Hello there, hope you had a great weekend, I sure did! It was my birthday last week, so my hub and I hired a babysitter on Saturday, and spent an afternoon and evening at some favorite places nearby.
It’s the high season in Wine Country right now. The leaves are turning, the festivals have begun, the tasting rooms are filled with tourists. September through November is the most colorful season to visit this bountiful region. If you’re ever in our area, here are a few worthwhile places to spend an enjoyable afternoon.
Korbel Champagne Cellars is home to some of the finest (and quite affordable) sparkling wines. ‘Toast Life!’ is the motto here ~ I certainly subscribe to that. They have some helpful tips on their site giving all the details for choosing, storing, and entertaining with champagne.
A visit to their winery is a worthwhile trip. The brick building that greets you is so very pretty with its classic brick facade and ivy covered walls.
No doubt you’ve seen these labels in local grocery stores, we often opt for this vintage. I like the ‘Brut’ but the hub prefers the ‘Extra Dry’. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter to me, just hand me a glass!
Korbel offers cave and garden tours, which we skipped that day because we had many stops. The gardens are really beautiful, and there are several historic buildings on this property.
One of the sights you can see a lot of in Northern California are redwood tree groves. Often, this region is dubbed the ‘Redwood Empire’. Korbel has its own cluster of historic trees, they are so beautiful.
Arista Winery is another great stop if you love Pinot Noir. They specialize in it!
Gorgeous valley vineyard views, even from the parking lot.
The grounds are really lovely here. Plenty of oak barrels and botanical gardens surrounded by oak trees. So much beauty around every bend in the winding gravel path. I prefer a winding path to a straight one, don’t you?
With so many gathering spots for friends to relax, it’s difficult to decide where to sit and sip. Should it be here?
I think these people had the right idea. Enchanting !
I loved the tin ceiling covered with its layers of patina, and the light fixtures made out of wine jugs. I could do without the faux leaf garland, I think it distracts from the stunning series of jug fixtures that stretches over the bar. Do you agree?
Beautiful hutches for display placed up against a natural brick wall (love those) in the perfect shade of gray green.
Oooh, such pretty ceramics. Loving these rich vibrant colors.
Here’s a fancy trick our server taught us. With a bordeaux glass, it’s better to decant (or aerate) your taste by spinning your glass rather than swirling. Seemed a bit of a novelty to me, but I think this will be my newest party trick. *wink* Notice the recycled glass speckled countertops in warm shades of green, amber, and brown.
We dined at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try for years, Bistro Ralph, on the famous Healdsburg square. Very quaint, very chic. Delicious food!
I swear, I had the best bread I’ve ever had here! No exaggeration. They bake these little buns in the restaurant, then add a hint of sea salt, fennel, and olive oil. Sooooo good, proving that often simple ingredients are the best! There is no saying ‘No’ to carbs with bread this good, it’s simply impossible.
I especially loved the white brick wall (yes, I’m fickle, I love both natural and white brick) and these charming river rock vases. CG makes mental note: learn how to carve a vase out of a rock.
After dinner, we stopped into Boisset: Taste of Terroir, where Sonoma meets Burgundy. This is an absolutely gorgeous tasting room on the northeast corner of the Healdsburg Square. Did you know that ‘Terroir’ is a French term defined as ‘the set of local conditions in which a particular wine or family of wines is produced, including soil-type, weather conditions, topography and wine-making savoir-faire’?
So interesting, I didn’t know that until this past weekend. Cheers to always learning something new!
The charcoal walls of Boisset paired with the glitzy crystal chandelier and cool marble tabletop are a welcome departure from the warm tones so often used in the typical French or Tuscan inspired tasting rooms. Not that I don’t love that style too, but this tasting room has a modern New York vibe. Very chic and glamorous.
They even had Philippe Starck Ghost Chairs with custom platinum satin seat cushions. Heart!
A six hour break from the munchkins and sparkling pink bubbly for my birthday. This girl couldn’t ask for a better present !
Oh, and speaking of favorite things, how gorgeous is this feminine and French inspired basement turned wine cellar from a recent issue of Country Living?
Who needs to visit a tasting room with a cellar this pretty?
I’ve got a super cute Halloween party idea coming up next, inspired by Martha. Haunted beverage labels for both kids and grown ups created with free fonts and free software. I’ll show you just how easy it is to make your very own, plus I have lots of free printable labels for you too! Poisonous potions and spooky ciders, mooo ha ha ha. They’re frighteningly fun, that’s coming next!