Why not just call it happy hour hike? The clever combination of wine and hiking (or wiking) allows wine lovers to experience a little outdoor adventure with their sips. Offerings are booming in wine regions across California, but what better place to start a wine trend than Napa Valley?
With acres of vibrant vineyards as far as the eye can see, historic estates, stately mansions, and aromatic glasses of wine to ignite the senses at every stop, Napa is the perfect place to pair your wine with walking. And with plenty of trails in Napa Valley State Park and a range of downtown tasting rooms, it’s easy to create a wine hiking experience. Let Napa, however, have packages organized that make wiking even more accessible in the valley.
Historical glimpses and glasses
Inglenook is renowned for its Old World opulence, labyrinthine wine cellars, and premium (and often expensive) wines. The property itself dates back to 1879, first acquired by a Finnish naval captain, Gustave Niebaum, who is credited with starting the winery known today for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandels, Cabernet Franc, Merlot. and syrahs.
A long tour provides an overview of Inglenook Castle and surrounding grounds, including a short jaunt uphill to a grassy mound outside the South Barrel Room (when uninterrupted by construction). As you walk around, you will taste a glass of the property’s famous blancaneaux. The visit to the private library and the tasting ends with a wine tasting accompanied by a cheese and cold meats platter.
Active wine adventures
Do you prefer a more thrilling wine adventure? Active Wine Adventures’ guided tasting packages include spectacular hikes with scenic views and plenty of photo ops. A moderate 5.5 mile hike takes you through redwood and pine forests near the Howell Mountain Mountains, followed by outdoor wine tasting and picnic lunch. Or go for a 5 mile hike to Rutherford that has it all – a lake, mountains and hills (oh my god!) – plus a picnic and private wine tasting. Each package includes SUV transportation from your accommodation to the trailhead, wine tastings, and lunch.
Wike by bike
Take the show on the road with a bike and tasting package with Clif Family Winery & Farm. The folks behind the popular Clif Bar have their own slice of heaven on St. Helena’s Main Street, and it’s no surprise that they are selling adventure with their wine.
Through a partnership with Calistoga Bike Shop, customers can purchase a cruiser or performance bike at the Clif Family Tasting Room and take a self-guided hike through the wine country. The staff even suggested their favorite routes if you need any suggestions. Grab an espresso and a Clif Bar to start your day, then hit the pedals for a stroll through the wine country. End your outdoor adventure with a lunch and tasting that includes seasonal bites from the Bruschetteria food truck parked outside the tasting room.
If you are going to
Duck : A one-hour ($ 125) tour of the castle and grounds and wine tasting is offered between 11 am and 3 pm Thursday through Sunday at the Winery, 1991 St. Helena Highway in Rutherford; www.inglenook.com.
Active wine adventures: Private guided hikes and wine experiences cost $ 169 per person. Dates and locations vary. Find details on www.activewineadventures.com.
Clif Family Winery & Farm: The bike and wine package ($ 95 – $ 135) includes coffee, rental of a cruising bike for the day and wine tasting by reservation. Clif Family Winery & Farm, 709 Main St., Saint Helena; https://cliffamily.com/visit/