ANGWIN, CA - Angwin sits just below the summit of Howell Mountain.  Rising to the east of Napa Valley, Howell Mountain is one of the most storied wine-growing appellations in the world. Above the Valley fog, it drenches grapes in sun and cool mountain air, and its rocky soil forces the vines to root deeply in search of water. This combination creates the amazingly intense, complex flavors for which Howell Mountain wines are famous. At about 1800 feet, the tiny town of Angwin sits astride a single crossroad, home to a small shopping center on one side and the campus of Pacific Union College on the other. Though there's not a single restaurant or hotel here, wineries in Angwin are plentiful and well worth the climb up The Hill, as the locals call it. For a classic wine-tasting experience and views that stretch from St. Helena to Calistoga, stop by Burgess Cellars. Then, continue up the mountain to Viader, where a cool forest opens up to more breathtaking views off the wine-tasting terrace. At the lower edge of Angwin, Cade offers highly rated wines in a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly winery with a strikingly modern design. And even further up are Ladera, Outpost, O'Shaughnessy and others. Some of the Howell Mountain wineries offer tasting by appointment only; it’s best to check before you go.

In addition to creating amazing wine, the dramatic terrain of Howell Mountain offers great opportunities to walk among towering trees, hike to oak-dotted ridges and bike on road and trail, alike. In Las Posadas State Forest, trails lead to creeks, canyons, vista points and a pioneer cemetery at the site of an ancient Native American burial ground. Mountain bikers flock to Angwin each spring for the Napa Valley Dirt Classic, a 22-mile race that takes place on the trails and fire roads behind the Pacific Union College campus.

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