Gold Country, So. Cal. Show Their Gold

Holly Hill Vineyard (11/16/09)

Holly's Hill Vineyard, El Dorado County (11/15/09)

75-100% — Newton and Snow Roads (2,000′). Black Oaks and bigleaf maple are fully orange and yellow from U.S. 50 south of Placerville on Newton Road to the Pleasant Valley, indicative of similar color to be found throughout the Sierra foothills.

We drove to Holly’s Hill Vineyards in the El Dorado AVA, to find the vineyards to be at peak with orange to red across the rolling hills, as these snaps from an iPhone attest.

75-100% — Southern California. Jimbo comments from Southern California that there’s still lots of color to be found in the mountains.  He writes, “The black oaks have turned around places like Crestline, Idyllwild and Palomar Mountain.”

Holly's Hill Vineyard, El Dorado County (11/16/09)

Holly's Hill Vineyard, El Dorado County (11/15/09)

Thanks to readers, like Jimbo, I’m able to cover all of the state.  Do email me if you’ve got a report.  Photos are great.  Give me your full name and I’ll make sure you get credited.  These reports will continue through Thanksgiving Day.

Photo Credit: © 2009, John Poimiroo

Napa County Color is Aging Like a Fine Wine

Napa Valley (10/17/09)

Napa Valley (10/17/09)

15-30% — Napa Valley.  Vineyards in the Napa Valley are turning by grape variety.  Some plots are deep aubergine, others a mix of crimson, orange, yellow, and lime-green.  Most of the valley is still green.  The boulevard of elms at the Beringer winery is glowing yellow.  Given that weather does not otherwise damage the leaves, the vineyards should continue to be colorful for two to three weeks.

Napa Valley (10/17/09)

Napa Valley (10/17/09)

30-50% — CA-128.  Sage Canyon Road from the Napa Valley has pockets of bigleaf maple and cottonwoods in moist canyon areas that have turned yellow with orange touches.  A spectacular bright yellow alder glows at the Nichelini Winery.  Between Lake Hennessy and Lake Berryessa, bright yellow ash and bigleaf maple and some orange-red poison oak are seen near the Somerston Vineyards which are just begining to show color.

Photo Credit: © 2009, John Poimiroo

Lake County Colors a’ Poppin’

Terre Longsdon reports that fall foliage is beginning to pop in Lake County.  Terre recommends driving CA-175 from southern Lake County between Kelseyville and Middletown and up over Cobb Mountain.  You’ll pass through towns the likes of Whispering Pines, Pine Grove and the area’s hub… Cobb, which she recommends as a good place to stop and eat.  There’s not much time for golf if you’re leaf peepin’, but Terre says the course there is fun to play.

After you travel through the Big Valley, leave CA-29 at Bottle Rock Road to Cobb Mountain where you’ll see vibrant chartreuse, yellow, orange and burgundy.  When Bottle Rock Rd meets CA-175 in Cobb, turn right and continue south on CA-175 for more color.

Walnut Orchard, Kelseyville (10/12/09)

Walnut Orchard, Big Valley, Kelseyville (10/12/09)

30-50% Walnut Orchards.  Most walnut orchards are approaching 50% with very intense yellow leaves.

Vineyard, Lower Lake (10/12/09)

Vineyard, Lower Lake (10/12/09)

15-30% Vineyards.  The vineyards are beginning to show yellow, orange and red in their grape leaves.

30-50% – Coast Range (1500′).  Oaks in California’s Coast Range above 1,500′ in elevation are approaching 50% of peak with the next two weekends positioned for good color in Lake County.

Photography: © 2009, Lyle Madeson

Doubletree offers 30 Reasons to Enjoy California Fall Color

There are 30 reasons in California to take a Fall Weekend Getaway… the Doubletree hotels.  As, just announced, Doubletree is offering fall getaways at affordable prices in its new Fall Weekend Getaway Package.  Available Sept. 8 to Dec. 27, the package includes a deluxe room (up to two adults and two children with no double occupancy charge), “Blissful Sweet Dreams by Doubletree” sleep experience and a $50 food and beverage credit.

For California fall color spotters, California Fall Color recommends these Doubletree locations as nearest fall color: Ontario (Inland Empire), Bakersfield, Modesto (Central Valley and Western Sierra), Sacramento (Gold Country and Central Valley) and Rohnert Park (Sonoma County Wine Country).

To make a reservation, visit Doubletree’s Fall Weekend Getaway website at, contact a travel professional or call 1-800-222-TREE in the U.S. or Canada.   Rates vary and some restrictions apply.