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This post will help you decide between visiting Napa or Sonoma Valley. We share our favorite wine tours of both areas, as well as recommend things to know before booking a wine tour from San Francisco. 

 

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.


NAPA VALLEY OR SONOMA VALLEY

Napa and Sonoma are world-class wine regions, not just for the amazing wine that comes out of the area, but also because of the incredible views of Napa and Sonoma Valley.

Both areas are just north of San Francisco and very close to one another (approximately a 30-minute drive).  

You really can't go wrong with either. Both produce similar quality wines and offer equally stunning landscapes. And luckily, you often don't have to!

Most companies leading wine tours from San Francisco offer trips that feature both locations. However, if you only have time to visit one, there are a few things to consider.

Yet, generally speaking, Napa Valley does tend to be slightly more expensive than Sonoma.

Of course, the actual cost will vary depending on the tour company and the wineries that it visits, but often Sonoma is a bit more affordable. 

However, with all that being said, if you ask any wine country local, they would probably say that the Napa and Sonoma Valley are too similar to differentiate and that you should absolutely visit both.

With this full-day tour of both Napa and Sonoma by Citysightseeing, you can see both! It's $119.99 per person including one wine tasting fee. 

TIP: For some wine tours, you can get up to a 20% discount using the Go SF Card Build Your Own Pass.

 


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BEST WINE TOURS OF NAPA VALLEY

There are several different companies that offer both group and private tours of Napa Valley.

Some, such as CitySightseeing Tours, are traditional hop-on-hop-off tours that drop guests at 2-4 wineries throughout the day.

Others such as Wine Country Tour Shuttle, Platypus Wine Tours, and Napa Valley Wine Country Tours offer a much more boutique experience and visit a standard 3-4 wineries.

With any group tour to Napa Valley, be sure to ask whether or not wine tasting fees are included in the price of the tour and if snacks will be provided. 

Check out our post Reviews of the Best Napa Valley Wine Tours

 

 


Extranomical Tours 

Extranomical Tours is a popular wine tour company that offers excellent tours, including these:

  • 9-hour San Francisco Wine Lover's Tour
  • 9 hour Wine Country + Muir Woods Tour
  • Wine Country + Alcatraz Ticket Tour

See all of their wine tour options.

Complimentary hotel pick-up, a guided tour of San Francisco’s wine country, and wine tasting fees at least 2 different wineries are included in each.

Reviews for Extranomical are very good, with many guests praising the company for offering such a convenient and affordably priced wine country experience. TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 stars. 

Runners-up: CitySightseeing, Tower Tours, and Wine Country Tour Shuttle. 

Check out our post Reviews of the Best Napa Valley Wine Tours

To visit both Napa and Sonoma, check out this full-day tour by Citysightseeing. It's $119.99 per person including one wine tasting fee and hotel pick-up.

 


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BEST WINE TOURS OF SONOMA VALLEY

As is true with Napa Valley, wine tours that visit Sonoma Valley generally visit 3-4 wineries and spend approximately 1 hour at each.

Some of the most popular companies include Tower Tours, Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley, CitySightseeing, and Grapeline Wine Tours, amongst others.

If you're looking for a more personalized experience, consider traveling with a company that leads private tours.  

Also, be sure to inquire about what is included with the price of the tour. Just like the Napa Valley wine tours, only some Sonoma wine tours include wine tasting fees and food pairings in the total cost. 

Check out our post Reviews of the Best Sonoma Valley Wine Tours


Best Value Wine Tour of Sonoma Valley: CitySightseeing 

CitySightseeing Tours are classic hop-off-hop-on bus tours that take visitors to several different tourist destinations. They offer half-day and full-day tours of Napa Valley and Sonoma.

The half-day and combination tour options visit 2-3 wineries, while the full-day tour visits 4.

The first wine tasting fee is included in the price of the full and half-day tours, but all additional tastings must be paid separately.

This outfit offers complimentary hotel pick-up from San Francisco. 

Runners-up: Tower Tours, Grapeline Wine Tours, and Platypus Wine Tours.

Check out our post Reviews of the Best Sonoma Valley Wine Tours.

To visit both Sonoma and Napa, check out this full-day tour by Citysightseeing. It's $119.99 per person including one wine tasting fee and hotel pick-up.

 


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THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BOOKING

Confirm what exactly is included in the cost and what is not.

For example, the price of group tours often does not include wine tasting fees, and the price of private tours often does not include the cost of gas.

It is important to know the approximate cost of the day so that guests can plan accordingly.

Do your research beforehand.

Though some group tours have a set list of wineries that they visit, some group tours and all private tours will try to accommodate any requests made by the guests.

If there is a particular winery you want to visit, read up on it beforehand and ask your guide if it could be done. 

Don’t forget ID!

The last thing you want is to pay for a wine tour and then not be able to drink the wine!

TIP: For some wine tours, you can get up to a 20% discount using the Go SF Card Build Your Own Pass.

 


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VISITING SAN FRANCISCO

Most people visiting Napa or Sonoma Valley also spend at least 1 day in San Francisco.

Here are several of our guides and ‘how-to’ posts we think you will find helpful.

Getting Around

How to Get From San Francisco Airport to Downtown

How to Ride San Francisco’s Historic Streetcar

How to Ride BART in San Francisco

How to Get to Alcatraz: Visitor’s Guide to Alcatraz

 

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Tours of San Francisco

San Francisco Walking Tours

San Francisco Boat Tours and Cruises

San Francisco Hop-On, Hop-Off and Other Bus Tours

 

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Things to Do

Top 10 Things to do in San Francisco

A Perfect Day: 24 Hours in San Francisco

Visiting San Francisco on a Budget

Best Seafood in Fisherman’s Wharf

Go San Francisco Card 3-Day Itinerary

 

 
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OTHER DAY TRIPS FROM SAN FRANCISCO

 


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About The Author

Britt

Britt is a San Francisco Bay Area native, and has spent 25 years in this magical city. He has traveled to over 30 countries, and has never found a place he loves as much as this one! If you come to San Francisco, you might join one of Britt's tours of the city. A graduate of the University of Maryland and University of Southern California, he has been leading tours for Free Tours by Foot since 2015.
Updated: September 27th, 2021
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