I lived in the East Bay in Northern California for two years, which means I got to explore quite a few wineries, some being of the most beautiful in the world. I LOVE wine (red wine, to be more specific) so having countless wineries that people travel far and wide to visit at my fingertips was exciting. Although I was able to go to the Napa Valley wine region a few times, I am in no way shape or form an expert on Napa’s wineries. Wineries in Napa could be an entire separate post in itself. Since the wineries in Northern California are endless, I narrowed it down to my top 5 favorites that I personally experienced while I lived in the Bay Area.
Rubino Estates Winery | Pleasanton
Rubino was hands down my favorite winery to visit while I lived in the East Bay, and the fact that it was a 12 minute drive from my old apartment wasn’t too shabby either. Their wines are divine. Rubino’s Riserva Sangiovese and Barbera are still some of my favorite wines I’ve ever tasted, although you can’t go wrong with their Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon and Primitivo either. If you like Rosés, their’s isn’t too sweet, making it refreshing and perfect for laying by the pool in the summertime. Even though I don’t drink white wine too often, I am a fan of their Riserva Chardonnay and house Moscato. The best part? Tastings won’t cost you an arm and a leg, starting at $15 for 6 tastings. And tastings are free if you’re a member of their Wine Club! I am still a Wine Club Member to this day and am thankful they ship to Nevada!
Peju Winery | Napa
Peju has 6 locations throughout Northern California, but the location I visited was the one in Napa. It’s beautiful right when you pull up, and they have one of the best rated wines in North America. Tastings here are more pricey, but to be expected in Napa; starting at $45 per person. I believe it’s a little bit cheaper if you’re a Wine Club member. Either way, if you want to taste some good wine and take in a beautiful scenery, I highly recommend Peju.
Sterling Vineyards | Napa
Sterling Vineyards is STUNNING! Another must-visit when in Napa. What makes Sterling the most unique is their gondolas – or aerial trams as they call it, that takes visitors up to the winery. On the aerial tram you get spectacular, beautiful views of the winery. And once you’re at the top you learn so much about their wines, from the process of how they’re made and overall interesting facts at each tasting station.
Wente Vineyards | Livermore
Wente is nestled in the East Bay in Livermore. This vineyard is surrounded by gorgeous green rolling rills and also have a beautiful golf course if golfing is your thing. We came to Wente several times as it was less than a 20 minute drive from where we used to live in Dublin. At Wente you’ll get delicious wines, a delightful scenery and an overall friendly atmosphere. Not much else you can ask for!
Ruby Hill Winery | Pleasonton
Ruby Hill is another East Bay winery that’s family owned and operated, and is actually the sister winery of my beloved Rubino. Ruby Hill has a nice, laid back vibe with a very spacious tasting room and a friendly staff. If you’re at Rubino you might as well go down the road and hit Ruby Hill as they’re only a mile apart. You’re bound to have a great time here in addition to drinking good wine.
Northern California’s wine selection is unmatched and I’m looking forward to visiting again and trying more in the future! I know there’s countless wineries to experience when you’re in the area, but I hope you enjoyed reading about my personal favorites for the time being.