I saw this YouTube video about hot air ballooning over the wine country of California and just had to put it on this site.
Several years ago I tried to take a hot air balloon ride over Northern California wine country leaving out of Santa Rosa, but it was cancelled due to rainy weather. Later that year I did take a sunset hot air balloon ride outside of Del Mar in Southern California, which was absolutely gorgeous.
For those of you who are leary of taking a hot air balloon ride, let me say that the one I took was very gentle. A little too gentle for me. I was kind of hoping for a bit of a thrilling ride. But, hot air balloon rides are actually really calm and peaceful. The views, though, are really nice.
The ride I missed was a sunrise flight, while the one I took was a sunset flight. If you don't like getting up at an unGodly hour, then you may want to choose a place which allows for sunset flights.