Romantic weekend away in Sonoma County for Valentine's Day

 Kick back and relax in Sonoma County this Valentine's Day.  Enjoy artisan winemaking at it's finest. Photo: Paradise Ridge Winery, Santa Rosa, Sonoma. Image: Paradise Ridge

SONOMA, February 11, 2013 – Nothing says romance like a weekend away in wine country.  Kick back and relax in Sonoma County this Valentine’s Day.  Enjoy artisan winemaking at its finest.  It’s not too late to book a romantic getaway.  Here’s a list of what’s happening around the County for Valentine’s Day.



Claypool Cellars, SebastopolIf you’d like to wait for the Valentine’s Day crowds to die down and are looking for something a little different, check out Claypool Cellars’ 2nd Annual Sauerkraut Party.  Yes, this is the very same rock n’ roller Les Claypool from Primus fame, and he digs wine. The event will be Saturday, February 23, 5:30-8 pm at their Fancy Booze Caboose Tasting room in Sebastopol.  $35 will get you two full glasses of wine (2010 Fancy blend and 2010 Russian River Pinot), a bowl of authentic Polish sauerkraut, and a commemorative etched Claypool Cellars glass. Starlight Restaurant will also be offering some Polish delicacies (reservations are suggested for dinner).  Polish dress is encouraged, but not required.


Fritz Winery, Dry Creek, tasting room looking out. Image: Fritz.


Fritz Underground Winery, Dry Creek – Fritz is featuring a romantic and indulgent artisan chocolate truffle and wine tasting for Valentine’s Day.  At Fritz you sit atop the Sonoma hills where you can take in all of Dry Creek Valley below you.  Try their reserve red wines paired with these amazing handmade artisan chocolate truffles from Salt Side Down Chocolates.  The tasting is available for $35 per person.

Naked Wines, Kenwood – In the spirit of love, and love for wine, Naked Wines is holding a “Passion for Pinot” event on February 9, where you can taste three elusive Pinot Noirs from unique and up-and-coming winemakers.  Enjoy their blooming mustard fields on their pet-friendly patio, and stroll about in their winemaking facility.  Tickets are $10 each.

Paradise Ridge, Santa Rosa – Paradise Ridge is exactly that, a winery up on a ridge with an outdoor tasting bar that overlooks Sonoma with love literally in front of you, everywhere you look.  They are offering a Valentine’s in Paradise tasting that consists of a wine flight of their current releases, two spectacular wine and cheese pairings, including their highly coveted Sparkling Shiraz.  Advance reservations required, $30 per couple.  Available February 14 – 17.

Pedroncelli, Geyserville – If you are going to be spending Valentine’s Day with friends, you must try Pedroncelli’s recently released easy drinking red blend wine.  It’s just the right amount of fruitiness with a light slap in the face of spice.  Enjoy with your friends over dinner or just drink it alone.


Raymond Burr Vineyards, Dry Creek, Sonoma. Image: R Burr


Raymond Burr Vineyards, Dry Creek – Driving along the northern end of West Dry Creek Road and just south of Lake Sonoma, you will find Raymond Burr Winery.  And yes, this is the same Raymond Burr from Perry Mason.  Raymond had a lot of passion in his life. Passion for acting, horticulture (he and his partner registered over 250 new orchid hybrids), and wine.  This Saturday they are hosting a Chocolate Frenzy event where they are featuring chocolate in all its healthy forms: cookies, candies, brownies and chunks.  All paired with their award-winning Cabs and Bordeaux blends. The Raymond Burr Cabernets are very much like the man; big, full of gusto, complex and jubilantly alive.  This lovely chocolate event is complimentary to all.

West Wines, Dry Creek – On Valentine’s weekend February 14-17, West Wines is featuring their Crest Cuvee paired with dark chocolate brownies with coffee and Armagnac prunes. They also offer a “sneak-away in the vineyard” experience where you will be surrounded by the vineyard in a cottage complete with a hot tub, private wine tasting and an old oak tree to sit under and gaze at the countryside.

Hope-Merrill House B&B, Geyserville, Sonoma. Image: Hope-Merrill


Hope-Merrill Bed & Breakfast Inn, Geyserville – With 20 wineries within a 5-minute drive, and another 50 within a 15-minute drive, this B&B is the perfect location to begin and end your romantic getaway. This perfectly restored, vintage B&B has plenty of charm and elegance. Previously a stagecoach stop, the inn just oozes old school romance. Enjoy a country breakfast every morning served in the formal dining room, and finish off the day with a glass of wine on the porch while taking in views of the Northern Sonoma wine country. For dinner, take a stroll down the street to Catelli’s.

Courtyard by Marriott, Santa Rosa – The Courtyard by Marriott is expertly located in Santa Rosa in the middle of the Historic Railroad District, as well as perfectly situated between Sonoma Valley and Russian River wineries. On Day One you can visit southern Sonoma and sample a large variety of wines, and on Day Two taste the elegant and food-friendly Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of the Russian River region. The hotel offers great last-minute weekend deals that start at $129 a night.


Raymond’s Bakery B&B, Cazadero - The Elim Grove cottages offer you the perfect place to enjoy a Valentine’s Day in Sonoma County. Relax and unwind in the tranquility and beauty of giant redwoods towering above. The cottages are located on the grounds of award-winning Raymond’s Bakery. While you are here, you are welcome to enjoy an afternoon in the garden, take a stroll along Austin Creek, play bocce, relax under the gazebo or nap under the Gravenstein apple tree. In the evenings unwind by the campfire. If you are there on a Friday night, stick around for pizza and live music outside in the redwood grove.

Cazadero, Sonoma CA: Raymond’s Bakery cottages


Sonoma is home to many fine restaurants and, lucky for wine travelers, they are found all over Sonoma County.  So, if you are staying in Sonoma Valley, Anderson Valley, or somewhere in between, there is a plethora of lusciously romantic restaurants to consider.  Here’s a top ten list of restaurants in Sonoma:

-        Baci Café & Wine Bar, Healdsburg

-        Café Lucia, Healdsburg

-        Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar, Sonoma

-        Catelli’s Restaurant, Geyserville

-        Hot Box Grill, Sonoma

-        Kenwood Restaurant, Kenwood

-        Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Santa Rosa

-        Rudy’s, Sonoma

-        Willi’s Wine Bar, Santa Rosa

-        Zin Restaurant & Wine Bar, Healdsburg

Cafe Lucia, Healdsburg, Sonoma. Image: Cafe Lucia.


VinOlivo Festival Weekend, Sonoma Valley– January and February are officially olive season in Sonoma Valley. There are complimentary olive oil tastings all over Sonoma Valley.  And starting Friday, February 15, you can celebrate four fun-filled days with 60 wineries and 25 restaurateurs in one festive and romantic weekend.  There will be olive-themed events, cooking classes, seminars and artisan markets, even olive-infused spa treatments to try. The headliner event is The Grand Tasting on Friday night. Tickets start at $25 for a one-day pass.



Read more of Sherrie’s work in Wine Country Weekly and at Out And About San Francisco in the Communities section of the Washington Times.  Follow Out and About on Twitter and on Facebook for even more inside scoop.  Follow her on Pinterest to follow the visual story.


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Sherrie Perkovich

Sherrie is a perky, music and wine-loving, Northern California local that seeks out and spreads the word about San Francisco experiences as well as unforgettable wine-related travel experiences.  She is CMO of The Grape Hunter USA, where they focus on helping artisan wineries and developing unique wine travel for consumers. Follow her on Twitter @BigNoseWino

Sherrie is a San Francisco local that fancies herself an extroverted fine dining, wine drinking, know-it-all.  If it’s happening near SF, Sherrie is in on it.  Follow her columns,  for the widest range of Out and About San Francisco ~ San Jose treats and Wine Country Weekly.  


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