April 2009 Archives
Those of you who have traveled enough, and even those of you whose adventures take them away from home only occasionally, can attest that the little things a hotel does for its guest can go a long, long way. In today's world of travel incentives--ranging from free night's stays to tickets to the hottest shows, few such lures have the cachet or the staying power as the Complimentary Wine Reception.
This trend--in which a hotel pours wine for its guests each evening in the lobby or other common space, along with, typically, some sort of light fare--is actually something that has been around much longer than most of today's market-responsive hotel incentives. In fact, long before the economic maelstrom prompted hotel GMs to start giving away everything but the bed sheets, the wine reception was a popular means for acknowledging guest loyalty and for helping to make a hotel stay memorable. Now, however, the phenomenon is truly taking off.
There's nothing like an escape to wine country to reinvigorate friendships and make lasting memories with the gal pals most important to you. From wine blending lessons to sustainability treks and salsa lessons (not to mention divine food and wine), there's no shortage of delightful diversions to keep you and your gang occupied.
Having just returned from a long weekend in Mendocino, I can reliably report the following: Mendocino is cold, Mendocino is windy and Mendocino is wet (did I mention it's cold?). So why do I like it so much?, I can recall thinking to myself as my boyfriend and I meandered under threatening clouds along the jagged cliffs that overlook the region's spectacular coastline. And that's when I saw it: a sign situated in front of a wind-swept cottage that read, "Weathering Heights."
Of course, I thought. Mendocino is practically overflowing with romance, in a very Heathcliff and Catherine sort of way. It's got all the makings of a perfect intimate weekend, after all: scores of achingly cute bed and breakfasts, world-class food and wine, breathtaking coastline and, yes, inclement weather. Personally, I can't think of a better excuse (or setting, for that matter) for hunkering down with someone special near a crackling fire, knowing that venturing out will only bring a new kind of thrill - the possibility of getting to know the wines of a region on the brink of becoming the next big thing in American wine.
(Just be sure to take your umbrella when you go.)
by Robert P. Farmer
The sustainability conversation has long been on the table in Wine Country. Wineries and restaurants have led the earth-friendly charge here, with the results easily seen (and tasted) in bottles and on tables throughout the region. But the subtext here has always been the greater need to live sustainably not just in vineyards and at the Farmer's market, but everywhere and at all time.
Ethical apparel abounds at Arboretumby Courtney Cochran
It's a dilemma perfectly fit for the new millennium: Two adventurous young ladies find themselves living in wine country with a hankering for high-end duds made in an environmentally responsible fashion. Problem is, finding so-called "green" high fashion in rural Northern California is like trying to track down a Michelin three-star in Bakersfield.
So, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
Business partners and responsible fashionistas Kate Morison and Andrea Barrett launched Arboretum Apparel in April, 2007 just north of the plaza in downtown Healdsburg. To head through the door of the smartly renovated space is enter a place where, according to Morison and Barrett, "fashion meets compassion and ethical apparel abounds."
We've known for years that the region surrounding the South African capital is home to many riches: spectacular geography, world-class wines and diamonds are just a few of the area's most coveted resources. And now, the South African capital itself can boast a jewel in its very own crown: the brand new One&Only Cape Town , a six-star super-luxury resort on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront boasting - among other fabulously first-class amenities - the world's largest collection of South African wines under one roof.
Easter has arrived and there are several wineries, restaurants, spas and attractions open throughout Napa Valley.
Have fun with family and friends this Easter!
CLICK HERE to download and/print a list of all businesses still open Easter Sunday.