Did you know there are now a dozen world-class wine regions across Northern California? California wine goes beyond Napa and Sonoma, and nearly all of Northern California’s wine regions are a quick and easy, one- to two-hour drive from Sacramento. Sacramento International Airport, one of this year’s Wine Tourism Conference sponsors, is now, more than ever, a convenient gateway to these amazing destinations for visitors from across the globe.
In nearly every direction from the airport, there is a wine country to be explored. Experience the brilliant chefs at famous restaurants and bistros along with incredible wines in Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Visit a boutique winery in more rustic Lake and Mendocino Counties, which specialize in green winemaking including many organic and biodynamic wines. Taste some sensational wines the way to the Sierras. You’ll find them on every route up the hill. Near Interstate 80 are the developing wine regions of Placer County and the Sierra Vintners where you can sip Pinot Noir or Riesling while experiencing areas rich in Gold Rush history. Along State Highway 50, there are several up-and-coming wine regions including: El Dorado County, Amador County and Calaveras County which are known for their Old Vine Zinfandels. If you’d rather venture down the Central Valley, wine lovers will find a treasure in Clarksburg just minutes from downtown Sacramento or a short drive further south to Lodi which produces 40% of California’s Zinfandel. For those wanting to complete the Northern California wine tour, Livermore Valley is also not to be missed for its Bordeaux style wines. Livermore Valley is located on the outskirts of the Eastern Bay Area along Highway 580.
Northern California provides abundant opportunity for wine lovers to enjoy numerous varietals and wine-making styles. With easy access to Northern California’s world-class wine regions, and more than 150 flights serving 45 destinations (cites served include: Chicago; New York; Washington, DC; Dallas; Seattle; Portland; Phoenix; San Diego, and all of the major Los Angeles area airports), Sacramento International Airport offers a travel experience worth toasting.
Heather Atherton is a travel, food and lifestyle writer based near Sacramento, California. Heather is also a PR consultant to the Sacramento County Airport System.