Sometimes, you’ve just got to pamper yourself. Forget the price of admission, and live large with these well-worth-it Wine Country treats:
Top Spa: Kenwood Inn & Spa, Kenwood
Imagine soaking in a bath of wine, while sipping wine…bliss. At this tiny Mediterranean-style oasis, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, sparkling wine salts, oils and grape elixirs are made with crushed grape seeds and grape skins sourced from Sonoma, the Russian River and Napa. Red wine varietals offer great vitamins, and are high in antioxidant content from the powerful polyphenol called resveratrol, which is known as a natural anti-aging product. Follow the treatment up with a sumptuous meal in the private, 35-seat restaurant that is open only to Inn guests, but offered as a secret bonus to spa clients, too. Bay Area residents should ask about the locals discount, giving 20% off Sunday through Thursday. And here’s an extra bit of goodness: a new Good to Glow program offers a fifth spa treatment free with the purchase four Wine Country massage treatments, plus 20% off retail products in The Spa and 10% off in the Restaurant. The soothing Swedish massage is designed to alleviate tension and tightness, and is perfect paired with a wine bath, as well.
Details: 10400 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, 707-833-1293, kenwoodinn.com.
Top Resort: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Sonoma
Blessed by natural mineral hot springs in Sonoma Valley, the heartbeat of this iconic resort is its Willow Stream Spa, spanning 40,000-square-feet with terraces, fireplace salons, baths, and a Watsu pool fed by ancient thermal waters. But even if you never makes it to the spa, the recently renovated rooms brim with relaxation and comfort, too, all beautifully appointed with high end furniture and plush beds, and many with fireplaces, private balconies and patios for taking in the glorious views. Unwind at the end of day with complimentary wine tastings in the lounge, followed by dinner at the Michelin award winning Santé.
Details: 100 Boyes Boulevard, Sonoma, 707-938-9000, fairmont.com/sonoma.
Top Restaurant: Madrona Manor, Healdsburg
Bulgarian Osetra caviar with smoked duck gelee and crème fraiche? Yes, please. The historic 1881 Victorian mansion has been lovingly restored by Manor owners Bill and Trudi Konrad, and includes a glamorous, Michelin Star restaurant glittering with fine silver, china, candlelight, and old fashioned luxuries like a cheese cart. The New Californian-Global cuisine from executive chef Jesse Mallgren changes with the seasons, including ingredients from the on-site garden. In spring, that might mean chilled local asparagus with cured egg yolk, sake, and asparagus dashi, or local black cod with miso, chard, soy milk and oxalis (sorrel). The wine list is world-class, too.
Details: 1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-433-4231, madronamanor.com.
Top Winery: Jordan Estate, Healdsburg
The new Estate Tour & Tasting experience crisscrosses the nearly 1,200-acre Alexander Valley property to enjoy a farm-to-table, wine-and-food-tasting excursion showcasing foods grown on the property. It’s the first time in the chateau property’s four-decade history that the entire private estate can be viewed by the public, and it’s a remarkable discovery – under the direction of second-generation vintner John Jordan, the estate has evolved into a working ranch with chickens for eggs, cattle for beef, bees for honey, olive oil, and a cutting garden for floral arrangements. More than three-quarters of the estate is dedicated to natural habitat, too, an oasis where craggy oak trees surround the vineyards, herons and geese swim the lakes, and rabbits and deer roam the rolling hills. Rounding it out is 110 acres of grapevines, 18 acres of olives trees, gardens, lakes, pastures and endless woods, all capped by a new glass-encased food and wine tasting pavilion atop a knoll at 650-feet-elevation with 360-degree views of the North Coast Ranges’ Mayacamas and Vaca mountains. Up to 12 guests can join for three-hour tour via luxury vehicle and by foot.
Details: 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, 800-654-1213, jordanwinery.com.
Top Event: Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, Sonoma County (September 4-6, 2015)
Sonoma County’s top wine and food artists gather for three action packed days of winery lunches and dinners, vineyard barbecues, an opening night “Starlight” supper club party at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and the finale Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction. Some 2,500 guests snatch up every last ticket for Taste of Sonoma, a walk-around eating and drinking extravaganza of more than 200 artisan wineries, growers, chefs and food purveyors at MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg, while the auction sells every last seat each year, too, for wine-fueled, often-a-bit-crazy bidding on things like very valuable wine collections. To make everything even easier, the Starlight and grand Taste events include shuttle options from Pure Luxury Transportation.
Tip: Be green while you’re enjoying another bit of pampering – the drive – by hiring a private limo or Town Car for door-to-door service. Pure Luxury Transportation is a leader in environmental responsibility. As members of Green Ride Global™, Pure Luxury has committed to GHG emissions reductions from all areas of the company’s business operations of 20 percent over the next 5 years.