5 Places to Visit in the Inland Valleys

Robert Mondavi Institute
Vineyard outside the Robert Mondavi Institute / Photo by Meg Baggott

California’s vast interior region is dotted with unexpected destinations just off of Interstate 5. So exit the freeway and discover a riverboat hotel, fabulous sweet wines, a restaurant that raises its own beef and a vineyard run by modern-day monks.

Inland Valleys Road Map

A Map of 5 destinations in the Inland Valleys California

5 Inland Valleys Destinations

  1. Photo by David Litschel/Alamy

    New Clairvaux Vineyard

    In 2000, Trappist-Cistercian monks revived winemaking activities at the former Great Vina Ranch, which was established in the late 19th century. Taste a rare American Assyrtiko and see a vineyard and abbey that follow medieval traditions.

  2. Photo by Meg Baggott

    Delta King Hotel & Restaurant

    Relive Sacramento’s river-town history with a dinner of braised lamb shank and a bottle of Fiddletown Zinfandel before settling in for the night aboard this classic riverboat.

  3. Photo by Meg Baggott

    Robert Mondavi Institute

    Many of the world’s top winemakers and viticulturists learned their skills at University of California, Davis—and you can too. Call or email in advance to attend a lecture or tour this cutting-edge learning center focused on wine and food that includes a research winery, brewery and gardens.

  4. Photo by Meg Baggott

    Delicato Family Vineyards

    Charge your Tesla and sample brands that include Gnarly Head, Noble Vines and Black Stallion. Garagiste winemakers can buy supplies for their own amateur fermentations.

  5. Photo courtesy of Harris Ranch

    Harris Ranch

    At this inn and restaurant owned by California’s largest beef marketer, guests can live out their carnivorous dreams. Shrug off the whiff of stockyard outside and slice into a 24-ounce, cowboy-cut ribeye inside the cool, luxurious Old West-style steakhouse.

  6. Getty

    See the Rest of our Guide to California

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Published on June 27, 2017
Topics: Inland Valleys
About the Author
Jim Gordon
Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from California.

Jim Gordon has been covering the wine industry as an editor and reporter for more than 30 years. In 2006 he became editor of Wines & Vines, the media company for North American winemakers and grape growers. He directs the editorial content of Wines & Vines in the monthly print magazine, digital and social media. Gordon is also a contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine and past director of the annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley. He was editor in chief for two books by publisher Dorling Kindersley of London: Opus Vino, and 1000 Great Everyday Wines. Gordon was managing editor of Wine Spectator for 12 years, and editor in chief of Wine Country Living magazine for four, during which time he helped create Wine Country Living TV for NBC station KNTV in San Jose. He lives in Napa, California. Email: jgordon@wineenthusiast.net.

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