Napa Valley Versus Sonoma

California’s wine country is dotted with drinking and dining options—the variances are yours to discover.


In a state as vast as California, each locale has its own cachet that sepa- rates it from a neighboring city. Oftentimes, the only similarity is a shared freeway or area code, which makes for diverse explorations throughout the Golden State, even for California natives. This summer, there’s one location in particular that’s awaiting discovery: wine country.

About 400 miles separates Newport from the northern viticultural region, but the experience is worth the journey. The most challenging part of the trip is determining whether your itinerary will take you to Napa Valley or Sonoma—there’s much to love about both valleys that are a mere 15 miles apart and, from an outsider’s perspective, the two places are seemingly identical.

Much like the wine they produce, however, Napa Valley and Sonoma each come with their own traits that make them unique. When it comes to the ambience, Napa is a sophisticate, while Sonoma is more of a free spirit. And in terms of the actual wine, Napa Valley is faithful to a small sampling of varietals while Sonoma explores several types of grapes. To make the decision a little easier, we’ve uncorked the top destinations in each county, including notable places to drink, dine and explore.

Continue reading the full article from Newport Beach Magazine – Aug/Sep 2014 »