California wine country: Easter weekend elegance

Easter is the perfect reason to plan a weekend in wine country. Spring is in the air. Photo: Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley. Image: S. Perkovich

SONOMA, March 22, 2013 – Easter is the perfect reason to escape to wine country.  Spring is in the air, the weather is warming, flowers are blooming and buds are breaking on the vines.  There is wild mustard growing throughout the vineyards, and it makes for a beautiful sea of yellow intermingled with the tall green grass.  Here are a few picturesque places where you can celebrate Easter and Passover:


Calistoga Kitchen, Napa Valley. Image: S Perkovich.

Calistoga Kitchen, Calistoga: Calistoga Kitchen offers an intimate atmosphere to enjoy great food, wine and people. Located right in the heart of downtown Calistoga, this foodie favorite features ingredient-driven recipes, highlighting local growers, purveyors and wines. On Monday, March 25, they are offering a 4-course Passover Seder dinner for $50 per person. And on Sunday they offer a delicious brunch where the menu changes weekly. Brunch suggestions (if they are on the menu): huevos rancheros, breakfast sandwich, and don’t leave without trying one of their specialty juices or smoothies.

Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville: Robert Mondavi Winery has a new artist exhibit: “Foodies in Exile.” The collection of more than 50 pieces from Davis-based artist Bryce Vinokurov is open for public viewing in the Vineyard Room during winery hours through May 9, 10am -4pm.  The exhibit aims to capture the local and national sustainable food movement through a series of large and small oil paintings, collages, linocuts and intaglio etchings.  These pieces explore how the “locavore” food movement has become a way of life by exhibiting those within their own “foodie” culture. After soaking in the art exhibit, head over to the reserve tasting room and take in some award-winning wines.  Tasting suggestions:  Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Fume Blanc. 


Turnbull Cellars, Napa Valley. Image: S Perkovich


Turnbull Wine Cellars, Oakville: Head to Turnbull for a day filled with world-class fine art photography along side award-winning wines. Through Sunday, Turnbull is featuring the “Ansel Adams American Landscapes” print collection.  Their Reserve Room Gallery is stunning with its beautiful barrels, antique bar, and exposed wood beam cathedral ceiling. Turnbull Wine Cellars has one of the largest permanent photography exhibition spaces on the West Coast. Each show features 60 to 90 original, privately-owned works. They are open daily, 10am-5pm.

Wine tasting suggestions: 2011 Napa Valley Viognier, 2007 Fortuna Merlot, 2008 Leopoldina Cabernet Franc, and 2007 Black Label Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  And check out their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, they are releasing it on Saturday, March 23.


Silverado Vineyards, Napa Valley. Image: Silverado.


A Silverado 2-fer:  First at Silverado Resort and Spa, locals and visitors alike can celebrate the spring holidays with a winemaker dinner Thursday, high tea Saturday or a festive Easter Buffet on Sunday, March 31, in Silverado’s Ballroom from 10:30am to 2:30pm. The Easter bunny will be making an appearance for the kids, and parents have the option to add on a sparkling wine and Bloody Mary bar experience.  The second in our Silverado 2-fer is of course, a winery.  After brunch, do a little wine tasting and head right up the road to Silverado Vineyards. Don’t leave without trying their “Solo” Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is as smooth as they come and will leave you asking for more (95 points Wine Enthusiast).


Meritage Resort, Napa: Hop over to The Meritage on Easter Sunday to take part in their Easter brunch or dinner at Siena Restaurant.  They are offering a savory menu of culinary delights. They will be serving warm brunch entrées such as fluffy eggs and hot pancakes, and dinner specials of seared sea bass, sautéed prawns and rotisserie chicken. Celebrate Easter with your family and friends in the warm, cozy environment of The Meritage Resort.  Sunday Brunch: 11am–3pm; $39/person. Easter Dinner: 5:30pm—9pm.


BR Cohn Winery, Sonoma Valley. Image: BR Cohn.



B.R. Cohn, Sonoma Valley: Paint Your Own Glass event March 30-31, 11am-4pm. You will receive your own B.R. Cohn logo glass to paint and a glass of wine, or a flight of 4 wines for $20 per person. Decorate the glass with a fresh spring spirit and fill it with robust BR Cohn wines. They also feature olive oil tastings with olive oil made from the vast number of trees on the property. Wine tasting suggestions: Estate Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley Zinfandel, Olive Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Basil-Garlic California olive oil.


Muscardini Cellars, Sonoma Valley: Alfresco Tasting March 30-31, noon— 5pm.  The Alfresco Tasting will be held in the new Kenwood location and will take your wine tasting experience to a new level. Enjoy scenic views of the Mayacama mountain range and feel the fresh light breezes of spring, all while enjoying wine tasting in their outdoor seating area. Tasting suggestions: 2012 Rosato, 2007 Tesoro, 2007 Sangiovese.

Muscardini Cellars, Sonoma Valley. Image: Muscardini.


Safari West, Santa Rosa: 11th Annual Hunt for the Hare Easter celebration and brunch held Sunday, March 31st at either 10am or 1:30pm. Have brunch alongside the animals and the beauty of the safari. There is also an egg hunt for the kids. $68 for adults, $35 for kids 4-12.   



Wine & Roses Hotel: Easter Brunch on Sunday, March 31. 
Easter Brunch will be held in the Garden Ballroom. Celebrate this special day with friends and family. Experience award-winning cuisine, exceptional service, W&R spring gardens, and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Choose from two seatings: 11am or 2pm. Cost is $50 for adults, $17 for kids, and $5 for children under 5.



Garre Vineyards & Winery: Champagne Easter Brunch on Sunday, March 31,10am—1:30pm.  Spend your Easter surrounded by beautiful panoramic scenery as you enjoy brunch in their Grand Pavilion.  This annual winery treat comes with a visit from the Easter Bunny and even some bocce ball.

McGrail Vineyards: Their Award-Winning Wines and Decadent Dessert Pairing event will be held on Saturday, March 30, from 2-4pm.  Join Pastry Chef Alicia Shackelford and Winemaker Mark Clarin for an afternoon of decadent, wine-infused truffles paired with 3 different McGrail wines. Cost is $25 per person. Wine tasting suggestions: any of their Cabernet Sauvignons and Shamus Patrick Red Wine Blend (if you can get your hands on some).


McGrail Vineyards, Livermore. Image: McGrail.


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 her 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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