California’s road less travelled
Boutique lodges, Michelin-starred chefs and Pinot noir a plenty. It’s no wonder the cool crowd is heading north of San Fran for the ultimate food and wine tour, says Jenny Proudfoot
Feeling the San Francisco Bay breeze on your face as you take in the green hills and rolling vineyards over a large glass of Pinot noir, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s just another day in California. But it’s the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and I’m on a food and wine tour of the northern regions, where the vibe is more boho chic than tech valley – and California’s hippy heartland remains. Here, the ethos is on community and sustainability, so it’s a wine tour without the guilt. What’s not to love?
The drive out of San Francisco is a treat, watching skyscrapers fade into the distance as you cross the orange vermilion Golden Gate Bridge and enter the north coast of California. We’re on our way to Sausalito and Healdsburg, Sonoma wine country where a new generation of farmers and winemakers are transforming the sleepy towns into a trail of luxury hip hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and world-class vineyards (producing mostly Chardonnay, Pinot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varietals), all off the beaten track.
I start my trip in Sausalito, where theDirty Harryfilm series was shot, heading for Cavallo Point lodge, a converted US army post in San Francisco Bay. Set at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, views don’t get much more spectacular than this. Instagram-wise, there’s no filter needed. American flags fly over the parade ground and the bridge’s foghorns sound, helping vessels pass safely underneath it as the huge blanket of fog (known locally as ‘Karl’ – a nod to the giant in Tim Burton’sBig Fish) rolls in.
Cavallo Point has eco values at its core, serving locally sourced food, supporting organic products, and even insulating its walls with old Levi’s jeans.
Video: PROPHECY 2018: EARTHQUAKES, CALIFORNIA & THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
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