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Santa Barbara Day One The Santa Barbara area is known for scenic beauty, celebrity spotting, an urban beachfront and over 100 Central Coast wineries. Start today on the city’s Urban Wine Trail. More than eight tasting rooms, some with production facilities open for touring, are scattered throughout the downtown area. Check into your hotel – perhaps the Four Seasons Biltmore or El Encanto in the hills, or San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito. Enjoy seafood tonight at Enterprise Fish Co., just blocks off the waterfront. Day Two Head north of the city today to explore the many wineries located in the Santa Ynez area. Notable stops include Fess Parker, Firestone, Zaca Mesa and Foxen vineyards. There are many tasting rooms in the tiny village of Los Olivos and you may want to stop in the charming Danish village of Solvang. Tonight enjoy wine country cuisine at Bouchon Santa Barbara. Day Three There are two choices of special interest winery visits. We can do a tour of only sustainable, organic wineries. Another option is a Sideways tour that visits the sites made famous in the 2004 movie that put the area’s pinot noir on the oenophile map. Enjoy bistro fare back in the city at Arts & Letters Café. Day Four Take a cooking class today and enjoy eating the fruits of your labor, or go on a culinary tour to experience local fare. Or, if you’ve had enough wine, take a tour of the area’s seven microbreweries. You may have dinner tonight at Lucky’s in Montecito for prime steaks, live lobster and wine.
Napa Day One Begin your wine excursion at Frank Family Vineyards, known for rich zinfandels. After lunch in St. Helena, head to Forman winery for great cabernet sauvignon. Finish with Duckhorn, Charles Krug or Rombauer. The area has some of the country’s finest resorts: Solage Calistoga or Calistoga Ranch to the north; or Villagio, Vintage Inn, Bardessono, Auberge du Soleil and Meadowood, which are more centrally located. Day Two Today focuses on the central regions of Rutherford, Oakville and Yountville. Inglenook is a boutique winery owned by Francis Ford Coppola where you can see his museum of film and winemaking and enjoy a glass in the mansion. After a picnic lunch at Oakville Grocery, tour Cakebread, Silver Oak or Grgich Hills, owned by the winemaker made famous by the 1976 “Paris Tasting” where California won over France for the first time. Enjoy dinner at one of the great restaurants in Oakville, such as Bouchon, Redd or Bistro Jeanty. Day Three Enjoy an early morning hot air balloon ride over the fields. Later in the morning, you can take a guided bicycle ride, either along roads or through the vineyards, visiting wineries and enjoying a picnic lunch. Dine tonight at Greystone Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America. Day Four Today finishes with time in the town of Napa, known for pedestrian walkways with boutiques, gourmet shops and restaurants. Visit the Trefethen winery for its outstanding cabernets, and stop by Domaine Chandon and Domaine Carneros to sample their sparkling wines.
Sonoma Day One Begin at the south end of the region by visiting some of the wineries in the valley, north of the town of Sonoma. At Chateau Ste. Jean you have the option of mixing your own unique blend of Bordeaux varietals in a bottle to take home. B.R. Cohn is next for a taste of its wines, olive oil and vinegars. Finish at Sebastiani Vineyards for a wine and cheese pairing. Stay at the Kenwood Inn or the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. Day Two Todayâ€™s focus will be the Alexander Valley, the largest wine region in Sonoma. Start at Seghesio Family Vineyards in Healdsburg for a taste of old vine zinfandel, then head to Lancaster Estate for a tasting tour of their Bordeaux blends. Finish at eco-friendly Medlock Ames for a tour of the organic ranch, winery and gardens, followed by a tasting. Stay the night at Hotel Healdsburg or return to Sonoma. Day Three You might enjoy a guided bicycle tour today, visiting three or four wineries and enjoying a picnic lunch. We can arrange for your purchases to be brought back to the hotel. Or venture into the fields to forage for mushrooms or greens, and then enjoy a hands-on cooking class and lunch. Or explore the town of Sonoma with its charming plaza and many shops. Day Four The Carneros region spans across the foot of the mountains into both Sonoma and Napa. Visit Gloria Ferrer, where chardonnay and pinot noir are blended to create sparkling wine. Then enjoy a tasting of red blends in a cave at Gundlach-Bundschu, the oldest family-run winery in California.
Oregon Day One The Columbia River Gorge stretches east from Portland and straddles the state line with Washington. The area is known for scenic vistas, great outdoor recreation and more than thirty wineries. The varietals include sauvignon blanc and pinot noir. Maryhill Winery is typical, with views of Mt. Hood, bocce courts and live music.. Spend the night at the historic downtown Heathman Hotel, one of the country’s best hotels. Dinner tonight is at Screen Door, known for its organic and southern cuisine. Day TWO The next two days will be spent in the Willamette Valley. The Willamette River stretches south of Portland through eugene and Corvallis, both university towns. This region produces some of the world’s best pinot noirs. Here are wineries such as Penner-Ash and Lemelson. a great choice for lodging is the Alison Inn and Spa, located at the north end of the valley and less than an hour southwest of Portland. Day THRee Today explore the Dundee region. Here are archery Summit and Domaine Drouhin (founded by one of the famed winemakers of Burgundy). The red wines known as Burgundies are typically made from pinot noir. The small Black Walnut Inn here is the place to stay. Dinner choices include the Dundee Bistro or Tina’s, favored by local winemakers. Day FOUR Return to Portland for your final day in this scenic and eclectic region. The town is known for its microbreweries, which you can explore on a suds tour, or partake in a culinary tour or cooking class. Tonight dine at Paley’s Place, where many of the area’s top chefs got their start
Washington Day One For years Seattle has been a center of great local food and wine. The city’s culinary center is Pike Place Market, located near the waterfront downtown. In existence for over 100 years, it hosts a seafood market known for its flying fish, as well as the first Starbucks. You will find hundreds of vendors, including farmers, craftsmen, small restaurants and produce stands. Stay in the Fairmont Olympic, the grande dame of hotels in Seattle. Day Two Today we’ll venture east of the city to the Woodinville area, known for chardonnay, riesling, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Here are more than 70 wineries and 40 tasting rooms. Two wineries of note in the area are Columbia and Chateau Ste. Michelle. Spend the night at Willows Lodge, a rustic retreat where every room has a fireplace and soaking tub. Day Three Today’s destination is the Yakima Valley, about two hours southeast of Seattle, beyond Mt. Rainier. Stop for lunch at Gilbert Cellars’ tasting room in Yakima, then head to Desert Wind Winery situated on a bluff overlooking the scenic river. Kestrel Vintners is nearby, known for its “Lady in Red” series of wines and premium vintages. Enjoy dinner tonight back in Seattle at Art of the Table. Day Four Explore the gourmet side of Seattle this afternoon on a walking tour. You will visit approximately 15 restaurants and shops for a progressive meal of small bites with accompanying beverages. Meet the top chefs and owners of several of the city’s hot spots.
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