, the myriad grape types resulting from this environment is astonishing. Lodgings vary as well, with difficult choices to be made between a classic Victorian-style inn, or an upscale boutique B&B with every comfort imaginable.


  • There are conflicting reports of the first documented vineyard in the state but some credit a Spanish Jesuit Missionary in 1683 as the first vintner. Fast forward from that initial strand of transplanted grapevine to the late 20th century, and you have a region that produces some of the finest wines in the world.

    Although all fifty states produce their own specialties today, California is responsible for as much as 90% of all US-produced wine. It would be the fourth-largest wine producer in the world if it was an independent nation! An astonishing 20 million visitors descend on California wine country every year in order to sample over 2800 bonded wineries across the region.

    While the enology industry may have a few centuries on the advent of B&Bs in Northern California, the lodging industry has quickly gained ground. Small inns and hotels have populated Northern California for decades but it wasn’t until the late 20th century when the market for luxury lodging took off.

    As if to make up for lost time, the bed & breakfasts in wine country have proliferated unlike any other form of commerce. With the wide variety of inns to choose from and the convenience of today’s hand-held internet, it won’t take long to find the perfect night’s stay.

  • Activities

  • As rich and diversified as California wine country is, it can be challenging to find something to do that isn’t centered around wine tasting. It’s production, harvesting, debating, and consumption are all celebrated to the fullest almost year-round. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular attractions that fill out a busy 3-season calendar.

    It’s tough to dispute Napa Valley’s top billing for events and lively entertainment. The Napa BottleRock is relatively new on the calendar, but it’s been the place to be seen since 2013 with performers such as Tom Petty, Foo Fighters, and Public Enemy. Auction Napa Valley has been fast-talking its way to raising several hundred millions of dollars for the Napa community since 1981. It’s a favorite of the locals to see who is going to auction off one of their homes this year!

    Napa Valley Film Festival is always well-attended if for no other reason than the featured film Bottle Shock, the historic 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting that garnered Napa Valley global attention as a world-class wine producer.

    Not to be outdone, Sonoma wine country has its own County Harvest Fair. Anyone in need of anger management can sign up for the old fashioned grape stomp, no flip-flops allowed. Oh, and a local tip will see you sneak away from all the wine squishing to pop a hop or two at the Russia River Brewing Company. Nobody minds, really; all those in favor of great libations understand. Salute!

    Healdsburg may not ring a bell when it comes to fashionable small towns, but it is indeed just that. Due to its three major wine-producing regions, it is consistently recognized for having three of the top ten wineries in the US.

    Calistoga is another small town with a decidedly more interesting name. Known for its relaxing natural hot springs, spas and mud baths, it’s a great place to spend a car-free weekend and detox after all the imbibing.

  • Natural Features

  • So much is made of what comes out of wine country that many of the natural features are sometimes overlooked. Endlessly rolling hills, fog-shrouded vistas, natural hot springs, and countless small lakes have entranced visitors for centuries. These natural treasures have inspired the formation of many state and national parks, scenic byways, and wild and scenic waterways that make for a picturesque drive regardless of your destination.

    Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is a stop you will never forget. People come from around the globe to wander awe-struck at the magnificent trees that top out at the length of a football field, some with end zones included! The pristine nature of the park and its solitude will surely leave an indelible mark on your senses.

    Water lovers will enjoy the 129’ falls at McArthur Burney Memorial State Park, where they won’t have to drive to the coast to get their water fix. Shasta Trinity State Park and Lassen National Forest is right on the way to Burney Falls, so you can check out the volcanic vents and boiling springs as they let off some steam.

    Another worthwhile venture for the day is to head over to Lake Tahoe. In addition to the many tourist trappings, there is a lot of awesome scenery to take in as well. If you can’t bring a tent, make sure your camera is charged!

    As large and diverse as the state of California is, there are endless options for day trips to gain an appreciation for what this state has to offer in addition to its lovely libations. Work one or two of them into your B&B plans – you’ll have plenty more sights to see next trip.

  • Things to Do

  • For anyone headed to downtown Napa, wine tasting is at the top of the list. There’s a possibility sleeping and eating might be factored in as well. Maybe. Sonoma Valley holds its own too, when it comes to tasting rooms that need to be explored.

    Literary fans will want to make a trip to Glen Ellen, the location of Jack London’s (Call of The Wild) 26-room Wolf House. The author and his wife were a week away from moving into the mansion before it burned. Due to much it being constructed of stone, the remnants stand today as a National Historic Landmark. Jack London Historic State Park is also nearby where visitors can stretch their legs along the tree-shaded trails.

    Santa Rosa is a more diverse part of the wine region owing to its proximity to San Francisco. A short 50-mile drive from ‘Frisco will find you in one of the coolest, hippest wine towns where the vibrant action never stops. Start your Sonoma County tours here where you can hike, bike, eat, and drink to your heart’s content.

    After all that action, cool your heels and head out to the Russian River where you can float the day away. Canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing round out the activities. And get your stargazer on when you spend the night at the peaceful Santa Rosa RV Campground.

  • Weather

  • With its proximity to the Pacific coast, wine country weather can be a bit erratic in the spring. As the new season for wine production eases out of its winter slumber, temperatures are cool and may require a jacket, although by mid-afternoon it’s usually quite comfortable.

    The peak season of summer, from June through October, is warm and delightful. However, keep an eye to the sky as monsoon season kicks in mid-July or so and can bring heavy rains and winds. So bring your umbrella and a rain jacket to keep the rein out of that pinot.

    Once harvest is in full swing in the fall, the festivals, grape stompings, and tastings are well underway. The fall scenery adds to the fun as it provides a colorful backdrop to the festivities.

    Winter typically has everything locked down from December through February as the winds from the Pacific Ocean bring cold rain, snow, and uncomfortable temperatures. The grapevines may be snoozing but that means you can snuggle by the fire and enjoy the fruits of the previous season’s labor.

  • Food and Drink

  • With so much wine tasting going on in Northern California, does anyone bother to stop and eat? Since wine is front and center on every stage, what cuisine types fit best with which wine? There are some hard fast rules that one doesn’t dare broach lest you run the risk of social disgrace (She so didn’t just order a cheeseburger with that beautiful Zinfandel!? Oh, the nerve…). But as we all know, rules were made to be broken, and many wine-lovers are making up their own these days. All part of the fun…

    One might have been pilloried a decade ago for such a faux pas, but now you’ll find a nice merlot flirting with brick-oven pizza. Or how about a chardonnay to go with that moo goo gai pan? No problem.

    One of the more attractive elements of a fine wine is how it can bring out the subtle flavor in a meal. Something light and fruity paired with a fresh Pacific-caught seafood salad make for a nice lunchtime break. And a full-bodied pinot noir can enhance the character of a zesty red sauce over pasta.

    B&Bs are known to offer a perfectly paired bottle that will complement the chef’s specialties. The combinations are endless. Especially these days when new rules are limited only by your imagination.

Bed and Breakfast Wine Country California FAQ

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  • Why stay at a bed and breakfast inn in Wine Country?

    The height of any visit to California’s wine country will be the accommodations. The very best way to experience the region in all its glory is to choose the bed and breakfast inn that best aligns with your taste and sense of style. Many visitors know they will be sharing the best in food and drink during their stay. Just as a fine bottle augments a sumptuous meal, the B&B guest knows their lodging will add to their overall wine country experience.

    Host-friendliness, décor, number of guest rooms, and menu are top considerations when choosing that perfect lodging for your getaway. Victorian-style or luxury boutique hotel? Rustic and weathered or upscale and sleek? With so much competition across the region, some of the seemingly small aspects of hospitality such as evening wine reception, full breakfast menu, and attentive concierge services at check-in often make the difference to those accustomed to world-class service.

  • What types of amenities can I expect when booking a B&B in Wine Country?

    Regardless of whether you choose a charming property that’s been around for decades or a modern inn with the latest in fashionable decor, there are certain elements you can count on at any high-end sanctuary.

    Although spacious rooms may be somewhat of a subjective term (some like it ‘cozy’), items on the “must-have” list consist of niceties like a wood or gas-burning fireplace, perhaps with a hot tub close by for that bit of romantic spice. A private bath on a veranda at a guest house or private cottage is always a special surprise. Many guests will base their B&B selection solely on the menu for those gourmet breakfasts. Standard amenities these days will also include private bathrooms, free wifi, luxurious linens, and all-natural, organic bath products to round out the pampering.

  • How can I get around in Wine Country?

    Once you leave the bustling cities by the Bay and cross into wine country, transportation becomes a bit of an adventure. But in a good way. The mass transits networks pretty much stop at the Bay Bridge, so getting to your favorite places will be done primarily by bus, train, or plane.

    Uber and Lyft do brisk business across the region, as you can imagine, with wine being the primary product of consumption. Not only is it wise to let someone else do the driving after a glass or two of your favorite vino, but it’s also an excellent way to take in the scenery, which is captivating no matter which way you’re headed.

    In case you missed it above, trains are a fun way to do the wine country and are a source of entertainment in their own right. Renovated train cars from the early 20th century have been outfitted with the latest in travel comforts. Excellent menus are featured and paired, of course, with your favorite bottle.

    Large windows make for better viewing as etched glass dividers between seating sections. And the occasional shout-out from knowledgeable staff will notify travelers of fascinating landmarks along the way. The wine country trains are an excellent alternative to driving and an exhilarating way to see the beautiful country without risking life or limb on the roadways.

    Once you’ve landed at your chosen destination, rent a bike for a few days in lieu of the car. Or really slow it down and walk for a change. For the ultimate high, consider a hot air balloon excursion to see the country from a bird’s eye view as you toast a sunset. Or sunrise – you know, mimosas in the morning!

  • What are the different types of bed and breakfasts in Wine Country?

    A bed and breakfast inn in California’s wine country that doesn’t cater to the grape is hard to imagine. However, there are different types of wine country inns that appeal to a wide variety of tastes.

    Under the Diamond Collection banner, the following retreats should be the first stop on any bed and breakfast search in Napa and Sonoma wine country. Four Sisters Inns, exclusively of California, are located at some of the country’s most attractive destinations. Inns such as Maison Fleurie, Milliken Creek Inn, and Lavender comprise Napa’s stable of first-rate sanctuaries.

    Gaige House, Healdsburg Inn, Kenwood Inn & Spa round out the Sonoma properties, and each has a remarkable history and ambiance. Olea Hotel and The Gables Wine Country Inn are also a proud part of the wine country farm bed and breakfast network that supports this rich and vibrant region.