Looking for a winery with an outdoor restaurant and an attached hotel
January 31, 2012 8:31 PM   Subscribe

Valentine's Day filter: My girlfriend has a relatively specific request for Valentine's Day: "an outdoor restaurant at a vineyard... that has an attached hotel." A somewhat cheaper version of this would be the idea. Ideally, it'd be $300/night or less and somewhere within ~2 hours drive of Palo Alto, California. Any ideas?
posted by ewiar to Travel & Transportation around California, CA (7 answers total)
Doesn't look like there are a ton of choices for that exact thing. Might want to try here and here, though they don't get you much under $300 for what you're looking for (to the extent they even have it).

Is it completely mandatory that the winery, restaurant, and hotel all be located on the same property? You couldn't, say, get a limo to take you from winery/restaurant to a cute b&b? Because, having been to a fair number of bay area wineries, I think most of them would regard a 3-in-1 combo like that to be sort of gimmicky. Most wineries put enough effort into getting good wine out the door without also having to invest the capital required to open a hotel on-site. But if proximity and easy transit would be enough, it should be doable in either Napa or Sonoma.

Oh yeah, also look into Livermore... probably not much more likely to have exactly what you're looking for, but there are a number of modestly-priced wineries which may give you some additional flexibility on lodging.
posted by rkent at 10:45 PM on January 31, 2012

Response by poster: Sorry, yes, to be clear, a hotel nearby would be fine. The idea is just to not have to worry about driving.

So, winery with outdoor restaurant. And hotel/B&B easily accessible nearby.
posted by ewiar at 10:48 PM on January 31, 2012

If you don't mind adding 30-45 minutes on to your drive you can check out the Paso Robles area. Not as likely to be booked up as Sonoma/Napa and really beautiful. Prices can also be a bit lower, I saw one suite at Asuncion Ridge (closer to San Luis Obispo though) for around 250 a night. My fiance and I make the drive down there every other week now planning our upcoming wedding and visiting family, and it's a straight shot down 101.
posted by wilky at 10:50 PM on January 31, 2012

My wife and I ate here on Saturday night, and we've been several other times over the last couple years, including an anniversary. The food is fantastic, and (sadly) not expensive for Sonoma County. It's an outdoor restaurant at a winery, to be sure, and it's also in the middle of a working farm (as in chickens and other non-grape things).

As for lodging, I'd look for a B&B or the like in Forestville or Sebastapol. Your best bet would probably be to ask the winery folks for tips if you call about a dinner reservation.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:09 PM on January 31, 2012

Except for price ($725 to way, way up), the epitome of what you're looking for is Auberge du Soleil. Super, super expensive, but I have heard that it is worth it. There's another Relais & Chateaux property that's a little cheaper, like $525. Lodging in wine country is just outrageously expensive, due to rampant NIMBYism.

For something closer to home, Wente Vineyards is historic and has a very good restaurant attached, with tables available. You can get a cab for the 8 mile ride to The Purple Orchid, which is within your price range. Due to their brain-dead policy of only taking reservations over the phone, from 9-6 p.m., I don't know if they have availability.
posted by wnissen at 8:03 AM on February 1, 2012

Bernardus, in Carme Valley. It's fabulous.
posted by cyndigo at 11:43 AM on February 1, 2012

Wait, what happened to my earlier post about Bernardus? Anyway, I'm not sure that the main restaurant (Marinus) has outdoor seating, but the cafe does, and there is a small vineyard on site. It's just shy of a two hour drive from Palo Alto, and they have a special for $315 a night right now. There's nothing else within walking distance, but a half-dozen wineries are two miles down the road.
posted by wnissen at 1:24 PM on February 1, 2012

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