When the foggy wind is whipping through San Francisco streets, it's easy to forget that summer really does exist less than an hour away. In fact, the 5-day forecast for Napa and Sonoma currently predicts an average high of 79 degrees F. Few things are better on a hot summer day in the wine country than sipping a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé at a winery. But relaxing at a naturally beautiful swimming hole, a river, or a sandy beach in Sonoma is definitely in the running. Here are a few favorite places to take a dip in the Sonoma Wine Country.
After dining at Scopa, the Italian-inspired restaurant in Healdsburg, it is not uncommon to come stumbling out onto the Plaza feeling light-headed. Partly because the small space is always packed and because you have likely enjoyed at least one bottle of red wine, but also, and more importantly, because the ingredients are so impossibly, explosively fresh, the pasta so light and tender, the meatballs so perfectly browned and spicy and the burratta so heart-breakingly creamy that you actually feel like you have reached nirvana.
If you haven’t heard the buzz, Healdsburg’s Jordan Vineyard & Winery has been celebrating its 40th anniversary in star-studded style at rooftop lounges across the country. The family-owned winery’s 40th birthday celebration culminates on Saturday, June 2, with a festive afternoon event on the iconic chateau’s sprawling lawns.
Spring ushers in fair weather for outdoor culinary adventures and flea market crawls, and awakens the senses with eye-popping color from farmers markets to art exhibits. Here are our picks for the best things to do in Wine Country this month.
Somewhere along the line, someone started a bad rumor families can’t have fun in wine country. Granted most kids prefer apple juice to that funny tasting old grape stuff, but that’s ok, because you can taste the flavor of wine country in St. Helena without ever setting foot in a tasting room.
Family-fun in wine country without wine starts with wheat at Bale Grist Mill Historic State Park. A stone’s throw off of Highway 29 between Calistoga and St. Helena, it’s one of those places that’s easy to zip by.
Most people who have traveled by train in the US would probably agree that train travel leaves something to be desired, whether it's just a commuter train or traveling between states. America doesn't depend on train travel like other destinations, such as many parts of Europe. That was at the forefront of my mind upon my first trip aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train, but it may change how you feel about train travel as it did me.
When the Martini House, a beloved restaurant in St. Helena, closed its doors in 2010, there was much weeping to be heard in the northern Napa Valley. Rumors last year that Paul Fleming of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse would be moving into the 90-year-old building were met with mixed feelings. Thankfully, that deal fell through and Chicago restaurateur turned Napa Valley native Andy Florsheim bought it instead.
Whenever there's a discussion about Northern California wine country, it typically revolves around Napa or Sonoma. However, just north of Sonoma is an often-overlooked wine region: Mendocino County.
While all winery-hopping events are not created equal, they do all mean VIP treatment including frills, discounts, and the opportunity to get to know the wines of a particular region. These passport-style weekends are your chance to explore a manageable territory, for a set price, while each winery showcases it's skills.
April 27-29 is Stags Leap District’s turn to show you what they've got. Just to the north of Napa, it will be a unique show because they're known as much for exclusivity and hospitality as they are for Cabernet and history.
On April 12th, Raymond Vineyards hosted the Napa Valley's hottest party, benefitting VH1's Save the Music Foundation. The first ever Live in the Vineyard concert open to the public featured star performer Eric Hutchinson in the stunning Crystal Cellar for a sold-out, intimate crowd of 100 people.
Raymond Vineyards, 849 Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena, raymondvineyards.com