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Wine Country Weddings
Storybook settings for your Special Day
The natural beauty found throughout California’s Wine Country creates a storybook setting for the most romantic day of your life, your wedding. Whether you select an intimate celebration in a lush vineyard or a large cliff-side ceremony overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the ambiance will surely be unforgettable.
Wineries are a popular wedding location choice. Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves in Sonoma offers an intimate reception under the stars and exclusive use of their facilities for your celebration. Merryvale Vineyard's Historic Cask Room is renowned as one of Napa Valleys most enchanting event settings. Capture the magic of the moment with a professional photographer, such as Kopol Bonick Photography.
For those adventurous romantics, wedding ceremonies are available at 2,000 feet above the valley! If you want a spectacular vineyard view while you say “I do,” Napa Valley Aloft, Inc. will perform your ceremony in a Hot Air Balloon!
Throughout the Wine Country you’ll also find extravagant resorts available for parties big and small. Silverado Resort and Spa has luxurious facilities for your rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and post wedding brunch. Located in the Napa Valley, this sophisticated resort will add a sure touch of elegance to your Wine Country wedding. Traveling along the California coast you’ll find magnificent resorts available for wedding services, such as Santa Barbara’s Bacara Resort . Bacara Resort will even help combat the stress by providing the bridesmaids a day of beauty at the spa prior to the wedding!
Take the stress out of planning by using a wedding planner. Vineyard Bride & Events in Napa Valley offers services ranging from researching locations to full event day coordination! Choosing a ceremony officiant is also an important decision. At Blessings to You the bride and groom can be involved in creating the wedding vows and other ceremony rituals. Adding personal touches to the ceremony, such as involving family and friends, is encouraged.
Following is a quote from a WineCountry.com visitor who recently married in Sonoma:
A beautiful Wine Country wedding celebration will make your special day truly unforgettable!
A Day in Mendocino
Mendocino County: Northern California Wine Country and Coastal Splendor
There are many wineries in the Hopland, Ukiah, and Redwood Valleys from which to choose, and Fetzer Vineyards is a must see. In fact, it may be your destination should you choose to stay in one of the 10 rooms available on the estate. Fetzer’s Visitor Center offers wine tasting and tours, a gift center, beautiful gardens, and a wonderfully relaxing environment.
The acclaimed Yorkville Highlands and Anderson Valley stretches from west of Cloverdale to Navarro, just a few miles from the coast. There are more than a dozen wineries to visit, but don’t miss Yorkville Cellars and their award-winning organically grown wines, or Esterlina Vineyards in Philo, where they are "Quietly making wines that are too good to ignore." While in Philo, consider staying at the Highland Ranch Inn, where they have perfected the long neglected fine art of "hammocking."
There are many options for lodging in Mendocino County. If you have golf, spa, and dining on your mind, then the Little River Inn in Little River is an excellent choice. A few miles North on Hwy 1 is the historic village of Mendocino—a town known for its romantic walks, historic luxury inns, fine dining, and shopping. There you will find the c.o. Packard House, with innkeepers Maria and Dan Levin, displaying talent in their cooking, craftsmanship, taste in décor, and attention to detail—the Spanish Sherry they have awaiting you in your room is a nice touch.
You may wish to enjoy both warm accommodations and fine dining at the MacCallum House Inn, Restaurant and Bar, where Chef Alan Kantor’s food is creative and outstanding. The Alegría Oceanfront Inn and Cottages offers great service, fantastic ocean views, and the beach a mere 200 steps from the garden’s edge. Those who travel with furry best friends can enjoy affordable luxury and a dog-friendly environment at McElroy’s Cottage Inn. So many wonderful places to stay!
The locals say when the storms crash into the coast in November, Mendocino takes on an especially romantic feel as ocean views also become ocean sounds. When you plan your next trip to the Wine Country, you must consider Mendocino County.
CITRONELLE Restaurant at the Santa Barbara Inn
The rumor that Isabelle Alexandre will take the famous CITRONELLE Restaurant in Santa Barbara to a new level of excellence is true. This was confirmed by representatives of WineCountry.com who had the delight of enjoying a spectacular tasting menu prepared by Isabelle in CITRONELLE's elegant surroundings with its breathtaking views of the Pacific coastline.
Chef Isabelle follows the spirit of Chef Michel Richard, but brings to each dish her own very unique qualities of whimsical delight. Born in Toulouse, France, Isabelle originally trained at Georges Blanc Vonnas, a three-star restaurant in France renowned for French Nouvelle Cuisine. You may have had the pleasure of tasting her cooking at Michel Richard’s Bistro which she opened in San Francisco. We join in the excitement of the Santa Barbara Inn staff at having such an accomplished chef at CITRONELLE.
Each dish, so elegantly prepared, was an art piece to behold. Among the array of sumptuous dishes were Tuna Tartare paired with a glass of Qupe Chardonnay from the Santa Ynez Valley. For those of you who cannot pass up Foie Gras on a menu, Isabelle’s preparation of Foie Gras with Orange Gastric was a treat beyond words. The most attractive presentation of Duck Aiguilette with Apple Risotto and Dried Cherry Sauce was the winner, and this was an extremely difficult decision given the delectable choices! A light and energizing desert of Napoleon with Lemon Sorbet and Fresh Berry Coulis was a delightful finish to this unforgettable meal.
CITRONELLE’s new, $100,000 wine cellar houses over 500 different selections of the finest wines in the world, including outstanding selections from Santa Barbara’s own local vineyards, and has earned the coveted Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence”
In addition to being the longtime favorite of local residents, CITRONELLE was voted "one of six restaurants in the entire U.S. with perfect food," by the Conde Nast Traveler Reader's Poll, as well as "Best Restaurant in Santa Barbara" by the Los Angeles Times.
Visit the CITRONELLE website for
more information and to peruse their current menus and wine
Battle of the Appellations
WineCountry.com presents Battle of the Appellations!
The Battle of the Appellations is a contest conducted quarterly by WineCountry.com wine enthusiasts! Eight panalist go two rounds in a blind food and wine tasting to answer the question: Which wine best pairs with each dish?
The idea is to have wines from various appellations throughout the California Wine Region compete as they are paired with selected gourmet dishes. A host restaurant chooses two dishes to prepare for the event, and a select number of wineries are then invited to participate. The wineries submit their suggested wine for the "perfect pairing!" A winner is chosen for each dish!
Our most recent Battle of the Appellations event was a smashing success!
Date: October 24, 2002
@ Sheraton Petaluma
Featured Menu Items:
"Cheers" to Great wine, great food,
and delicious competition!
Tasting Room Recommendation
Santa Barbara Winery – Wine Country in Downtown Santa Barbara
Planning a trip to Santa Barbara? – Experience the Wine Country right in the heart of town!
Treat yourself to a peek at the winemaking process while tasting some of Santa Barbara finest wines at Santa Barbara Winery. Located in downtown Santa Barbara, this winery offers a wonderful Wine Country experience. Every step of the winemaking process takes place on location and visitors can taste wine while viewing the activity in the barrel room. Browse through some wonderful gift selections and find yourself tempted to do all your holiday shopping in one place. Gift ideas include glassware, coasters, t-shirts, gift baskets, chocolates and some wonderful gourmet samplings.
A WineCountry.com staff member recently visited Santa Barbara Winery and was delighted to report this story with a twist that will peak the interest of Zinfandel enthusiasts. Santa Barbara Winery's 1999 Zinfandel harvest initially looked disappointing because the winemaker, Bruce, noticed the grapes were beginning to pucker right before harvest that year. Fortunately, the finished wine was quite a delicious surprise, and the harvest ended up being one of the best in terms of quality for that decade! The dry Fall that year led to a distinct black pepper flavor in the finished wine; a flavor that is classic in Zinfandel, but is usually subdued in relationship to the raspberry character Santa Barbara Winery tends to get from their vineyard. This was the first time in 30 years that a distinct black pepper character developed in the Zinfandel.
The lively raspberry character typical of their Zinfandel encouraged Santa Barbara Winery to create Beaujour, a Nouveau style wine similar to the Beaujolais Nouveau made in France, but made with 100% Zinfandel instead of Gamay. The grapes are fermented as whole berry clusters (carbonic maceration), and the wine never touches wood. The Beaujour is a bright, full-bodied fruit-forward Zinfandel that is released right before Thanksgiving of the year it is harvested as part of the Harvest Celebration. Beaujour is a great wine for the Holidays as well as BBQ's the following summer.
Check out the full story on Santa Barbara Winery, and shop their online store at www.sbwinery.com
Adagio Inn in the Napa Valley
Adagio Inn – Restful for mind, body and spirit!
In the heart of the Wine Country, just off St. Helena’s historic Main Street, you’ll find the elegant and luxurious Adagio Inn. Recently renovated with the decorative talent of the innkeepers, John and Patti Valletta, this bed and breakfast is magnificent! The intimate surroundings of European splendor, and the gracious attentiveness of the Valletta’s, leave you feeling like royalty!
Adagio Inn offers three majestic suites each decorated with impeccable European charm. One quickly notices the utmost attention to detail in every room; an exquisite job furnishing top to bottom with an enchanting motif. Each suite offers a special amenity setting the mood for relaxation and romance. The Concerto suite includes a private sitting room with plush oversized chairs and an old-fashioned claw foot tub/shower bath. A private entrance leads you into the Sonata suite, complete with a two person whirlpool tub. The Prelude suite includes a private deck with a two person spa. Plush robes, fluffy towels, cd player, wine glasses, and personal refrigerators are a few special features that you will find in each suite.
Each suite has a tv/vcr hidden away behind small doors on the wall, allowing the decorative theme to remain untouched. A directory of local Wine Country restaurants and wineries is found in the sitting area of each room to help plan your day. At nightfall turndown service is provided, and chocolates are left on the pillow. There are no worries about a refreshing nights sleep once you snuggle into the soft, lush comforter in your king-sized bed.
Wake up to the smell of homemade muffins baking and fresh coffee brewing as the innkeepers prepare a sumptuous gourmet breakfast . Start off with your choice of espresso drinks, featuring a selection of mocha, caramel, or hazelnut flavors. Mixed fruit smoothies and fresh squeezed orange juice is also available. All choices are absolutely delicious! The main breakfast dishes are served hot from the oven, and are sure to fill you up either on the verandah or inside the quaint sun-filled dining area.
If you and your sweetheart are looking for a few days of romance and relaxation, the Adagio Inn comes highly recommended! The innkeepers uniquely cater to each guest, personalizing the experience with their hospitality. For an unforgettable trip to the Wine Country, experience the Adagio Inn in Saint Helena.
Visit the Adagio Inn at www.adagioinn.com
Events for November
November 21 - 23 -- Full
Moon Mushroom Madness Weekend
November 14 - 21 -- Musical
Comedy Mystery at the Gualala Hotel
For a complete calendar of events in the Mendocino Region, visit: http://mendocino.winecountry.com/events.html
November 7 - 10 -- The Great
Wine Escape Weekend
Ongoing through December
2002 -- Steinbeck Film Festival
For a complete calendar of events in the Monterey Region, visit: http://monterey.winecountry.com/events.html
November 9 - 10 -- Wine
Prospecting on the Silverado
November 29 -- Yountville
Town Lighting Ceremony & Street Faire
For a complete calendar of events in the Napa Valley Region, visit: http://www.napavalley.com/events.html
SAN LUIS OBISPO:
November 15 - 17 -- Paso
Robles Inn Blues Festival
November 23 -- Pretty-Smith
Food Pairing Seminar
For a complete calendar of events in the San Luis Obispo Region, visit: http://sanluisobispo.winecountry.com/events.html
November 8 -- Taming of
the Shrew Ballet
November 10 -- Mozart by
For a complete calendar of events in the Santa Barbara Region, visit: http://santabarbara.winecountry.com/events.html
November 2 - 18 -- Grease!
November 16 -- Pigeon Point
For a complete calendar of events in the Santa Cruz Region, visit: http://santacruz.winecountry.com/events.html
November 16 -- Janeane Garofalo
An Evening of Comedy Hosted by
Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
November 29 -- Holiday Open
House at Paradise
For a complete calendar of events
in the Sonoma Region, visit: http://www.sonoma.com/events.html
Win the "Rollz Royce Limousine Wine Country
Imagine this......your vintage Rolls Royce whisks you and your guests away to the alluring Napa Valley wine growing region of California for a delightful guided tour of both the well-known and little-known hidden treasures of the Valley. Your chauffeur wines and dines you in comfort and style, and you enjoy a catered picnic lunch arranged in advance at a choice location. Throughout the day you enjoy VIP status at every stop, thus making your day one to remember.
At Rollz Royce Limousine we have been known to surprise our guests with a side tour at a family owned winery where it is possible to meet the winemaker and discover the secrets of their handcrafted wines. All in all, we offer you a fun filled day of adventure and exposure to California's richest historical legacy, the Wine Country.
Tour includes: 6 hour limousine
tour for up to four people, tasting fees at four wineries,
• Monterey • Napa
Valley • San Luis
Obispo • Santa Barbara
• Santa Cruz •
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Photography © courtesy of Nicholas Elias