Wine Country Travel

napa-sign-635x456

I am blessed to have the opportunity to travel the world chasing the grape, tasting some of the most incredible wines available from region to region, in some pretty cool places.

If you are getting ready for a wine country get away, consider one of these spots to stay in any of the places noted below. Some are a little pricier than others, but I wouldn’t recommend them if they were not worth it.

If you need help planning your entire wine country visit, let me know, would love to help you plan a get away to remember.  Email me at Hayley@DallasUncorked.org.

Happy Hour at Poetry Inn

Happy Hour at Poetry Inn

Napa Valley

I’ve had the opportunity to stay in many different places in Napa, with Poetry Inn by Cliff Lede being our absolute favorite. But, it is an Inn with only 5 rooms, so it is not always available.

Balcony overlooking Stag's Leap and Yountville vineyards in the Robert Frost suite at Poetry Inn

Balcony overlooking Stag’s Leap and Yountville vineyards in the Robert Frost suite at Poetry Inn

Until I had a chance to stay at Poetry I thought you couldn’t do any better, ever, than Meadowood Resort and Spa in St. Helena, and for great golf, an incredible pool, brand new spa facility, hidden, cozy cottages and complete serenity. The Resort also boasts one of the only  3 Michelin star experiences in the region at the incredible Restaurant at Meadowood from Chef Christopher Kostow. It is an incredible place and always a delight to visit.

Details on one of my latest dinners with Chef Kostow linked here.

The stunning interior of 3 Michelin star Restaurant at Meadowood

The stunning, cottage-like interior of 3 Michelin star Restaurant at Meadowood

In Napa proper there is a quaint hotel called the Andaz, a Hyatt property that isn’t too fancy, but well located across the street from Oenotri, a must on the Napa eating list.  Guest concierges greet you with a glass of wine at check in and wifi is free. The prices are usually very affordable as well.

If staying in Yountville give Hotel Yountville a try. Perfectly located

If you are traveling with a group, consider renting a house, like the guest house at Cline Cellars in Carneros, perfect for cooking big dinner parties and relaxing with friends.

Palisades Wine Company Events Outdoor Area

Palisades Wine Company Events Outdoor Area

If you have an event you want to do in wine country there are few places as beautiful, serene or well appointed at Palisades Wine Company.  Owned by winemakers Amy Aiken (Meander Wines) and her husband Joel Aiken (Aiken and Amici Wines,) along with Amici co-owners John Harris, Celia & Bob Shepard and Bart Woytowicz, the guest house and massive front garden are perfect for hosting anything from business team building workshops to a beautiful wedding under twinkle lights looking out on to the hills of Calistoga. If you plan an event with Palisades make sure to take the time to taste with them as well in their tasting room up the hill….some of the finest Napa Valley wines are produced in their small, yet surprisingly functional space.

Sonoma County, CA
One of the most romantic places Gary and I have stayed in wine country was on our first trip out together when we stayed at Kenwood Inn and Spa, and have done so again and again since then. No TV’s, huge pool and spa, massive feather beds, fireplaces and a delicious breakfast included in the morning.

Kenwood Inn and Spa

Kenwood Inn and Spa

Our first wine country trip in 2008 to the Kenwood Inn

Our first wine country trip in 2008 to the Kenwood Inn

Okanagen, British Columbia, CA

IMG_0874

View from God’s Mountain

Stunning dinner high atop God’s Mountain on the Naramata Bench of Canada’s BC wine country.

Willamette Valley, OR

Large guest house at Stoller Vineyards sleeps 8, and includes this outdoor deck overlooking one of the ponds on the property.

Large guest house at Stoller Vineyards sleeps 8, and includes this outdoor deck overlooking one of the ponds on the property.

Like in Napa there are few things better than staying at a working winery.  The guest Houses at Stoller Vineyards in the Dundee Hills of Willamette Valley are wonderful for staying with big or small groups. There are three available to rent with a variety of bed room options, perfect if you are traveling with one or more couples, and at very reasonable prices for wine country.  Stoller’s location is also prime for visiting their eco-friendly tasting room and some of their neighbors, like our favorites Domaine Serene, Domaine Drouhin and Winderlea.

chardonnay sign

Stay in Portland proper and visit Willamette during the day, it is just a 40 minute drive. The recently remodeled luxury Sentinel Hotel was the classic Governor Hotel, now with a $6 millon makeover and refreshed look, but still with the history the classic hotel so proudly bears.

Gary and I love nothing more than to sit on the bank or the Willamette River in Portland in rocking chairs at The Riverplace Hotel watching boats go by while sipping a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir.  It just doesn’t get much better.

More on events and places to stay in Willamette in my post on the SALUD! Wine Auction hereoriginally published on D Magazine/SideDish

Woodinville, WA

Willows Inn, Woodinville, WA

Willows Inn, Woodinville, WA

About 20 minutes outside of Seattle is a quaint town called Woodinville, home of Chateau Ste. Michelle and about 100 tasting rooms from wineries either born in the area or that have vineyards scattered throughout the hard to travel through state, like wineries in Walla Walla or Horse Haven Hills. Right across from Ste. Michelle is the Willows Lodge, home of the well known Herbfarm restaurant set amongst towering trees of Northern Washington, making you feel as though you have escaped to a country lodge, enhanced by fireplaces and huge soaking tubs in each room, and a massive fire-pit outside the lodge like lobby where happy hour glasses of Walla Walla wine allows relaxation to wash over you.

About 10 minutes south, on the shore of Lake Washington is the Woodmark Hotel and Yacht Club where we have stayed for enjoying both a little wine country as well as a Mariners game and a walk around Pike Place Market in Seattle.  Beautiful views of the city across the water, comfortable rooms and a great wine bar.  (Just ask not to be in the room above the AC unit.) A plus – the hotel is dog friendly is traveling with furry friends.

Mendoza, Argentina
Outside of Poetry Inn, the most divine place I have had a chance to stay was at my friend CeCi and Martin’s wine lodge, nestled on a 55 acre vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. A Relais & Chateau property, The Cavas Wine Lodge was the first luxury lodge in South America, made up of 20 casistas, or freestanding guest residences, most with multiple rooms, including an upstairs sun-terrace and an outdoor patio with plunge pool and alfresco shower.

The Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza, Argentina

The Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza, Argentina

Gorgeous bathrooms with massive bathtubs built for two and cozy fireplaces to keep you warm on cold winter nights. The main building includes their spac (with shockingly inexpensive treatments), restaurant, pool, wine cellar and lounge. When the Cavas was opened there was nothing else like it in Argentina, and I would guess there is still nothing quite as special as this serene, mystical place. More about this beautiful place in the link below.

We’re Expoloring: Argentina

The Douro Region of Portugal –
The Vineyard House Hotel

Texas Hill Country

Rias Baixas, Spain

The far north-western part of Spain is best known to locals as Green Spain because the Galician region, with its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and northern location is one of the rainiest and coolest in the country. The fertile region, known for their crisp, aromatic Alabrino wines is one of the most beautiful in the world as well. When traveling to the region, whether you are in Santiago de Compostella, home of the famed cathedral the marks the end of the thought-provoking Camino, or walk, or Pontevedre, in the heart of Rias Baixas wine country, consider staying at one of the many Paradores Hotels. Historic, beautiful and quaint, many former castles and cathedrals transformed into modern day hotels.

More on the region in my segment from “The Broadcast” here.

And story from D Magazine/SideDish, here. What To Drink Now: Rias Baixas originally published on D Magazine/SideDish

Bordeaux, France

Postcard from Bordeaux – originally published on D Magazine/SideDish

Madrid, Spain

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Big Island of Hawaii

Sauternes, France

Postcard from Sauternes originally published on D Magazine/SideDish

Many more destinations to come. Check our link from segments on “The Broadcast” for more wine country destinations as well.

 

 

One thought on “Wine Country Travel

  1. Poetry Inn is a gem! We’ve stayed many places in Napa but for our birthday we selected the Poetry Inn and it did not disappoint.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s