July 2008 Archives
So get your head out of the clouds, and plan a short weekend getaway at least. Take heart, the hospitality industry is not oblivious to your "on a budget" plight. And what better way to rest and relax then in the beautiful lush surroundings of wine country. To help you out, WineCountry.com regularly posts great deals from Hotels, B&Bs, Wineries, Spas and Attractions that will help you plan an affordable wine country trip to your region of choice.
CLICK HERE for Travel Discounts & Promotions.
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While there are typically nominal fees for the four extra legs, they are usually comparable to biped rates. As with humans, these accommodations welcome only "well-behaved" animals, and many require leashes.
So next time, grab the leash and go! Here are some suggestions for special places to enjoy wherever you and your pet may wander in California's Wine Country. Please share your pet in wine country story with us. Either post below or send story and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org!
For all those that do not have a dog as a pet, you might be wondering what is all the fuss about with these increasingly pampered pooches. Because although every dog owner will probably tell you their dog is oh so cute, we all know the reality - fair amount of dogs out there just look plain ugly.
Well apparently it's not enough to carry them around and dress them up like dolls, feed them premium grade food, or talk to them in a completely different language. Now they too must have a place to stay when traveling and in wine country no less. No, I'm not referring to lodging places that welcome pets and boast they are "pet friendly or dog friendly".
Recently, Ruff - a dog daycare and hotel opened in Napa. According to their brochure, Ruff is "a boutique hotel catered just for the most important thing in your life - your dog." While they claim to aceept all types of dogs, it clearly says "all dogs require a temperament interview". So now dogs have interviews. Next they'll be hired for jobs!
Napa Vintners provides a list of dog friendly wineries:
Or if you just are dog lover/wine lover, then the following websites may interest you:
Dog Lover Wine Club
Dog Winery Labels
Your Dog Immortalized on a Wine Label!
Dog Gone Wine!
You are no doubt aware that the biodynamic revolution in the wine industry is in full bloom. Evidence of this phenomenon is everywhere you look. It can be experienced as simply as by enjoying the contents of a bottle of biodynamically produced wine, or as elaborately as by spending a weekend at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley's Rutherford region.
Yes, if you've got three grand burning a whole in your pocket, and your biodynamic curiosity is otherwise insatiable, the beautiful Wine Country resort has a package for you.
By Robert P. Farmer
Of California's many options for wine-touring, few match Mendocino for its bucolic aesthetic and for the drama of its natural beauty. Meandering through the verdant hills, twisting along the highways and byways, visitors are presented with a protracted display of wooded hillsides and expansive grassy, sheep-dotted meadows. And stretching toward the coast, the terrain gets steeper, more mountainous, until finally giving way to the never-ending stretch of blue that is the Pacific Ocean.
Mendocino County is unique among California's wine regions for many reasons, not the least of which is its wines. The climate is rainier in these parts, and the moisture combines with rich volcanic Anderson Valley soil to produce outstanding Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays along side unexpected but equally capable Riesling and Gewürtztraminer. There are several great wineries to be discovered along Hwy. 101 in Mendocino County, and more flanking the state routes that serve as tributaries to the Highway.
With the many so-called "destinations" in California's Wine Country, it's easy for visitors to miss the forest for the trees. Traveling from one big-name spot to another, the itinerant wine taster regularly passes blissfully by unearthed gems that could make them richer for the experience.
One such gem is Geyserville, a small, unassumingly quiet town settled on the banks of the Russian River and shoehorned between the Dry Creek and Alexander valleys. That it happens to exist in one of the great American appellations (Alexander Valley) is a bonus not just for the winemakers who populate the area, but also for the wine aficionado who prefers a more relaxed pace with his world-class tasting experience.
Geyserville is still a small town, the kind of place that would make Andy Griffith feel right at home. But it is emerging as well, and with the recent acquisition and transformation of a local winery by Francis Ford Coppola (Rosso & Bianco, and the Francis Coppola Winery, formerly Chateau Souverain), the klieg lights on the town will only brighten. Yet a homespun appeal still prevails. And the wineries that flank Hwy 128 in the heart of the appellation continue to welcome guests with a familiar embrace and a selection of wines that rivals the best from anywhere.
If you happen to find yourself in Southern Australia--which I root for you to do--let me know what you think of the new vineyard residences called Atrium, at Greenock Creek, at the renowned resort and spa, The Louise, in the hot hot wine region of Barossa. Because everything I've heard about them makes it sound like a place I can't wait to check in to.
The reality of that scenario is probably a few months away, though the timing of that would make it perfectly in sync with summer.
Travelers looking to take their tasting experience to altogether greater sensory heights will find just the thing in Lynmar Estate's brand new Estate Tour, debuting just in time for the summer travel season. Offered at the Russian River Valley winery by appointment only Thursdays and Fridays beginning July 8, the Tour guides participants through a two-hour deep dive into the winery's facilities and operations, concluding with a sumptuous food and wine pairing prepared by winery chef Sandra Simile.
For the second time this year, Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards is going to the dogs. Well, going dog friendly, that is. Following on the heels of Kunde's sold-out canine-themed event in May, the family-run winery will offer a second dog-friendly hike on Saturday, October 18th. The three-mile trek through Kunde's sustainably farmed estate vineyards will cost participants $45 (the fee covers both person and dog) and conclude with wine, a gourmet wine country picnic and water tasting for the pets.