Take a vacation and relax in the ambiance of a local winery

As luxuries go, staying overnight on the grounds of a winery or vineyard ranks up there with Abercrombie and Kent safari tents and charming inn-to-inns found along English countryside rambles. Neither of those luxuries offer the same kind of access, however, to the nectar-of-the-gods-like stuff we have around here.

The following wineries, or settings near enough, with overnight accommodations of one kind or another hit the mark on several fronts -- luxury, wine ambience and proximity to lots more where that came from.


Not a winery per se, lovely Beltane Ranch, a bed and breakfast ranch house built in 1892 near Glen Ellen, couldn't be more surrounded by vineyards if it tried. And, as if it needed the stamp of approval, the sauvignon blanc being grown at Beltane goes to Cakebread Cellars in Rutherford, thank you very much. Five large rooms (one with fireplace) with private bath make up the romantic main house, surrounded by wrap-around porches on both floors. A more private two-room cottage is also available a stone's throw away, with its own porch and garden. Full breakfasts are served in the dining room or right outside your room. Walking trails, a tennis court, produce gardens, olive orchards and hammocks await. Rates $150-$220/night. 11775 Highway 12, Glen Ellen, 996-6501, www.beltaneranch.com/accom.html.


Longtime Sonoma-based growers August and Sylvia Sebastiani built this stone, Tuscan-villa-like home in 1947. An uber-deluxe getaway, it can be rented by the night, by the week or by the month. Six bedrooms, five bathrooms, gourmet kitchen, sizable swimming pool and valley views are all part of the deal. The house is gorgeously surrounded by vineyards, tropical flowers and fruit trees only a stroll away from the Sebastiani winery and the town of Sonoma. $1,550/night during the high season, June through October. Call for address, 996-0266, www.beautiful-places.com.


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