The Real San Francisco
By Sarah Khan
COCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Bardessono; Calistoga Ranch; Hotel Healdsburg; Auberge du Soleil; The Anaba tasting patio; Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa
WHERE TO STAY
San Francisco is the perfect jumping-off point for a weekend in wine country. Reserve a room at the sleek Parc 55 (55 Cyril Magnin St., San Francisco; 415-392-8000; parc55hotel.com), located just steps from Union Square; explore the city via its famed cable cars, which stop right outside. Then rest up, because you’ll want to hit the road bright and early for the hourand- a-half drive north to Hotel Healdsburg (25 Matheson St., Healdsburg; 707-431-2800; hotelhealdsburg.com), a great home base from which to discover the Sonoma Valley. The 55-room inn is the site of Charlie Palmer’s Michelin-starred Dry Creek Kitchen, celebrating the region’s freshest ingredients. The masses may come to the Vintners Inn (4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa; 707- 575-7350; vintnersinn.com) for the legendary John Ash & Co. restaurant, but it’s the personal touches that make this intimate 44-room property memorable—think homemade chocolate-chip cookies at turndown. Or for a more earthy experience, book a Mission Suite with a working fire place and an oversize Jacuzzi at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa (100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma; 707-938-9000; fairmont.com/sonoma). The hotel has its own hot springs, so be sure to try out the bathing ritual at the spa’s unique bathhouse. At the romantic Tuscan-style villa Kenwood Inn (10400 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood; 707-833-1293; kenwoodinn.com), you don’t just drink the varietals, you soak in them, too—treat yourself to a wine wrap at the spa. Over in Napa, Auberge du Soleil (180 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford, 707-963-1211; aubergedusoleil.com) is the ultimate couples’ retreat, with sumptuous feather beds, oversize soaking tubs for two and a sexy pool.
WHERE TO DRINK
This is why you’re here, so let’s get down to business. Consider it the ultimate Kodak moment: The Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery (8761 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg; 707-433-6700; ferrari-carano.com) has the lock on some of the region’s most scenic views and postcard-worthy landscaping. Lose yourself in the meticulously designed Asian gardens on your way to a private tasting at the beautifully appointed villa. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world, literally, at Cade Winery (360 Howell Mountain Road South, Angwin; 707-965-2746; cadewinery.com), perched high atop Howell Mountain. The soaring panoramas are well worth the trek, as are the Sauvignon Blancs. Sip samples of Carneros Estate’s Rhône- and Burgundianstyle varietals at the Anaba tasting patio (60 Bonneau Road, Sonoma; 707-996- 4188; anabawines.com), situated in a lovely renovated farmhouse. For a truly unique hands-on experience, dive into the Winemaker for a Weekend program at Calistoga Ranch (580 Lommel Road, Calistoga; 707-254- 2800; calistogaranch.com). Apart from taking advantage of the hotel’s amenities (luxe accommodations, dinner at the Lakehouse restaurant, spa treatments), the program includes a day in the vineyard and cellar participating in pruning, harvesting and bottling, as well as plenty of vino to enjoy, of course.
WHERE TO EAT
In the heart of Yountville, sink your teeth into the terrine of chicken and foie gras at the restaurant at Bardessono (6526 Yount St., Yountville; 707-204-6000; bardessono.com). A few blocks away, chef Richard Reddington serves up delectable Asian-, Mediterranean- and French-infl ected fare at Redd (6480 Washington St., Yountville; 707-944-2222; reddnapavalley.com). Back in Healdsburg, food is nothing short of artistry in the hands of chef Douglas Keane at Cyrus (29 North St., Healdsburg; 707-433- 3311; cyrusrestaurant.com), who undeniably earns his two Michelin stars with a visionary five- or eightcourse tasting menu.
WHERE TO LIVE
Fallen so in love with the area you’re thinking about a longer-term stay? Napa has options galore for those looking for a vacation home. Nature meets luxury at the Craftsman-style Lodges at Calistoga Ranch (580 Lommel Road, Calistoga, 866-442-4634; calistogaranchliving.com), hidden away in a 157-acre canyon. Or take advantage of the restaurants, pools, fitness center and spa at The Orchard (4048 SonomaHwy., Napa; 888-400-9831; theorchardatcarneros.com), where the 17 luxurious cottages share amenities with The Carneros Inn.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CESAR RUBIO (HOTEL HEALDSBURG); KRAUSE JOHANSEN (CALISTOGA RANCH)