This article originally appeared in Food & Wine. The following is an excerpt from Wildsam's latest book, WILDSAM Napa & Sonoma, which leads travelers into the heart of California's wine country with guidance from trusted locals and wine experts. Check recommended venues for COVID-19 updates before visiting.

When it comes to Northern California wine, ancient earth-building intersects with the latest marketing trends. Behind bold-face reputations and a glossy surface lies a true farming culture stitched from hard work, generational knowledge and expert craft. While editing our new book about Napa & Sonoma, we looked for destinations that embodied the region's roots and the deep pursuit of wine.

The beauty of Napa and Sonoma counties is that you can visit many times over and never experience the region (or the wine) the same way twice. You can define your personal favorite spots, and craft your own schedule. For the first-time explorer, we took some of our must-visit destinations and created a three-day-weekend itinerary for anyone seeking a deeper sense of place and the stories of interesting people behind the vines.