For kids, a great camp is often the highlight of summer. So, figured Ramekins Culinary School owners Sarah and Darius Anderson, why not offer an equivalent adventure for adults? Except in this case, their Sonoma camp may be the highlight of a lifetime.
Wine Country Cuisine Camp begins next Monday, running June 27 to July 1, followed by a Wine Harvest Camp slated for October 17 to 21. But don’t expect sleeping bags and dining hall chow. For both, “deluxe” is an understatement.
First, the accommodations. For five days, campers rough it at Ramekins’ private Inn and spa, a rustic rammed earth, French-style chateau of six guest rooms just off historic Sonoma Square in the heart of the downtown corridor of boutiques, restaurants and wine tasting rooms. “Campfire” cooking in the Inn’s Courtyard means a wood-burning pizza oven, an outdoor fireplace, a fully stocked bar, lush wisteria vines and flower beds.
Through the Cuisine Camp week, activities feature culinary instruction from guest chefs, wine education from noted professionals, and trips to local wineries and sustainable farms.
Classes take place in two state-of-the-art cooking classrooms, limited to just ten students and showcasing locally sourced ingredients for classes in French sauces, cheese making, pastry, bread baking, meat preparation and a variety of cooking methods.
Winery trips with tastings and seminars are planned for Hanzell Vineyards, Cline Cellars, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards and Scribe Winery, offering an insider’s look at grape harvesting, wine production, tasting and food pairing.
Spa treatments are included, and when guests depart, they will bring with them a custom recipe book, personalized chef’s coat, and a professional knife.
The headliner, however, is a private dinner at chef Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, on Wednesday evening following a special tour of the legendary Napa Valley winery Opus One.
For the October Wine Harvest Camp, the package features much of the above, plus a Library Dinner at Hanzell Vineyards.
Not surprisingly, cost for these camps isn’t a typical tent-and-s’mores tariff. Enrollment is $4,000 per person single occupancy and $3,635 per person for double occupancy.
Details: Ramekins Culinary School & Inn, 450 West Spain St., Sonoma, 707-933-0450, ramekins.com.
Tip: Ramekins and Pure Luxury Transportation coordinate many events together. Be sure to ask about special packages on limos and Town Cars for your camping getaway.