Bardessono Resort & Spa
A trip up the California coast to wine country is a great vacation for oenophiles and anyone looking for great farm to table food, delicious wine and relaxation in a gorgeous setting.
California is one of the leading winemaking regions in the world. More than 600,000 acres of the Golden State are dedicated to growing more than 100 grape varieties.
Here’s some great choices for a perfect California wine country getaway.
Bardessono Resort & Spa
Hotel Virginia Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
If stopping along the way, Santa Barbara is the perfect destination for a night of rest. Pacifica Hotels opened the beautiful boutique Hotel Virginia Santa Barbara, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, last August. Located in the heart of Santa Barbara, the beautiful Spanish designed resort underwent an extensive remodel and rebrand, now offering 61 guest rooms and suites. We loved the pretty tiled bathrooms, big comfy beds, brick and beige and brown color scheme and proximity to the beach and State Street. Reservations at https://www.hotelvirginiasb.com.
This LEED Platinum Certified hotel in Yountville exudes luxury, with modern innovative architecture, a beautifully designed landscaping housing pretty sculptures and water features and a great restaurant. Spacious rooms can include private patios, fireplaces, huge bathrooms with large soaking tubs, comfy big beds and private outdoor showers. The pool deck with stellar mountain views and seasonal gardens are also worth a visit. Reservations at https://www.bardessono.com.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
This historic Mission style Fairmont resort has so many onsite perks that you could spend all weekend enjoying the 40,000 square foot spa with mineral water soaking pools; in a private poolside cabana; sipping wine in the lobby by the big fireplace; dining on Modern American cuisine at the elegant Santé restaurant; strolling the beautiful lush grounds or lounging in a suite with a private fireplace, balcony and Jacuzzi tub. Reservations at www.fairmont.com/sonoma.
River Terrace Inn
This pretty 106-room property near downtown Napa and the Napa River offers a great location to explore nearby wineries, take a ride on one of their free cruiser bikes, enjoy the small heated pool and dine at their ALBA restaurant for breakfast or dinner. Many of the newly renovated rooms and suites include fireplaces, private balconies, jetted tubs and large showers. Reservations at https://www.riverterraceinn.com.
Santa Barbara, CA
This modern farm to table restaurant near downtown Santa Barbara is the perfect place to stop for a bite on the way to Napa. Sit in the big romantic patio or venture inside for more intimate dining. Every dish is outstanding, including their ricotta dumplings with strawberry marsala; Santa Maria barbeque tri-tip; Ranch chicken with vegetables; acorn tagliatelle with smoked vegetables and their twenty-four medley of chocolate desserts. Reservations at https://www.barbareno.com.
Housed in the beautiful Bardessono Hotel and Spa, Lucy offers seasonal farm to table dishes. Diners can choose to sit in the intimate outdoor patio around a fire pit and enjoy views of the beautifully designed water features and gardens or opt to sit inside in spacious comfy booths or tables with wood and grey accents. Start off with the four cheese arancini; local cheese and charcuterie or ahi tuna carpaccio with Asian pear. Main dishes include a seared king salmon with pumpkin spaetzle; duck breast; sole with black truffle or short ribs with celery root. They also have an extensive wine list and delicious specialty cocktails. Reservations at https://www.bardessono.com.
This semi-formal restaurant tucked inside the Fairmont Sonoma lobby offers California inspired French cuisine. The dining room has a view of their giant glass walled wine storage area from comfy white tablecloth tables accented with plum velvet chairs. Dishes highlight seasonal ingredients from local farms, including roasted beets, burrata and fig, grilled squid salad, artichoke ravioli, duck breast, mustard crusted lamb and a Wagyu chateaubriand for two. Reservations at www.fairmont.com/sonoma.
This spacious pretty indoor/outdoor restaurant features a large bar and lounge and floor to ceiling windows. Dishes are big and sharable, including a charcuterie and cheese board, potato frico, corn bread with maple butter, Brussels sprout salad, salmon with broccoli rabe, grilled chicken and honey-nut orecchiette. Reservations at https://www.riverterraceinn.com.
Stop at Indigo Moon in Cambria for the beautiful patio or garden seating and classic comfort cuisine. Starters include a fig and olive tapenade, bacon mac and cheese, crabcakes with chili lime sauce or steamed clams. Main dishes include salmon tacos, fish and chips, scallops, a variety of steaks, lamb, risotto with butternut squash and fettuccini with shrimp and artichokes. Reservations at www.indigomoonrestaurant.com.
This upscale small production winery is exclusive and worth the pricey tasting fee. Located on a hill in the middle of the Napa Valley, the outside views are pretty and panoramic. Our tasting included a wine and jelly ravioli, cheese and duck breast with four gorgeous red wines and a sauvignon blanc. Our favorite was the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon with flavors or dark berry and espresso , $150 per tasting, reservations required at https://www.cardinale.com.
Nickel & Nickel
Nickel & Nickel is a sprawling Oakville property housing a pretty 19thcentury historic farmhouse with gorgeous antiques and a lovely garden, restored barn and expansive winery producing mostly 100 percent varietal single vineyard cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay merlot and syrah wines. The tour includes viewing the winemaking facility, barns and information about and soil samples from vineyard sites. Our tasting included eight cabs with charcuterie and cheese. Our favorite was the 2019 Hayne Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon with large red plum and raspberry flavors, $80 per tasting, reservations at https://nickelandnickel.farniente.com.
New Frontier Wine Tasting Lounge
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Napa, this cozy wine lounge offers affordable tastings from a wide variety of wineries all around the globe. The small space offers comfy leather sofas and blue velvet armchairs to sip a six flight tasting of reasonably priced whites and reds for $65 per tasting. Reservations at https://www.newfrontierwines.com.
Stonestreet Estate Vineyard
It’s worth the drive to the Alexander Valley to visit Stonestreet Estate Vineyard with stunning views and equally stunning wines including their single vineyard cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and sauvignon blancs. Request to sit on the lawn overlooking the pretty valley and view hillside vineyards while sipping full fruit flavored wines. We loved the 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with flavors of dark raspberry, plum and chocolate. Starting at $75 per tasting, reservations at https://www.stonestreetwines.com.
This cozy tasting room located in the heart of downtown Healdsburg offers affordable luxury wines focusing on pinot noir. The very affordable Flight of the Banshee tasting is only $40 and features five wines including a rosé, two chardonnays, pinot noir and a cabernet ranging from $28 to $70. Reservations at email@example.com.
Bouchon Bakery and Finesse
Head to downtown Yountville to check out Thomas Keller’s famous Bouchon bakery, featuring sweet treats including croissants, pastries, bread and bites. They also carry Keller’s K + M chocolate brand. Try to get there early to avoid the lines.
Just around the corner is Keller’s Finesse shop where you can find knives, bowls, cookbooks and much more. Explore this small shop full of beautiful kitchenware and pick up one of Keller’s famous cookbooks.
JCB Tasting Salon,
Make sure to stop by the luxurious JCB Tasting Salon in Yountville. Named after its curator Jean Charles Boiseet, this unique salon showcases one-of-a-kind jewelry, perfumes, candles, stemware, Lalique glassware, home furnishings and artwork. We loved the Gala Champagne and Caviar Sparkling Wine. Tasting prices vary, Information at https://jcbcolletion.com.
Whether you plan to visit a few or many locations in California wine country, it’s the perfect spot to unwind, relax and sample some of the best wine and food in the world.