Hot Air Ballooning in Wine Country


San Francisco week takes us to Wine Country. Napa Valley Balloons is a bucket list activity and it is a dream come true for owner Gabe Gundling.

“It’s amazing how life’s little turns got me to where I am now. I swore at eight years old that I’d be a balloon pilot when I grew up. At that time, where I lived was right on the typical flight path for balloons. My younger sister and I had a sign made of butcher paper that read “Balloons Land Here” that we would unravel in our parents’ field in hopes of luring in one of the passing balloons. Every fair weather morning we would race outside to track the balloons. Much to our delight, our sign worked and over the years we got to know all the various balloonists in the region. The pilots and crew of Napa Valley Balloons were definitely our favorite. Fast forward a few years and I was finishing up college. I made the decision to join the Napa Valley Balloons crew to get ballooning “out of my system” and as fate would have it, one thing led to the next and here I am! Living that childhood dream!”

Napa Valley Balloons has been in business for 38 years and it started started as a flying club in 1979 and evolved into the Napa Valley’s first major hot air balloon ride provider. 

Napa Valley Balloons is the oldest balloon ride company in the state of CA

“There’s a commitment to safety and customer satisfaction that’s unrivaled and a legacy that’s unmatched. I think, in a lot of ways, we’re still that flying club that we started as, just with more toys and better process. From our meticulously inspected and maintained balloons to our fleet of new and comfortable passenger vans. Add to that, our experienced team who loves what we do, I think the reason why people choose us is because they see what we do and want to be a part of the club.”

It is so safe that even John Veneri tried it despite his fear of heights.  You can try it too by contacting them at 707.944.0228 or by visiting online at     

Social sites @napavalleyballoons          

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