Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides
Drifting above undulating acres of vineyards in a hot air balloon is one of the most singular experiences you can have in wine country. Since 1995, this Yountville-based outfit has offered small-group balloon rides for visitors willing to get up early (the best flight conditions are just after sunrise). Participants watch the giant, colorful balloons being inflated with hot air before loading into a four, six, or eight person basket for the trip aloft. The balloons gently rise 1,000 to 2,000 feet and float over some of Napa Valley’s most famous vineyards, including Robert Mondavi and Domaine Chandon; on clear winter mornings the sight lines go all the way to the snowcapped Sierra Nevadas. After landing, the tour ends with breakfast and a glass of sparkling wine. Trip costs start at $225 per person.