The 7 Best San Francisco Wine Tours
Note: Some tour operators on this list may be running more limited operations due to COVID-19 or may impose testing or vaccine requirements. Check with your tour operator for availability before booking.
Located about 60 miles south of Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, San Francisco is an ideal starting point for tours of these wine regions. Using expert commentary and traveler opinion, US News has identified the best wine tours from San Francisco. Whether you arrive in the region by bus or helicopter, you’ll enjoy delicious wine and stunning countryside views.
Green Dream Tours – Napa and Sonoma Combo Tour
Explore Napa and Sonoma on this approximately eight-hour tour that takes in three different wineries and includes a lunch stop at Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. Each tour is limited to 14 participants, creating an intimate experience, according to reviewers. Guides get high marks for their knowledge of winemaking and the regions history. Wine lovers also appreciate the cellars selected by Green Dream. Pickups from area hotels begin daily at 8:00 AM, and tours officially begin at 9:00 AM. Tickets cost around $160 for tours departing Monday through Thursday; they cost around $190 for Friday-Sunday releases. The price covers all wine tasting costs, but not lunch. Green Dream also offers tours of either region separately, as well as tours that combine Sonoma Valley with an Alcatraz tour.
Extranomic Tours – Redwoods and Vineyard Tour
This day trip begins with a walk among the redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument, then continues with stops at three wineries in Napa and Sonoma. After the first tasting—which takes place in Napa—you’ll visit Sonoma Plaza, where you can purchase lunch and explore the various shops. Next, you’ll travel to two Sonoma wineries for wine flights and tastings. On the way back to San Francisco, you’ll stop at a lookout point to take in views of the San Francisco skyline and its famous landmarks. Critics appreciate the guides’ insightful commentary and rave about the beauty of Muir Woods. Tickets start at $170 for attendees ages 12 and up, but you can choose to upgrade your ticket to include lunch at Sonoma Plaza for an additional fee. Tickets also include pickup and drop-off at area hotels. Entrance to Muir Woods National Monument is not included in the ticket price. Pickup starts at 7:30am daily and tours last approximately 11 hours. Extranomical Tours also runs tours focused solely on California wine country, tours of San Francisco, and a trip to Yosemite.
A Taste of SF – Wine Country Half Day Tour
Travelers say this tour is perfect for oenophiles and newcomers to wine, thanks to knowledgeable guides who share information along the way. Additionally, many visitors note that they also learned quite a bit about the history of San Francisco. The six-hour outing includes visits to two wineries (which could include Jacuzzi Family Vineyards and Cline Family Cellars), a walk over the Golden Gate Bridge, and incredible views of Sonoma and San Francisco. You can have lunch at one of the wineries or during a visit to Sonoma Plaza. Tours depart daily at 11:30 am from San Francisco. Fees start at $99 per adult. Winery tasting fees and lunch are not included in the ticket price. A Taste of SF also runs a full-day wine tour.
Add a vintage touch to your wine tour by exploring the region in a Volkswagen van with Painted Ladies Tour Company.(Courtesy of Chelsea Donoho/Painted Ladies Tour Company)
Painted Ladies Tour Company – Wine Country Tour
This full-day tour takes wine lovers to three Sonoma wineries via vintage Volkswagen vans. In addition to tasting wines, you’ll visit a wine cellar (except during peak harvest time) to gain insight into the winemaking process. You’ll also have the option of eating an Italian lunch at one of the wineries (own expense). The outings also include photo stops at popular destinations like the Golden Gate Bridge. Drivers, who double as guides, provide commentary about the wine region as well as San Francisco history and are generally considered knowledgeable and friendly. Visitors also appreciate the variety of delicious wines tasted. Tickets start at $165 per adult. Although tasting fees are not included, you will receive a discount. Trips depart daily around 9am and pick up at Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf; you will be dropped off at one of these locations approximately eight hours later. Painted Ladies Tour Company also offers San Francisco tours and private outings.
Gray Line – Luxury Sonoma & Napa Valley Wine Country Tour
Buses transport passengers to boutique wineries and vineyards on this eight-hour tour. The trip also includes time for shopping and lunch in Sonoma Square or downtown Napa. As a bonus, you’ll cross the Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy views of the Bay Area. Drivers, who reviewers describe as informative and entertaining, provide commentary along the way. Travelers also appreciate the winery’s expert employees. Tours, which include pickup and drop-off at Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf, operate daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets start at $149 for adults and $79 for children ages 5-11 and include tasting fees, but not lunch. Gray Line also organizes many other tours in the area, including a visit to Monterey and Carmel.
Beau Wine Tours – San Francisco to Russian River Valley Wine Tours
The Russian River Valley is known for its Pinot Noir, and this tour highlights the vineyards and cellars where grapes are grown and wine is produced. This luxury experience begins with pickup from your hotel and offers scenic drives through wine country. Travelers consistently praise guides as knowledgeable and friendly. However, other reviewers express some frustration with poor communication from staff when trying to plan their excursions. Tours depart around 9 a.m. Prices vary depending on the size of the group, the duration of the trip and the type of vehicle you select for the trip. A tour by passenger car costs about $95 per hour with an eight-hour minimum; tasting fees are not included. The company also organizes tours of other wine regions, including Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley.
Tours around the world – The great wine tour
Spend nine hours with up to 12 other tour leaders on this trip through Sonoma. You’ll visit three wineries, learn about each winemaking process, and participate in three tastings. The outing includes a stop for lunch, at your own expense. Reviewers say the tour is a lot of fun thanks to the friendly guides and appreciates the small groups. Tours depart daily at 8 a.m. Fees start at $149 for adults and $125 for under 21s and non-drinkers. Tasting fees are included in the tour price. Edge of the World Tours also organizes private excursions.