|site index • search • current events • contact us • why advertise with us? • home|
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa
It seems like everyone you meet has a story about the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. Recently renamed the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, this grand dame of Sonoma Valley carries special memories for many within its pink walls through which time does not seem to pass. For some the memories are of their wedding or honeymoon. For others perhaps a marriage proposal over a romantic dinner, or attendance at a grandiose event. Established in 1927 the property sits grandly in the middle of the region Jack London dubbed the Valley of the Moon, perfectly situated for you to explore all that this beautiful area has to offer. This month a member of the WineCountry.com editorial staff decided to see for themselves what this Northern California historic Wine Country resort has to offer.
Built on an area once revered by Native Americans as a sacred healing site, the resort is an oasis of calm. The Inn derives its name and architecture from the Spanish Missions. Lush landscaping, beautifully manicured grounds and sparkling fountains grace the outdoor spaces. The natural subterranean hot mineral springs bubbling beneath the grounds are the heartbeat of the Inn. There are a variety of rooms and suites from which to choose, all beautifully appointed and meticulously clean. Many of the suites feature fireplaces and decks or patios, and offer luxurious surroundings in which to relax after experiencing the soothing thermal mineral water and myriad of treatments offered by the Spa.
The full service Spa has something for everyone. Whether you wish to just take a dip in one of the pools, enjoy the Bathing Ritual or indulge in a full day of treatments, you will come away feeling revived, rejuvenated and ready to enjoy a round of golf or explore the surrounding Wine Country. The Inn’s concierge service can arrange a multitude of activities ranging from wine tours by limousine, guided hikes, biking tours, and balloon rides to a suggestion of where to find a private picnic spot for two. Just take a look around their website…and you will want to make your reservations and start planning your trip.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
The Napa Inn presents The Buford House
The Napa Inn, "Napa's most romantic bed & breakfast inn," has opened a new B&B, The Buford House. Located right next door to the main house, this Romano - Tuscan Italiannate Victorian home in downtown Napa was built in 1877 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Innkeepers Brooke & Jim Boyer spent nearly three years restoring and remodeling The Buford House into the magnificent inn it is today.
A member of the WineCountry.com editorial staff attended The Napa Inn's grand opening celebration on September 25th. The open house was complete with delicious hors d’oeuvres, wine tasting, entertainment, and a ribbon cutting by the Mayor of Napa. What a splendid way to introduce The Buford House!
Lovingly remodeled into a charming bed and breakfast by owners Jim & Brooke Boyer, The Buford House boasts eight elegantly decorated guest rooms - each with its own personality and charm, many with original artwork created by Brooke, adding unique character and style. The Garden Cottage, decorated in French Provincial prints, overlooks a private flower garden. Most of the rooms are named after members of the Buford family or the Boyer family.
All rooms in The Buford House have private baths, heating and air conditioning, telephones, TV's with VCR's, refrigerators, irons, and hairdryers. Most have fireplaces and four have two person whirlpool tubs. Rooms are also thoughtfully appointed with modern amenities such as direct-dial telephones complete with modem connection and voice mail.
For more information on the Napa Inn & the Buford House, visit the web site at http://www.napainn.com/
The revitalization of Downtown Napa is alive and well, and quite evident if you visit Celadon. This fabulous dining experience, right here in Napa, is truly one you won’t want to miss. A favorite of Napa locals since its opening in 1996, Celadon recently moved to a new location in the fully renovated and historic Hatt Marketplace along the Napa River in Historic Downtown Napa.
Recently a WineCountry.com editorial staff member joined friends for a dinner party at Celadon. Great service combined with exquisite ambiance, delicious food, and elegant French Art Nouveau décor all contributed to make the evening a memorable occasion.
Sparkling Napa Valley wines were enjoyed with varied starters, all with exciting flavors. One in particular, a specialty of the house, Flash Fried Calamari with a spicy chipotle chili glaze and pickled ginger was excellent (recipe to follow). Grilled Quail on balsamic lentils with a frisée and fresh herb salad, and a starter of Macadamia Crusted Goat Cheese with port-poached figs and crostini - a dish that is also often served as a dessert - were also marvelous choices. Fresh salads served were the Mixed Greens Salad with cherry tomatoes and champagne vinaigrette and the Endive and Pear Salad with blue cheese, candied walnuts and honey-mustard vinaigrette.
The entrees were extraordinary. Each dish was elegantly prepared and done to perfection. Many in the dinner party ordered the splendid Filet Mignon, served with a rich cabernet sauce on a bed of foie gras, horseradish mashed potatoes, and spinach. Others enjoyed the Grilled Rack of Lamb, outstanding with a wild mushroom risotto and thyme. Equally impressive was the Pan Roasted Chicken Breast complete with garlic polenta, sautéed onions and sweet peppers.
The tempting dessert menu was complete with port and sherry, sweet dessert wines and various coffee drinks. We chose several Sweet Plates, including an Espresso Crème Brulee, Celadon Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier crème anglaise, and more! All were thoroughly enjoyed and provided the grand finale for a dining experience at its finest!
Greg Cole, owner and executive chef,
offers Celadon - "a neighborhood restaurant that over-achieves."
Recipe of the Month
Flash Fried Calamari with a Spicy Chipotle Chili
Glaze and Pickled Ginger
Combine the above ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
2 lb. fresh squid, cut into rings
Heat oil to 375¼ F. Season the calamari rings with salt and pepper. Toss the squid in the flour to coat evenly, shake off excess. Deep fry until golden brown, about two minutes. Drain the squid and combine in a bowl with one cup of chili glaze, sliced pickled ginger, and chives. Arrange on a platter or on plates with reserved glaze for dipping.
Makes six to eight appetizer portions.
Try this delicious recipe provided by Celadon and let us know how it turned out! Send responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Celadon's web site at: www.celadonnapa.com
Tasting Room Recommendation
For visitors looking for an intimate winery experience, S. Anderson is the perfect place. Away from the crowds, guests will find a friendly, relaxed atmosphere at this family-owned winery and enjoy some of the valley's best still and sparkling wines. Located on Yountville Cross Road, at the northern border of the renowned Stags Leap District appellation, S. Anderson is a jewel-like 47 acre estate owned by Cliff Lede.
Members of our WineCountry.com editorial staff recently visited the beautiful grounds for a tour and tasting, and are proud to report an unforgettable experience. Tours are offered twice daily, beginning on the terrace, surrounded by magnificent rose gardens, fountains, and statuary. Looking up, one quickly recognizes the surroundings and picture perfect views of the gorgeous hillside vineyards as a true taste of the Napa Valley!
Tours vary slightly depending on the time of year and the current stage in the winemaking process. The S. Anderson staff will take you on a stroll through the vines, allowing you to witness the activity of the winery, while telling the stories of S. Anderson's past and present. S. Anderson’s caves were the first newly-mined in the Napa Valley in the 20th century, and the first machine-drilled caves ever in the Napa Valley. Your path will lead to these stunning caves, with century-old cathedral ceilings and cobbled floors.
S. Anderson Sparkling varietals are available for tasting in the candlelight of the caves. During our visit, the tasting included a 1997 Napa Valley Brut, a perfect blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with tiers of green apple and Asian pear. This was followed by a 1995 Napa Valley Blanc de Blanc, a spectacular bubbly with pear, lemon, and mango aromas.
Along with a tour, guests are invited to enjoy the award winning S. Anderson wines in a charming, nineteenth century stone pump-house. Wines are poured by the friendly and educated tasting room staff. Be sure to take home a bottle of the highly rated (94 points Wine Spectator) 1999 Stags Leap District SAV Cabernet Sauvignon, displaying the complexity, elegance and velvety texture of pure Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon. S. Anderson still and sparkling wines are also available online at www.sandersonvineyard.com.
S.Anderson operating hours: 10:00am
Grape Leaf Inn – A Luxury Bed & Breakfast in the Wine Country
The small town of Healdsburg is located in the heart of the Wine Country between three prominent Sonoma County wine growing regions: the Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and Alexander Valley. Tucked away in this charming community you will find the Grape Leaf Inn, a romantic 100-year-old rare three-dormer 1900 Queen Anne Victorian. A WineCountry.com staff member recently stayed at the Grape Leaf Inn, and found the experience to be superb.
Magnificently restored and surrounded by lush evergreen trees and beautifully landscaped grounds, this exquisite bed & breakfast inn has twelve luxurious suites, each filled with beautiful antiques. The rooms feature splendid Victorian décor, true to the times, and offer amenities such as whirlpool tub/showers, private fireplaces, king-sized beds, and skylight windows. The Syrah room has a two-person Japanese style soaking tub and steam shower for a unique to relax after a long day of wine tasting. Hosts, Richard and Kae Rosenberg, are gracious and the elegant surroundings are relaxing and soothing.
As the day draws to a close, enter a mysterious portal hidden behind a bookcase and step down into the secret cellar ‘Speakeasy’ to enjoy a wine and cheese tasting, complimentary for all guests. This evening event is unique to the Grape Leaf Inn, and very popular with the guests! During the wine tasting, guests find themselves getting to know each other while exchanging Wine Country stories over a glass of fine Sonoma County wine. By morning, you may be enjoying your country gourmet breakfast with friends!
In the Speakeasy you will find rare boutique wines available for purchase. Take one of these extraordinary wines with you to dinner at one of the fine local restaurants. Perhaps you will want to take a bottle or two home to linger over by the fireside while you reminisce about your stay at the Grape Leaf Inn.
Grape Leaf Inn offers several exciting
and romantic specials throughout the year.
Events for December
December 11 - 13 -- 14th
Annual Candlelight Inn Tours
December 16-17 -- Holiday
For a complete calendar of events in the Mendocino Region, visit: http://mendocino.winecountry.com/events.html
December 7 -- Holiday Celebration
December 8 -- Holiday Homescapes
For a complete calendar of events in the Monterey Region, visit: http://monterey.winecountry.com/events.html
December 6 -- Bordeaux Wine
December 14 -- Holiday Gala
Dinner in the Cask Room
For a complete calendar of events in the Napa Valley Region, visit: http://www.napavalley.com/events.html
SAN LUIS OBISPO:
December 14 -- Pretty-Smith
Holiday Open House
December 14 -- Tobin
James Holiday Open House
For a complete calendar of events in the San Luis Obispo Region, visit: http://sanluisobispo.winecountry.com/events.html
December 7 -- Winter Murder
Mystery Dinner at Gainey Vineyard
December 14 - 15 -- Santa
Ynez Valley Chorale concerts
For a complete calendar of events in the Santa Barbara Region, visit: http://santabarbara.winecountry.com/events.html
December 12 -- Caroling
Under the Stars - Santa Cruz Wharf
For a complete calendar of events in the Santa Cruz Region, visit: http://santacruz.winecountry.com/events.html
December 20 - 21 -- Weekend
Jazz at Hotel Healdsburg
Continuous -- Cooking and
Wine Classes at Ramekins
For a complete calendar of events
in the Sonoma Region, visit: http://www.sonoma.com/events.html
Win a Wine Country Gourmet Getaway for Two!
Relax and let your worries melt away... Journey by rail while you tease your palate with a delicious and decadent five-course gourmet dinner… Sample world class wines… Learn the secrets of Wine Country gourmets …
You could win a the Wine Country Gourmet Getaway for Two, including the Stress Stopper Package from Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort, a five-course gourmet dinner on the famous and historic Napa Valley Wine Train, vineyard and winery tour tickets from Robert Mondavi Winery, and tickets for a gourmet cooking demonstration at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone!.
No purchase necessary. Must be at least 21 years old to enter. Only one entry per person permitted. Winner will be selected February 7, 2002 by random drawing. Winner will be notified by email. Employees of FreeRun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited by law.
Visit Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs
Resort at: http://www.drwilkinson.com/
• Monterey • Napa
Valley • San Luis
Obispo • Santa Barbara
• Santa Cruz •
Gold Country • Temecula • Lake County • Virginia • New York • Oregon • Washington • Texas
What's New? • Newsletters • Wine Country Stories • Discounts / Promotions • Message Boards • Photo Gallery
Current Events • Battle of the Appellations • Special Advertising Opportunity • Why Advertise With Us? • DrinkWine.com
Photography © courtesy of Nicholas Elias