Great Wine Trips: California
Napa Valley and Sonoma County
The state’s premier wine meccas also offer fine golf that’s worthy of a pilgrimage.
Where to Play: Silverado Resort (silveradoresort.com) has two fine Robert Trent Jones Jr. tracks. Guests of the Sonoma Mission Inn (see below) can play the private Sonoma Golf Club (sonomagolfclub.com). Also try the scenic Johnny Miller-designed Eagle Vines (eaglevinesgolfclub.com) and the twenty-seven holes with vineyard views at Chardonnay Golf Club (chardonnaygolfclub.com).
Where to Taste: Sample fifteen of the best local wines daily at Napa Wine Company (napawineco.com). A good, inexpensive vineyard experience awaits at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center (866-287-9818) in Sonoma County; fancier are Far Niente (farniente.com), Robert Mondavi Winery (robertmondaviwinery.com) and Silver Oak Cellars (silveroak.com).
Where to Stay: The Sonoma Mission Inn (fairmont.com/sonoma) is extremely well appointed. Calistoga Ranch (calistogaranch.com) is a good boutique choice, and the Silverado Resort (silveradoresort.com) is a large resort with all the deluxe amenities.
Tour Operator: Sonoma Swing (sonomaswing.com)
Less recognized by oenophiles than Napa or Sonoma, Monterey County is actually a larger region (with over 40,000 acres planted). The golf, of course, has few peers.
Where to Play: Pebble Beach Golf Links (pebblebeach.com) needs no explanation. A neighbor, Spyglass Hill Golf Course (pebblebeach.com), is also a must play; another, the Links at Spanish Bay (pebblebeach.com) is fun if you have time. Other excellent layouts include the courses at Quail Lodge (quaillodge.com) and Carmel Valley Ranch (carmelvalleyranch.com).
Where to Taste: A Taste of Monterey (831-646-5446) has locations in Monterey and Salinas offering wines from the Monterey County Vintners and Growers’ Association, which includes top vineyards Robert Talbott and Morgan.
Where to Stay: The Lodge at Pebble Beach (pebblebeach.com) is beloved for its stunning views and sunsets over Carmel Bay. The Inn at Spanish Bay (pebblebeach.com) offers in-room fireplaces and ocean-view rooms. Quail Lodge (quaillodge.com) and Carmel Valley Ranch (carmelvalleyranch.com) also offer first-class accommodations and spa services.
Tour Operator: Check out offers at Ag Venture Tours (whps.com/agtours).