Monthly archive - November 2017

This Weekend: Dec 2 – Dec 3, 2017

This weekend has lots of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From Free Ice Skating Lessons in Union Square, to the San Francisco Center for Book Holiday Fair on Potrero Hill to the Mission Holiday Block Party & Cookie Crawl. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.

A New Holiday Tradition at the Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum is excited to introduce its newest holiday tradition with the opening of Home for the Holidays at Carolwood, an immersive seasonal installation celebrating Walt’s family and love of trains, on view from Nov. 9, 2017 to Jan. 9, 2018.

About the Exhibition

Home for the Holidays will include an elaborate three-dimensional model of the Disney Family home on Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles—featuring Walt’s personal steam locomotive, the Lilly Belle, chugging along his Carolwood Pacific Fair Weather Route.

The intricate scale model will be on view for the entire duration of the installation and will be decorated with seasonal lights, ceremonially illuminated for the first time on Walt’s birthday, Dec. 4. Beginning Dec. 6, the museum will invite one lucky family to be the first to flip the switch each morning.

Ticket Information

The Walt Disney Family Museum is located in the historic Presidio, with a breathtaking backdrop of the Golden Gate BridgeHome for the Holidays is on view Nov. 9, 2017 to Jan. 9, 2018. Access to this special exhibition is included with paid general admission, which can be purchased on-site or online at

Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to book in advance to receive discounted admission. For more information, and to inquire about guided tours, please visit the museum’s Group Sales.


Celebrate the Start of the Season With PIER 39

PIER 39 invites guests to spread the holiday cheer at its distinctly San Francisco traditions.

The PIER 39 Tree Lighting Celebration on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017 is an annual classic. Head to The PIER to sing songs and welcome the holiday season with a day of holly-jolly magic for the whole family, send letters to Santa and welcome the holiday season with a day of merriment for the whole family. Special friends from Disneyland Resort will be on hand to meet fans and celebrate the season. The fun culminates with the lighting of PIER 39′s majestic 60-foot tree against a stunning backdrop of the San Francisco city skyline.

Please note: Events and event activities are weather permitting and subject to change without notice. For more information and a detailed calendar of events, please visit

Throughout the holiday season, PIER 39’s 50-plus locally-owned shops offer some of the city’s most unique and specialized shopping, making them perfect for personalized gifts. Only here can you find a store full of left–handed merchandise (Lefty’s San Francisco – The Left Hand Store), hot sauce galore (Hot Licks), and cowboy couture (Wilder West, Urban Western Outfitters) all in one place. The Spice & Tea Exchange offers fresh, custom blended spices, and Candy Baron boasts barrels packed with saltwater taffy. For added convenience, the California Welcome Center will package and ship your gifts, so you’ll have your hands free to take photos with PIER 39’s majestic holiday tree. And, Northern California residents can take advantage of PIER 39’s Local Advantage program for holiday discounts and savings.


San Francisco Demographics – Who We Are; Where We Come From; What We Believe; How We Live; What We Do

There is no city on the planet quite like ours, and here are some of the details. Compiled by Paragon Real Estate for your entertainment and, perhaps, mild edification.

Ancestry, Age, Religion, Education, Employment,
Language & Politics

A Miscellaneous Selection of Diverse Statistics

Selected Statistics by San Francisco Zip Code:
Income, Education, Foreign Birth & Homeownership

All our reports and analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

San Francisco Real Estate Market Report
Bay Area County Markets & Demographics
SF Neighborhood Home Price Tables
SF Luxury House Market Update
SF Luxury Condo Market Update
Bay Area Apartment Building Market Report

All data herein is from a wide variety of third party sources deemed reliable – much of it from the U.S. Census American Community Survey, 2011-2015 – but it may contain errors, and is subject to revision. All data should be considered approximate or good-faith estimates.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group

Culinary Delights in Sonoma County

While the recent fires impacted a small portion of the County, the vast majority of Sonoma’s landscape, vineyards, and locally-grown food remains intact. Planning a trip to Sonoma to experience the region’s wineries, breweries, cheese makers, farmers, and local artisans can help local families recover economically.  Please check Sonoma County Tourism for latest access updates. Sonoma County welcomes you.

Sonoma County is a foodie paradise located just an hour north of San Francisco. Here you’ll find farm-fresh organic fruits and vegetables, delicious fresh-baked delights, handcrafted cheeses, meadow-fresh honey, specialty oils, gourmet sauces and dressings, and just about every imaginable farm-to-fork foodstuff.

You’ll also find a multitude of eateries and restaurants, including the nation’s first sustainable and vegetarian drive-thru fast food joint, fresh-off-the-boat seafood shacks, and gourmet dining establishments that have earned accolades, including three that have each garnered a Michelin Star.

Here’s a quick summary of how to nibble your way through Sonoma County’s delicious abundance.

Cheeses and Artisan Products

Sonoma County’s soil, geography and micro-climates are great not only for growing premium wine grapes but also for nourishing a wide array of delicious fruits and veggies, giving rise to flourishing food products industries. Watch for local handcrafted cheeses, specialty oils and other goodies on menus and on local store shelves.

Or, follow the Cheese Trail to meet with the cheesemakers and sample their wares, and the Sonoma County Farm Trails map to visit farms and ranches throughout Sonoma County. And you can always find an array of local produce and food products at the weekly farmers markets held countywide.

Fresh-Baked Delights

Dedicated fans are known to drive long distances to savor fresh-baked bread and other goodies from the wood-fired oven at Wild Flour Bread in tiny Freestone, from Raymond’s Bakery tucked away in Cazadero in the hills above the Russian River, and at Gold Coast Coffee and Bakery in Duncans Mills, just four miles inland from the Pacific Coast.

But there are so many more Sonoma County places to nibble on delicious and innovative baked goods, including Asian and American treats at East Wind Bakery in Santa Rosa, New Zealand goodies at BurtoNZ Bakery in Windsor, and Portuguese bread and other treats at 9 Islands Bakery Café in Rohnert Park. Read more about Sonoma County Bakeries and Patisseries.

And don’t forget the pie. In addition to pies sold at bakeries and restaurants, Sonoma County offers a number of places that focus on pies (sweet or savory). This includes the home-baked goodies at Chile Pies Baking Co. in an old bank building in Guerneville; Mom’s Apple Pie on the edge of an eight-acre apple orchard outside Healdsburg; Petaluma Pie Company in historic downtown Petaluma; and the newest of this group, The Whole Pie in downtown Santa Rosa.

Local Eateries

If your style is more casual than upscale, there are so many delicious possibilities countywide.

Start with Amy’s Drive Thru in Rohnert Park, the nation’s first and only sustainable, vegetarian, non-GMO drive-thru that highlights lovingly hand-crafted traditional American fast food like burgers, fries and mac n’ cheese, but sans meat (everything is vegetarian) and with vegan and gluten-free options.

Of course, if you want something other than fast food, there are any number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sonoma County.

And on the coast, fans rave about the clam chowder and crab sandwiches at the family-owned Spud Point Crab Shack; you know it’s fresh because the family also owns two fishing boats. Inland, Rocker Oysterfeller’s in Valley Ford and Negri’s Original Italian Restaurant and the Union Hotel in Occidental are local favorites.

Of course, everywhere you go you’ll find wonderful local pizzerias, burger joints, taquerias, barbecue restaurants and other delicious neighborhood hangouts.

Acclaimed Dining

In 2017 three Sonoma County dining establishments were awarded a Michelin Star: Madrona Manor Wine Country Inn & Restaurant, an elegant 1881 Victorian manor offering seasonal, farm-fresh, contemporary California cuisine of the highest order in an old-world setting in Healdsburg; the beloved Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in Forestville, where an on-staff Master Sommelier artfully pairs wines with the chef’s luxurious and seasonal Cal-Mediterranean creations, in a humble but elegantly rustic atmosphere; and charming, slow-food style Terrapin Creek Café, offering the finest ingredients in inventive pairings in a relaxed but stunningly chic space along the Pacific Coast in Bodega Bay.

Michelin also awarded its 2017 Bib Gourmand honors — for remarkable restaurants that serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (not including tip or gratuity) — to 10 Sonoma County eateries: Diavolo Pizzeria in Geyserville; Backyard in Forestville; Bistro 29 in Santa Rosa; Bravas Bar de Tapas and Chalkboard in Healdsburg; Glen Ellen Star in Glen Ellen; Monti’s Rotisserie & Bar in Santa Rosa; Risibisi in Petaluma; SHED Café in Healdsburg, and Ramen Gaijin in Sebastopol.

And the Zagat Guide listed its “Best Restaurants in Sonoma County” for 2017: Diavola Pizzeria, Terrapin Creek Café, and Cucina Paradiso in Petaluma; Osake Japanese Restaurant in Santa Rosa; boon eat + drink in Guerneville; Café La Haye in Sonoma, and Valette in Healdsburg.

However, that’s just the beginning of the many, many possibilities for locally sourced, innovative, farm-to-fork cuisine in Sonoma County. Along the coast enjoy equally amazing food and views at Drakes Sonoma Coast Kitchen in Bodega Bay, River’s End in Jenner, and the Black Point Grill at The Sea Ranch.

In western Sonoma County, there’s Hazel in Occidental; Underwood Bar & Bistro in Graton; and Fork Roadhouse, K & L Bistro and Zazu Kitchen + farm in Sebastopol. In the Sonoma Valley in eastern Sonoma County, there’s the girl & the fig, the fig café & winebar, Harvest Moon Café, Oso Sonoma, and Santé.

And in central and northern Sonoma County, consider Trading Post Restaurant & Bakery in Cloverdale; Catelli’s and Rustic in Geyserville; Barndiva and Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar in Healdsburg; The Bird & The Bottle, Bistro 29, Ca’Bianca Italian Restaurant,  John Ash & Co. Restaurant, La Gare French Restaurant, Stark’s Steak & Seafood, and Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa; and Hana Japanese Restaurant in Rohnert Park.

For even more dining options, check the listings of all Sonoma County restaurants. The possibilities are seemingly endless.

And to find money-saving offers on restaurants, lodging, and more, check our listings of special Sonoma County deals.


This Weekend: Nov 25 – Nov 26, 2017

This weekend offers tons of great things to do for free and on the cheap. From Free Ice Skating Lessons in Union Square, to Free Snow Sledding Day in San Rafael to the Treasure Island Flea’s Holiday Market. The events below will help you fill your calendar with fun!

View even more events here.

A Housing Bubble? Industry Experts Say NO!

With residential home prices continuing to appreciate at levels above historic norms, some are questioning if we are heading toward another housing bubble (and subsequent burst) like the one we experienced in 2006-2008.

Recently, five housing experts weighed in on the question.

Rick Sharga, Executive VP at Ten-X:

“We’re definitely not in a bubble.”

“We have a handful of markets that are frothy and probably have hit an affordability wall of sorts but…while prices nominally have surpassed the 2006 peak, we’re not talking about 2006 dollars.”

Christopher Thornberg, Partner at Beacon Economics:

“There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”

“Steady as she goes. Prices continue to rise. Sales roughly flat.…Overall this market is in an almost boring place.”

Bill McBride, Calculated Risk:

“I wouldn’t call house prices a bubble.”

“So prices may be a little overvalued, but there is little speculation and I don’t expect house prices to decline nationally like during the bust.”

David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices:

“Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006.”

“…price increases vary unlike the earlier period when rising prices were almost universal; the number of homes sold annually is 20% less today than in the earlier period and the months’ supply is declining, not surging.”

Bing Bai & Edward Golding, Urban Institute:

“We are not in a bubble and nowhere near the situation preceding the 2008 housing crisis.”

“Despite recent increases, house prices remain affordable by historical standards, suggesting that home prices are tracking a broader economic expansion.”



Affordability & the Cost of Housing in the SF Bay Area

Home prices, affordability percentages, monthly housing costs and income requirements for SF, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Napa, Alameda, Contra Costa & Solano Counties

This national affordability chart above employs a different methodology than the CA county charts below: The graphed chart values (percentages) have totally different meanings.

San Francisco & Marin Counties: Long-Term Overviews

The California Association of Realtors recently released its Housing Affordability Index (HAI) for the 3rd quarter of 2017, which measures the percentage of households that can afford to buy the median priced single family dwelling (house).

In this analysis, affordability is affected by 3 major factors: county median house price, mortgage interest rates, and the distribution of household incomes within the county. (Housing Affordability Index Methodology). The HAI uses house prices exclusively and if condos were included in the calculation, median home prices would decline, affordability would increase and income requirements and PITI costs would be reduced as well. (SF now has more condo sales than house sales, but that is not the case in other Bay Area counties.)

By definition, half the homes sold in any given county were at prices below the median sales price, i.e. there were numerous homes that were more affordable than the median prices used in this analysis. However, any way one slices it, the Bay Area has one of the most expensive – if not the most expensive – and least affordable housing markets in the country. That impacts our society and economy in a number of important ways.

Since many of the figures don’t change that much quarter to quarter, we’ve only updated some of the charts in this report with Q3 2017 data.

Our Survey of Bay Area County Markets, Trends & Demographics

Year-over-Year Changes
Year over year, affordability declined in every Bay Area county as well as in almost every other county in the state.

Long-term Bay Area Housing Affordability Trends

Affordability Percentage by Bay Area County

Note that extremely low affordability readings converged across Bay Area counties at the top of the bubble in 2006-2007. So far, there has not been a similar convergence in our current market, though affordability is generally dropping as prices increase. Most counties now have higher, and sometimes much higher, home prices than in 2007 (see chart later in report), but their affordability percentages are higher now too, instead of lower. The reason behind that apparent contradiction is the approximate 40% decline in interest rates, 2007 to 2016, as well as some increase in median household incomes.Extremely low interest rates have subsidized increasing home prices to a large degree in recent years.

San Francisco is still 5 percentage points above its all-time affordability low of 8%, last reached in Q3 2007 (even though its median house price has increased about 50% during that period). Other Bay Area counties (except for San Mateo) have appreciably higher affordability percentages, for the time being. Generally speaking, as one moves farther away from the heart of the high-tech boom, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, affordability increases.

Monthly Ownership Cost at Median Sales Price

Minimum Qualifying Income to Buy Median Priced House
Assumes 20% down payment and including principal, interest, property tax and insurance costs.

Bay Area Median House Prices

Before the high-tech boom, Marin, a famously affluent county for long time, had the highest median house price. But the high-tech boom accelerated median home prices in San Francisco and San Mateo faster and higher.

Additional chart: Median condo sales prices by county

San Francisco has a much larger and more expensive condo market than other local counties, and is the only county with a very substantial luxury condo market – one that is growing significantly with recent new-condo project construction.

Income, Affluence & Poverty

Santa Clara, San Mateo and Marin Counties have the highest median household (HH) income in the Bay Area. Though the median HH income figures of these 3 counties are almost double the national figure, their median house prices are 4 to 5 times higher, an indication that income dollars can go a lot farther in other parts of the country than they do here. Indeed an income that in other places puts you close to the top of the local register of affluence, living grandly in a 6-bedroom mansion, in the Bay Area might qualify you as perhaps slightly-upper-middle class, living in an attractive but unostentatious, moderate-sized home that costs twice what the mansion did (though, this being the Bay Area, you are probably still driving a very expensive car).

On the other hand, you live in one of the most beautiful, highly educated, culturally rich, economically dynamic, and open-minded metropolitan areas in the world.

Behind median HH incomes, each county also has enclaves of both extreme wealth and poverty within its borders.

Very generally speaking, in the Bay Area counties, renters typically have a median household income about half that of homeowners. In San Francisco, where the majority of residents are in tenant households, that significantly reduces the overall median HH income figure. The picture of housing affordability for renters in the city is ameliorated or complicated by its strong rent control laws (which, however, don’t impact extremely high market rents for someone newly renting an apartment) .

Additional chart: Homeownership Rates by County

Additional chart: Population Demographics – Children & Residents Living Alone

San Francisco has the lowest percentage of residents under 18 of any major city in the U.S. (It is famously said that there are more dogs in the city than there are children.) It also has an extremely high percentage of residents who live in single-person households – 39% – which is a further factor depressing median household income below markets with similar housing costs.

The Bay Area has approximately 2.8 million households. Of those, approximately 124,000 households have incomes of $500,000 and above, which would generally be considered to place them in the top 1% in the country by annual income. At 7.5%, Marin has the highest percentage of top 1% households, followed by San Mateo at 6.2%. With approximately 38,000 top 1% households, Santa Clara, the Bay Area’s most populous county, has by far the largest number of these very affluent households, while San Francisco has about 22,000.

It should be noted that besides high incomes per se, another factor in the Bay Area housing boom of recent years has been the stupendous generation of trillions of dollars in brand new wealth from soaring high-tech stock market values, stock options and IPOs. Thousands of sudden new millionaires, as well as many more who didn’t quite hit that level, supercharged real estate markets (especially those in the heart of the high-tech boom) as these newly affluent residents looked to buy their first homes, perhaps with all cash, or upgrade from existing ones. That is something not seen in most other areas of the country, certainly not to the degree experienced locally, and is a dynamic outside typical affordability calculations. This increase in new wealth has slowed or even declined in the past 12 months as the high-tech boom has cooled (temporarily or not, as time will tell). Still, there are dozens of local private companies, usually start-ups, some of them very large – such as Uber, Airbnb and Palantir – which are considered to be in the possible-IPO pipeline. If the IPO climate improves and successful IPOs follow, a new surge of newly affluent home buyers may follow.

Additional chart: Bay Area Populations by County

A look at two very different income segments in the Bay Area, those households making less than $35,000 and those making more than $200,000. The $35,000 threshold is not an ironclad definition of poverty, especially since housing costs (by area, and whether market rate, subsidized or rent-controlled), household sizes and personal circumstances vary widely, though it is clearly difficult for most area families trying to live on that income. At over 25%, San Francisco has the highest percentage of households with incomes under $35,000 and, at 22%, Marin has the highest percentage making $200,000 and above.

Amid all the staggering affluence in the Bay Area, and huge amounts of new wealth generated by our recent high-tech boom, very significant percentages of the population still live in poverty, especially if our extremely high housing costs are factored into the calculation. (The above chart calculates poverty rates by different criteria, the higher one factoring in local costs of living.) The economic boom has helped them if it resulted in new, better paying jobs, unfortunately not as common a phenomenon as one would wish for the least affluent. It hurt them, sometimes harshly, if their housing costs escalated with the increase in market rates.

Mortgage Interest Rates since 1981

Interest rates play an enormous role in affordability via ongoing monthly housing costs, and interest rates, after their recent post-election jump are about 35% lower than in 2007. To a large degree this has subsidized the increase in home prices for many home buyers. It is famously difficult to predict interest rate movements, though there is general agreement. Any substantial increase in interest rates would severely negatively impact already low housing affordability rates.

Longer-Term Trends in Prices and Rents

The same economic and demographic forces have been putting pressure on both home prices and apartment rents.

Bay Area Median House Prices since 1990

If one looks at charts graphing affordability percentages, home prices, market rents, hiring/employment trends and to some degree even stock market trends, one sees how often major economic indicators move up or down in parallel.

Monthly Rental Housing Costs

The recent economic boom has added approximately 600,000 new jobs in the Bay Area over the past 6 years, with about 100,000 in San Francisco alone – with a corresponding surge in county populations. Most new arrivals look to rent before considering the possibility of buying. The affordability challenges for renters (unless ameliorated by rent control or subsidized rates) has probably been even greater than that for buyers, since renters don’t benefit from any significant tax benefits, from the extremely low, long-term interest rates, or by home-price appreciation trends increasing the value of their homes (and their net worth). In fact, housing-price appreciation usually only increases rents without any corresponding financial advantage to the tenant. Rents in the city have been plateauing in recent quarters and may even be beginning to decline as the hiring frenzy has slowed and an influx of new apartment buildings have come onto the market – but they are still the highest in the country.

Bay Area Rent Report

Affordable Housing Stock & Construction in San Francisco

Additional Chart: Affordable Housing Construction Trends in San Francisco

There may be no bigger political and social issue in San Francisco right now than the supply (or lack) of affordable housing: Battles are being fought, continuously and furiously, in the Board of Supervisors, at the ballot box and the Planning Department by a wide variety of highly-committed interests, from tenants’ rights and neighborhood groups to anti-growth factions and developers (to name a few). It is an extremely complicated and difficult-to-resolve issue, especially exacerbated by nimby-ism and the high cost of construction in the city. SPUR, a local non-profit dedicated to Bay Area civic planning policy, estimated in 2014 that the cost to build an 800 square foot, below-market-rate unit in a 100-unit project in San Francisco was $469,800 – and we have seen higher estimates as well.

This fascinating graphic above, based on SF Controller’s Office estimates from late 2013, breaks down SF housing supply by rental and ownership units, and further divides rental by those under rent control. All the units labeled supportive, deed restricted and public housing could be considered affordable housing to one degree or another, i.e. by their fundamental nature their residents are not paying and will never pay market-rate housing costs. (Units under rent control will typically go to market rate upon vacancy and re-rental, though rent increases will then be limited going forward.) Adjusted for recent construction, there are roughly 34,500 of these units out of the city total of about 382,500, or a little over 9% of housing stock. Section 8 subsidized housing would add another 9,000 units.

There are currently many thousands of affordable housing units, of all kinds, somewhere in the long-term SF Planning Department pipeline of new construction, though many of them are in giant projects like Treasure Island and Candlestick Park/Hunter’s Point, which may be decades in the building. But it is generally agreed that new supply will never come close to meeting the massive demand for affordable housing, further complicated by the question of what exactly affordable means in a city with a median home price 5 times the national median, typically well beyond the means of people such as teachers and members of the police force. One corollary of increasing affordable housing contribution requirements for developers and extremely high building costs is that developers are concentrating on building very expensive market-rate units – luxury and ultra-luxury condos and apartments – to make up the difference.

Other reports you might find interesting:

Survey of SF Bay Area Real Estate Markets
10 Factors behind the San Francisco Real Estate Market
30+ Years of San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate Cycles
San Francisco Neighborhood Affordability

All our analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

Our sincere gratitude to Leslie Appleton-Young, VP & Chief Economist, Oscar Wei, Senior Economist, and Azad Amir-Ghassemi, research analyst, of the California Association of Realtors, for their gracious assistance in supplying underlying data for the CAR Housing Affordability Index calculations.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. All numbers should be considered general estimates and approximations.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group

Napa Valley Wine Tasting 101

The Napa Valley is excited to welcome you back. For a week, a day, a glass or a meal, now is the perfect time to experience the Napa Valley spirit. From mid-fall to spring, as the grapes are harvested and the temperatures are perfectly mild, the Napa Valley becomes a haven. Whether it’s the autumn colors, yellow mustard amongst the dormant vines, or spring blooms, an intimate atmosphere creates a chance to explore the Napa Valley and reinvigorate. To truly help Napa Valley and the surrounding areas, your visit is the most important step to recovery. Check here for updates as you plan.

Want to go wine-tasting in the Napa Valley? With more than 400 wineries and over 1,000 wine brands produced here, you’ll have to be more specific. With so many choices, it’s helpful to have a particular interest in mind to narrow down your tasting itinerary. Here, we’ve listed a few of the iconic wineries, along with some lesser-known ones to get you started, and, of course, inspire you to return again and again.

The Classics

Beringer Vineyards. Founded in 1876 by German immigrants Jacob and Frederick Beringer, this is the oldest continuously operating winery in California. Come here for old-world Cabs, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel.

Robert Mondavi Winery. Robert Mondavi was the guy who really put the Napa Valley on the map when he started this winery in 1966. His legendary To Kalon first-growth vineyard is known for producing premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the latter of which goes into Mondavi’s signature Fumé Blanc.

Charles Krug. Here’s where you’ll find California’s first tasting room, opened in 1882. Krug’s iconic local wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Inglenook. Founded in 1879 by Finnish sea captain Gustave Niebaum and owned since 1975 by Francis Ford Coppola (yes, that one) and his wife, Eleanor. Try the Blancaneaux, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Syrah, or Sauvignon Blanc.

Trefethen Family Vineyards. Owned and operated by the Trefethens since the late 1960s, this winery produces a wide range of signature, reserve, and small-lot wines. Look for the Dry Reisling, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet.

Off the Beaten Path

Sherwin Family Vineyards. If you don’t mind a few twists in the road, this winery is exemplary of the classic Spring Mountain AVA. The tasting room – built by Steve Sherwin himself – feels like an actual home. Go for the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé.

CADE Estate Winery. Owned/operated by Gavin Newsom, Gordon Getty, and John Conover, this place is a must for architecture buffs, with stunning contemporary design and jaw-dropping views. Taste the Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc.

Burgess Cellar. A great example of the Howell Mountain AVA, Burgess prides itself on distinct mountainside wines. It makes Cabernet, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Chardonnay, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, among other blends.

Pope Valley Winery. If you’re looking for an authentic, old-school Napa Valley tasting experience, head over the hill to Pope Valley. While most of the cars will stop along Highway 29 or the Silverado Trail, you’ll take the road less traveled and one that is about half a century behind. Founded in 1897 as the Burgundy Winery and Olive Oil Factory, this spot now features sparkling Blanc de Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Rosé, Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot, and a Zin Port, among other varietals.

Nichelini Family Winery. The Nichelinis can boast the oldest family-owned winery in the Napa Valley, and it’s still very much of a family operation after 127 years. You can also see the original house and Roman wine press used by Swiss immigrants Anton and Caterina Nichelini. Today they produce old vine Zinfandel, a sparkling wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, and an “Old Press” white.

Food and Wine Pairings

B Cellars. Tours and tastings here include an introductory wine and food pairing, then a tour through the culinary gardens, production facilities, and wine caves to enjoy a barrel sample. In the tasting room, you can enjoy a series of custom food and wine pairings.

Round Pond Estate. This gorgeous contemporary winery features a wide range of food and wine pairings, including a garden-to-table brunch and a garden tour with lunch. And its on-site olive mill offers tours and olive-oil tastings.

RiverHouse by Bespoke Collection. Here you can pair the Blackbird Vineyards portfolio with a pre-curated bento lunch box courtesy of Morimoto Napa, which includes selections of sushi, tempura, and teriyaki beef (adjustable for any dietary restrictions). 24-hour notice required.

Liana Estates. For those of you with a sweet tooth, you’ve found your winery. Liana features mini-cupcakes from local bakery Kara’s Cupcakes, specially selected to complement four Liana wines. Perfect for a birthday, romantic getaway, or girls’ weekend.

Wineries with Art

HALL Wines. Proprietors Craig and Kathryn Hall are as passionate about their art as their wines, and guests are invited to tour the sculpture and other works installed around the grounds, created by such names as John Baldessari, Jim Campbell, Nick Cave, and Jaume Plensa.

The Hess CollectionStarted in 1966, the collection of Donald Hess is exhibited in museums worldwide, and a portion of it is displayed here. Hess’s approach is to focus on 20 living artists and faithfully support their work long-term. His commitment is reflected in the caliber of this remarkable collection.

Mumm Napa. This brand of sparkling wines is based on the renowned Champagne house in France. The winery also has a wonderful gallery of fine art photography, featuring artists from Ansel Adams to contemporary photographers.

Explore these wineries in-depth and many others here.