8 Tasty Travels & Stays We believe in traveling where the food and drink are good. These eight destinations are sure to hit the spot. BY TOURING & TASTING
Photos courtesy of Touring & Tasting
Several guests toast at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards.
“ Castello di Amorosa does not distribute to stores or restaurants, giving wine lovers all the more reason to become Amici del Barone and to visit the castle each time they come to the Napa Valley.
We recognize that getting away these days is tough. Just planning a simple trip can be consuming. We did some of the legwork for you by highlighting the following amazing destinations that will satisfy all your senses.
On average the sun shines more than 300 days a year on the fertile Yakima Valley, making it a mecca for wine, spirits, and farm-to-table food. Home to more than 17,000 acres of vineyards, including Washington State’s oldest AVA, the Yakima Valley provides the grapes for more than one-third of the wines produced in the entire state. Besides nearly 100 wineries and five distinct AVAs within 70 miles, the Yakima Valley provides grapes to an impressive number of winemakers throughout the Pacific Northwest.
When you visit the Yakima Valley, you come to the source. Expect to find Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc … the list goes on! It’s likely you’ll also meet many of the people behind the wines. It’s not unusual to shake hands with a winemaker or grower in the tasting room and have them lead you on an impromptu stroll through the vineyard. Winemaker dinners, horseback vineyard rides, and laid-back wine festivals are all regular parts of the calendar.
Besides an inspiring wine, craft beverage, and food scene, the Yakima Valley is sunny, relaxed, and friendly, making it an ideal escape. For lodging, visitors are finding an increasing number of unique options. One of the newest properties, Hotel Maison, features an art gallery in the lobby and adds a historical elegance to the revitalized vibe of downtown Yakima. "Local brews and wines attract a large percentage of our guests," says Hotel Maison General Manager Lisa Vallejo. "First-time guests are fascinated that there is so much to do within walking distance, and that they can tour so many local wineries and breweries within a few miles."
Inspired to build an authentic medieval castle and winery to honor his Italian heritage and showcase his exceptional wines, Dario Sattui created Castello di Amorosa, a 136,000-square-foot fortress, stone by stone. The Castello has 107 rooms, 95 of which are used for winemaking and wine storage. It stands four stories high, with an equal number of levels underground. Reminiscent of Old World castles, the Castello features a drawbridge and moat, a dungeon and torture chamber, secret passageways, courtyards, loggias, a church, and a 12,000-square-foot wine barrel room, constructed with ancient Roman cross-vaulted ceilings.
Named a “must-see destination” by The Wall Street Journal, the Castello offers a myriad of ways for guests to enjoy their visit. Regular tastings at the main tasting bar are always fun, but it’s best to take time for a tour. All tours feature a barrel tasting and last a little less than two hours. The Royal Food and Wine Pairing is a real treat. The program was developed by the castle’s own sommelier, who dreams up succulent Italian food bites to accompany each wine.
It seems like something is always happening at Castello di Amorosa, especially for Amici del Barone (Friends of the Baron) wine club members, who have several club levels to choose from based on their personal tastes and budget. Castello di Amorosa does not distribute to stores or restaurants, giving wine lovers all the more reason to become Amici del Barone and to visit the castle each time they come to the Napa Valley.
As a destination bed-and-breakfast in the Willamette Valley, Le Puy is a romantic retreat for couples. The Inn strives to exemplify sustainability in every possible way, from the food it offers, to the products it uses, to the way it carefully considers the environment. The mission at Le Puy is to be an authentic eco-Inn that provides a superior hospitality experience.
Guests are invited to come to the Inn to re-balance themselves in a peaceful and tranquil environment while they enjoy organic cuisine and spa-like amenities.
Le Puy’s sustainably farmed, organic culinary garden and demonstration vineyard provide a refreshing atmosphere to its guests. The culinary garden produces ingredients for the breakfast menu, while the demonstration vineyard, planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines, pays homage to its Willamette Valley roots. Throughout the season, guests are treated to “estate” compotes, sorbets, and fresh press juices.
20300 NE Highway 240
Newberg, OR 97132
Bodega Bay Lodge
Perched on a pastoral bluff overlooking the rugged Sonoma Coast, Bodega Bay Lodge is the quintessential California coastal retreat. The Lodge offers rustic refinement with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, 83 welcoming guest rooms, and a stunning outdoor area and guest lobby.
Bodega Bay Lodge is located just 90 minutes north of San Francisco—convenient to get to yet a world apart. The Lodge is nestled on eight beautifully landscaped acres of rolling hills next to Bodega Bay. Each guest room features a private balcony or patio with ocean views and sumptuous amenities, including cozy down comforters, a wood burning fireplace, spa robes and slippers, and state-of-the-art entertainment systems.
The Lodge is both an ideal destination in itself, as well as the perfect starting point for exploring the area’s rugged beaches, seaside villages and trails, and Sonoma County’s famed wine country.
Merely steps away from the azure waters of Lake Washington, the Heathman Hotel is a peaceful oasis amid the bustle of suburban Kirkland on the outskirts of Seattle.
The upscale boutique hotel exudes elegance and warmth, pampering guests with special services and amenities, such as same-day laundry and a choice of preferred mattress style: European featherbed, European pillow top, or Tempur-Pedic.
Luxurious touches are also evident in the plush guest quarters. All 91 rooms boast soft linens, comfy robes, HD televisions, complimentary Wi-Fi, and French press coffeemakers. Many even have balconies where guests can enjoy scenic views of downtown Kirkland.
Such splendid accommodations make it tempting to stay inside and curl up with a good book, but activities abound in the waterfront community. The hotel is situated in the heart of Kirkland’s commercial center, where guests can explore numerous galleries, boutiques, theaters, and parks. Some may also choose to venture to downtown Seattle, located less than 20 minutes away.
Representing more than 150 years of winemaking history in Sonoma Valley, Madrone Estate Winery is the oldest operating winery in Glen Ellen. Winemaker Kat Adams crafts exceptional small-lot, estate-driven wines from renowned Sonoma County vineyards resulting in a portfolio that includes refreshing Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and hearty, bold Cabernet Sauvignon, estategrown Old Vine Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah. Old World varietals, such as Sangiovese and Estate Barbara, round out the portfolio and reflect the Italian heritage of Sonoma Valley. A significant piece of the estate’s history includes Valley of the Moon Wines, which are still proudly produced in the winery cellar. Select varietals are available by request.
Wine, food, and friends belong at the table together, and Madrone Estate’s culinary program unites all three. The artisanal wine and cheese pairing offers four wines with four unique cheeses from local Sonoma County cheesemakers. In addition, seasonal small plates and boxed lunches are available with a 48-hour advance notice. Every Sunday during the summer, homemade flatbreads from the wood-fired oven are available to enjoy with the wines.
Madrone Estate Winery provides the ideal setting for a day in Sonoma Wine Country. With a sunny patio and bocce court amidst 100-year-old vines, thoughtful stewardship intersects with small-lot winemaking in one of Sonoma’s incomparable settings.
When the talented team of Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses, and Heather Patz founded Patz & Hall in 1988, they were fueled by a shared passion for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. That passion has never waned and, today, Patz & Hall is one of California’s most highly regarded wineries with a portfolio of exceptional limited-production Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.
The four founders attribute their success to their integrated approach: each founder focuses on a different area of the winery’s operations based on his or her background and expertise. They are also committed to maintaining close, lasting relationships with many of California’s finest growers, who are now cornerstones of the winery’s fine reputation.
For those seeking something immersive, the Salon Experience is a guided tasting where guests enjoy six single-vineyard-designate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs alongside delectable season-inspired food bites created by Patz & Hall’s private caterer. Deciding in advance on a tasting experience may not be easy but, frankly, one can’t go wrong. With this level of hospitality, top-tier wines, a great outdoor space, and unstoppable views, an unforgettable experience in Sonoma wine country is practically guaranteed.
21200 Eighth St East
Sonoma, CA 95476
Jamieson Ranch Vineyards
Majestically seated at the southern gateway to the Napa Valley, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards welcomes guests with award-winning wines, sophisticated cuisine, and jaw-dropping vista views. In the mid-1800s, the 300-acre property was part of General Mariano Vallejo’s Rancho Suscol. Today, miniature horses and cattle graze on the gently rolling hills, and sheep tend to the weeds in the terraced vineyards.
First-time guests often remark on the beauty of the property, which provides unrivaled views of the Napa Valley and San Pablo Bay. They’re equally impressed as they sample the small production wines. Recently, The Tasting Panel awarded the 2014 Jamieson Ranch Double Lariat Cabernet 93 points, and the 2013 Reata Three County Pinot Noir received 904 points from San Diego Wine Competition. Some guests who watch the Today Show mention that they heard the winery’s 2012 Light Horse Pinot Noir is one of the best on the market.
There’s something about the grandness of Jamieson Ranch Vineyards and excellence of its wines that makes guests want to plan an event. From food and wine pairings to educational events, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards is an ideal choice, offering three elegant and unique venues: the Overlook Veranda, the Estate Ballroom, and the Observation Gallery. As the region’s southernmost winery, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards is an ideal first or last stop on the savvy wine tourist’s next visit to the Napa Valley.
Widely known as the region’s premier wine country destination tour service, Beau Wine Tours creates lifetime memories for its customers. The company is owned by Thomas Buck, whose passion for wine, wine country, and education are apparent at every turn.
Although the fleet of 60 spotless vehicles— ranging from luxury town cars to Mercedes Benz Sprinters—is quite impressive, Beau Wine Tours has built a stellar reputation with its uncanny ability for building meaningful relationships with customers and understanding their needs. For one thing, the company’s staff is knowledgeable and well-trained—from the expert tour guides, who personally drive the vehicles, to the team of dedicated concierges, who custom tailor itineraries for parties of up to nine.
The concierge first determines what kind of wine touring experience the customer is looking for. First-time visitors, often overwhelmed by recommendations they’ve received from well-meaning friends, are able to narrow their list into an itinerary that suits their interests. Event planners rely on Beau Wine Tours for guidance to the wineries that not only accommodate groups but also welcome them. Seasoned connoisseurs as well as return customers rely on Beau Wine Tours for the most up-todate information and access to hidden gems.
Whether a customer plans an excursion ten months or ten hours in advance, once confirmed, they couldn’t be in more capable hands. After all, Beau Wine Tours now has 20 years of experience providing meaningful wine excursions for groups of two to 200. Considering this, it’s the only way to go.