Of course, Napa has dozens more wineries to add to your list, with the palate expanding all the time. Launching later this year is the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley, just outside Calistoga, which offers farmhouse-style accommodation with rustic fireplaces, pool and spa treatments and the chance not only to tour vineyards but to take part in the wine-making process at its in-house winery (find out more at fourseasons.com/napavalley).
Alternatively, you can follow in the footsteps of 2004 wine-opic Sideways. In this Oscar-winning road movie, old buddies Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) pursue their male versions of the midlife crisis around the wineries (and ostrich farms) of the southern end of California, near Santa Barbara. They visit Sanford Winery in Lompoc, where Miles gives his pal some first lessons, then Foxen in Santa Maria (naughtily sneaking an extra glass) and Kalyra in Santa Ynez, where Jack makes his fateful hook-up with Stephanie (Sandra Oh). You can download a map following their route from the local visitors bureau at santabarbaraca.com – just be sure to elect your designated driver and consume rather more responsibly than these cinematic examples.
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