Gay Wine Country: Twin valleys of sun and spirits

The wine region of the twin valleys, Sonoma and Napa, is the second most visited destination in the state of California, coming in right after Disneyland. It is a quick and scenic drive from San Francisco to wine country and on almost any weekend you'll find small towns in Napa and Sonoma populated with visitors, a significant proportion of whom are LGBT.

This part of Northern California is known as one of the finest wine producing regions in the world with some of the most breathtakingly beautiful country sides anywhere. Napa Valley and Sonoma County both get lots of dry sunny days, though winter months get cold and wet (perfect time to cuddle up with a great bottle of cabernet is one of the many gay friendly resorts featuring fireplaces.) Spring tends to be a very popular time to visit, and the tasting rooms of major wineries are packed. Fall is also a great time to visit, and many wineries offer special harvest events and the crowds are less intense.

There aren't any gay bars per se in the area, but there are tons of events put on by the gay community and groups like Napa Guerilla Gay Bar that go out and make places "gay for a day." But with so many things to do, you won't really miss the gay clubs, especially cause there are many in nearby Russian River and even more in SF. Sonoma's Buena Vista Winery is a great place to hang for an afternoon, taking in the great tastes of the country. You can literally spend the day in wine country and out in the Castro by happy hour. There are tons of wineries to visit, relaxing spa resorts, trails to explore, and in recent years it has become a foodie heaven with some of the world's best chef's creating gourmet menus with which to enjoy the wine.

Restaurants to check out