Writers: March 2010 Archives

I Do: Wine Country Wedding Guide: Sonoma

| | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0)
by Courtney Cochran

sonomaCountryWedding.jpgLast month we brought you some of our top picks for wedding spots and services in Napa Valley. And given that our Wine County beat has as much to do with Sonoma as it does that region's fair neighbor, we thought it only appropriate to canvass them as well too, for sweet locales and insider tips every bride-to-be planning a wine country wedding ought to know.  Because when it comes to keeping nuptials-inclined couples informed, we absolutely do take our job seriously. 



Best Elopement Package
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Forestville
Sometimes a quickie wedding is just what the doctor ordered - and at critically acclaimed Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, low-drama romance is always on the menu. In collaboration with Russian River's Iron Horse Vineyards, the luxe Inn offers an all-in package that includes a photographer, the services of a non-denominational minister, a meal with Master Sommelier-selected wine pairings, couples massages and three nights' lodging. In all, it's an easy alternative to the traditional wedding - with wine country flair.

macarthurWeddings.jpgBest Situated Wine Country Wedding Spot
MacArthur Place, Sonoma
Located just off the plaza in historic downtown Sonoma, elegantly appointed MacArthur Place is just a stone's throw from San Francisco (45 minutes) as well as nearby Napa (15 minutes).  And with 35 individually styled guest rooms on-site, your guests can stay right there with you or in any one of dozens of nearby hotels - most of which are walking distance to downtown's vibrant restaurants, tasting rooms and shops. PS: Don't miss the spot's dynamic sculpture garden and award-winning spa.
 

Attn Pinotphiles: La Paulée If You Please! (I Do)

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
lepaulee3.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

For Pinot fans who aren't sufficiently "off" the variety as a result of the slew of recent "Pinotgate" allegations, there is an upcoming tasting in the Bay Area sure to satisfy your every Pinot fantasy.  Enter La Paulée de San Francisco, a now-annual wine and food bacchanal inspired by the namesake grand feast held each year in Burgundy at the conclusion of the harvest.  With a bevy of the best names in French Pinot and Chardonnay - not to mention a stellar lineup of star chefs and sommeliers - on the docket, this year's event looks to be something you won't want to miss.

Sonoma Weddings: Viansa Winery & Vineyards

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)
by Courtney Cochran

Anyone who's seen the sun slip coolly beneath the horizon while its last remaining rays bathe nearby Sonoma Mountain in their quicksilver glow knows first-hand the beauty of Sonoma Valley. Situated just north of the historic town of the same name, the valley beckons would-be wedding parties with its moderate climate, verdant pastures and vineyards, olive and oak groves and decidedly dialed-back pace of life. With its winning location, easy access, amenities and ambiance, could this pastoral paradise be wine country's newest wedding wunderkind?

weddings.jpgSonoma Weddings Spotlight:

Viansa Winery & Vineyards:
Enabling Innovation In "I Do"

Couples who book Viansa Winery & Vineyards for their nuptials snag much more than just a spectacular site on a hill overlooking Sonoma Valley: they also gain access to extensive, all-inclusive planning assistance and the perks of getting hitched on a full-service property.

These details are happily matched by a myriad of lovely festivity sites set against the backdrop of a stunning Tuscan-style villa at Viansa. Awash in Mediterranean ambiance, the winery - founded, natch, by folks of Italian heritage - brings together the best in Sonoma-style hospitality with phenomenal flexibility. Indeed, Special Event Coordinator Laura Johnson Fraize seems equally excited about the winery's extensive nuptials experience (they host some 75-100 a year), and the innovative ways couples have made the site their own over the years.

Santa Barbara: Mini Guide to Santa Ynez

| | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)
Lincourt Winery - Santa Ynez Valley, CA

Image by dcshoesboy via Flickr

by Robert P. Farmer

Not too long ago, Santa Barbara County was home to a handful of Hollywood celebrities trying to exist outside the limelight, and to a handful of winemakers trying to make their way outside the glare of Napa-Sonoma.The region was also for a time home to a scattering of upstart wineries who each developed their own niche and subsequent cult following.Today, that cult following has developed into full-fledged fame.

Contemporary Santa Barbara County is home to more than 21,000 vineyard-planted acres, grown and tended by dozens of wineries. But happily, the majority of these wineries remain small in stature--family owned-and-operated concerns with small-batch production and a handcrafted aesthetic. The wineries are primarily situated in the Santa Ynez and Santa Maria valleys, about 35 miles north of Santa Barbara. Rich with history and shot-through with breathtaking coastal scenery, the area's AVAs produce remarkable Pinot Noirs (as fans of the movie Sideways will no doubt recall). However the region is also responsible for several excellent Chardonnays and Cabernets. There are more varietals on offer from Santa Barbara in smaller quantities, including Merlots and select Malbecs and Viogniers.

Santa Barbara's Wine Country gained notoriety some years back with the release of the movie Sideways, and the region indeed capitalized on the fame. Thankfully, Santa Barbara has managed to retain its mellow, unpretentious appeal. The relaxed pace and easy-going charm actually translated well on screen, and visitors can easily take advantage of it with a well-planned weekend. The region's four main towns-- Solvang, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Ballard -- each have a distinct character. Also worthy of attention is the town of Buellton to the north. Whether exploring the quaint Danish-transplant town of Solvang or discovering one of the many great restaurants in the valley towns, the intrepid traveler will find Santa Barbara County every bit as appealing as California's more famous wine country to the north.

Here are my recommendations for the town of Santa Ynez:

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Categories

Archives