Where to get away in Wine Country on Valentine's Day
On Valentine’s Day, some people consider their relationship status.
If they want to be in a relationship, or stay in one, it’s a good time to be romantic and think up clever, custom-crafted events and excursions, ones that will dazzle a date for months to come.
This is Wine Country, after all, and pretty hillsides ribbed with vineyards are the perfect backdrop for romance.
Here are some suggestions for ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, tailored by category: wine geek, foodie, art lover, outdoor enthusiast and pet lover.
There are two options within those categories: one for $50 and under. and one for over $50.
Dates for the Wine Geek
$50 and under: Domaine Carneros, Napa - This house of bubbly produces striking sparklers. On chilly days there’s usually a fire in the fireplace and the chateau’s big glass windows reveal the rolling hills of the Carneros. On warm days, you can step outside and enjoy the sun-drenched patio. (www.domainecarneros.com)
$50 and up: Shafer Vineyards, Napa - This winery offers some of the best mountain-grown cabernet sauvignons in all of Wine Country. The top-of-the-line One Point Five and the Hillside Select are not to be missed. Their intensity, created because the vines have to struggle against the bedrock to find nourishment, is what makes them standouts. These prized wines will delight the palate of any wine enthusiast. Treat your date to a tour, a tasting and a bottle of his or her choosing. (www.shafervineyards.com)
Dates for the Foodie
$50 and under: Chateau St. Jean, Kenwood - The chateau, which dates back to 1920, was built as a summer home for Ernest and Maude Goff and their children. When the winery opened in 1973, the chateau had been restored. Today it makes a lovely backdrop for a picnic with its magnolia trees, lush gardens and pond. Foodies can bring their own picnic lunch or shop for gourmet lunch fixings in the tasting room. (www.chateaustjean.com)
$50 and up: Baci Cafe & Wine Bar, Healdsburg - This is a great place to take a foodie because this Italian eatery caters to the vegetarian, the vegan and the gluten-free among us. Its goal is to use local and organic products, and it has an appealing synergy between classic cuisine and small-town hospitality. (www.bacicafeandwinebar.com)
Dates for the Outdoor Enthusiast
$50 and under: Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve, Santa Rosa - The park offers spellbinding views and showcases a great array of wildflowers. The trails are rugged, which makes them great hikes for the athletic. Hood Mountain was spared from development, so this is a great escape for those who crave nature and the wild.
$50 and up: Safari West, Santa Rosa - It doesn’t get any better for people with a penchant for upscale camping. You can stay overnight in authentic, canvas, African safari tents with hardwood floors. The next day you can roam the 400 acres to get a glimpse of the exotic life of the animals on the property. (www.safariwest.com)
Dates for the Art Lover
$50 and under: Hess Collection, Napa - Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess wanted his winery to house his two passions – fine wine and fine art. This is a great spot for the art lover, as it contains some of the best art to be found north of San Francisco. The collection features internationally known artists such as Francis Bacon, Robert Motherwell and Frank Stella. (www.hesscollection.com)
$50 and up: Lisa Kristine Gallery, Sonoma - Take your beloved to this photo gallery, and offer to buy him or her any piece in the shop. A favorite is the colossal “Great Wall of China.” Lisa Kristine is a photographer who has been honored by the United Nations for capturing the authenticity of indigenous populations. (www.lisakristine.com)
Dates for the Pet Lover
$50 and under: Mutt Lynch Winery, Windsor - Yappy Hour at Mutt Lynch Winery is a monthly affair, with a Valentine’s Day mixer today from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s $10 at the door; there will be appetizers for humans and snacks for pets. Dogs of all sizes are welcome. (www.muttlynchwinery.com)
$50 and up: Bardessono, Hotel, Restaurant & Spa, Yountville - You’ll impress your pet lover with an overnight stay at Bardessono. Here you can dine on the patio with your pets. Just a heads-up: For the privilege of having your pets bunk with you, you’ll have to fork over an additional $150 per pet as a cleaning fee. (www.bardessono.com)
Staff writer Peg Melnik can be reached at 707-521-5310 or email@example.com.
Wine, The Press Democrat
Northern California is cradled in vines; it’s Wine County at its best in America. My job is to help you make the most of this intriguing, agrarian patch of civilization by inviting you to partake in the wine culture – the events, the bottlings and the fun. This is a space to explore wine, what you care about or don’t know about yet.