SAN FRANCISCO - So, you've found the perfect partner for Valentine's Day, and want to create an unforgettable romantic experience? California's wine regions have you covered.
Whether you're a long-time couple or enjoying that first spark, there's no better place to dial up the romance. From fun getaways and events to unique wine country activities and enticing meals paired with delicious California wines, you'll find the perfect way to connect with that special someone from among more than 50 winery events across the state listed below. Find out more about California's wine and wine regions by checking out Wine Institute's wine and food website at www.discovercaliforniawines.com. There, you can also get inspired to make a date with a California Wines Food Tour video.
Castello di Amarosa, Napa Valley: Treat your sweetie like a king or queen at the "Royal Hearts Gala" on February 16, which begins with hors d'oeuvres in the tasting room, followed by a four-course meal in the grand barrel room prepared by Fox TV's MasterChef Season two finalist Alejandra Schrader. During dinner, savor the Shakespeare in the Vines troupe performing selected scenes from the legendary bard's most romantic plays and sonnets. Tickets are $225.
Charbay Distillery & Winery, Napa Valley: Enjoy a Valentine-Kiss Cocktail and appetizers while you relax beside the warm Alembic Pot Still and watch Charbay's 13th generation distiller create artisan brandies for the family's ports and aperitifs. This event, offered Feb. 14-17, costs $38 per person (includes tasting flight of Charbay wines & ports).
Domaine Chandon, Napa Valley: Love is in the air-and in every sip-at Domaine Chandon this Valentine's Day week (Feb. 8-13). Linger with your loved one at étoile Restaurant, where you'll be served an elegant five-course menu for $95 per guest (additional $40 for expertly paired California wines).
Carneros Inn, Napa Valley: The "Wine Country Romance" package invites couples to enjoy one of the property's romantic Harvest Cottages, featuring an expansive outdoor living space with a soaking tub for two and an outdoor fire pit. A $100 dining credit that be applied to a special $150 per person Valentine's Day dinner with an optional $135 wine pairing (featuring local wines such as Domaine Chandon, Meyer Family Wines, Poem Cellars), as well as a bottle of Domaine Carneros sparkling wine and s'mores kit for roasting and snuggling fireside are included in the package. Rates start at $475 per night.
Harvest Inn, Napa Valley: This charming B&B is offering two ways to find romance this February. The "Engaging Moments" package, starting at start at $650 per night, includes a private romantic setting for popping the question, including a one-hour on-site sitting with a professional photographer to capture the moment, a bottle of Schramsberg sparkling wine, fragrant rose petal turndown, and accommodations with a wood burning fireplace. For couples that have already said 'I do', the "Celebrate Love" package, starting at $500 per night, includes a welcome bottle of sparkling wine, a dozen roses, a 6-inch chocolate ganache cake, rose petal turndown, spa treatments for two in-room or in the garden sanctuary, two signature Harvest Inn bathrobes, and an in-room wine country breakfast.
Beau Wine Tours, Sonoma County, Napa Valley: To make Valentine's Day and beyond sweeter for your wallet, Beau Wine Tours is offering a special 25 percent discount on its "Romantic Private Wine Tour" package, a private six-hour custom wine tour (Sunday through Thursday). The tour offering, which includes stops at wineries such as Buena Vista Carneros Winery, DeLoach Vineyards, Cakebread Cellars and Duckhorn Vineyards, is good through April 30.
A Taste of Redwood Valley, Mendocino County: Couples can fall "In Love with Redwood Valley" on Feb. 9, a made-for-romance festival featuring tastings of exquisite dark and milk chocolates, truffles, dipped strawberries, heart-shaped cakes and more, paired with Redwood Valley's rich port-style wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Muscat Canelli and world-class liqueurs and brandies. Admission is $20 and includes an embossed wine glass as well as entry to all listed wineries and distillery. Designated drivers admitted free.
International Alsace Varietals Festival, Mendocino County: If you both share a passion for Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Muscat, don't miss this weekend-long celebration Feb. 8-10 of Alsace-style wines, food and wine pairings, seminars and open houses at participating wineries.
Dutton-Goldfield Winery Valentine's Day Weekend, Sonoma County: To celebrate the month of love, the winery is offering a special reserve flight featuring their two dessert wines, Happy Ending (Zinfandel/Syrah port style wine) and brand new Sticky Finish (late harvest Riesling). This is a one-time chance to taste these extremely limited wines accompanied by some lovely food pairings. Feb. 8-10, 10-4:30 pm. $25 reserve flight cost is waived with $150 purchase.
Quivira Vineyards & Winery, Sonoma County: Wine lovers craving seafood and offbeat romance can check out the "Quivira Crab boil" on Feb. 16. Savor a glass of wine and get serenaded by solo guitarist Brandon Hassur. Venture into the cellar for mood music and crab crackin' and take home a commemorative Quivira glass. Tickets are $125.
Rodney Strong Vineyards, Sonoma County: If decadence is your middle name, check out the "Annual Wine & Chocolate Fantasy" on Feb. 9, where top chocolatiers will tempt you with delicious bites as you pair them with fine wine and music in the cellar. Tickets cost $65 per person and include a commemorative glass.
Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley, Sonoma County: Couples can take "A Trolley Ride Through Paradise" Feb. 1-March 31 and get a special $75 per person rate ($24 savings). This six-hour guided group wine tour visits several wineries-such as B.R. Cohn Winery, Benziger Family Winery and Ravenswood Winery- and includes a family-style picnic lunch. Use discount code "Valentine Trolley" when booking online.
Taste Route 116, Sonoma County: To celebrate the most romantic weekend of the year, several wineries along the Taste Route 116 (Highway 116 near Sebastopol)-such as Balletto Vineyards & Winery-are hosting "Sweet 116" on Feb. 16. Guests get to choose their logo glasses hand-painted by local artists, many of whom will be at the wineries displaying their art. Wine and art lovers can enjoy decadent dessert treats and delicious wines at seven wineries. Tickets cost $30 per person and $10 for designated drivers (glass not included for DDs).
Flamingo Resort, Sonoma County: The Flamingo Resort and Spa is pairing with Safari West on a "Valentine's Wild Jungle Love" package, which includes overnight accommodations in a newly remodeled superior king or double-double room, complimentary admission to the on-site Montecito Heights Health Club and continental breakfast buffet every morning. Prices start at $119 on weekdays and $139 per night on holiday weekend based on single/double occupancy. For $80 enjoy a chocolate and local wine reception followed by a fun Safari West tour with animal experts educating guests about mating behaviors.
16th Annual Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend, Lodi: Celebrate two nectars of the Gods at this decadent festival Feb. 9-10, where you and your sweetie can sip wines paired with delights from Brix Chocolate at over 45 Lodi appellation wineries. Be the lucky one to unwrap the "Golden Ticket" at any participating winery and win a Lodi Wine Country Getaway or one of over 100 prizes. Tickets cost $45 in advance, $55 at the door (designated drivers free) and includes an event wine glass and commemorative chocolate
Madera Wine Trail's Wine & Chocolate Weekend, Madera County: Celebrate Valentine's Day on the Madera Wine Trail and enjoy wine tasting at 12 wineries, chocolates, live music and local art! Feb. 9-10, 10-5 pm. $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
Deaver Vineyards Passion for Ports, Amador County: Sample eight luscious ports from Deaver's coveted Golden Nectar to a crowd favorite Merlot in the port event of the season. Savor each taste with a luscious treat from chocolate covered strawberries to chocolate covered blueberries. Take home a Riedel port glass to enjoy your new favorite Deaver port. Casillas Cigars will be rolling cigars on-site port and cigar fans. Feb. 9, 1-4 pm, $18/person.
Grace Patriot Wines, El Dorado County: Make Valentine's weekend sweeter with the "Happy Hearts & Happy Mouth Celebration" Feb. 9-10, featuring a chocolate fountain, roses, and a release party for their new Bonne Bouche red wine. Pair art with wine with a special Valentine's edition of the Pinot & Paint Art Class Series on Feb. 17, featuring a three-hour guided painting class with local artist Vicki Hough and estate wines. Cost is $40.
Holly's Hill Winery, El Dorado County: Get to your lover's heart through their stomach by treating them to a Valentine's Weekend Food & Wine Pairing Feb. 16-17, featuring an elaborate four-course menu paired with wines and with romantic Spanish and classical music by Nicholas Lefler. Cost is $25 per person in advance.
Central Coast California
McGrail Vineyards & Winery, Livermore: Surprise your special someone with delicious food and award-winning wines at the "Valentine's Day Sweetheart Dinner" on Feb. 14, served in the candlelit barrel room. Finish the night with s'mores and views on the patio. Cost is $165 per couple. Dessert lovers may prefer the Chocolate Fondue and Cabernet Sauvignon party Feb. 16, for just $20.
Wente Vineyards Estate Winery, Livermore: The historic estate will host a "Romance, Wine & Chocolate" event on Feb. 10, featuring five decadent chocolate desserts paired with wines. Learn how chocolate and wine can create a romantic, sensory experience and enjoy Valentine's Day trivia. Cost is $35 per guest.
You can also celebrate your love wine country style at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards with a four-course dinner. Menu is available here.
Garré Vineyard & Winery, Livermore: Share a romantic evening with a four-course dinner paired with award-winning Garré wines this Feb. 9 or 14, set to a performance by "Elegant Touch of String." Cost is $175.
Solis Winery Hearts, Wine & Chocolate, Santa Clara County: Indulge your Valentine with a special treat this year at Solis Winery--a decadent pairing of chocolate and wine in a romantic setting overlooking the vineyard and mountainous backdrop. Feb. 9-10, Noon-4:30 p.m. Cost: $15.
Cinnabar Winery "S'more Amore" in the Saratoga Village, Santa Cruz Mountains: "S'more Amore!" on the Saratoga Wine Trail in Downtown Saratoga Village! A Valentine's Day Progressive Wine Tasting... paired with savory bites at three winery tasting rooms and flamenco guitar music. Feb. 14, 7-9 p.m. Cost: $45.
River Road Wine Trail Valentine's Passport 2013, Monterey County: Savor the sweetheart of all tastings as the 11 artisan vintners along Monterey's River Road Wine Trail share the love Feb. 9 with wine and food pairings, a souvenir glass, entry into a grand drawing and special discounts. Tickets cost $45 ($15 designated drivers).
Robert Hall Winery, Paso Robles: Bring your special one for an "Italian Romance" Valentine's Day evening, 6:30-9:30 pm. Enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, followed by three courses of authentic Italian cuisine by Italian chef Paul Ruberto, paired with estate wines. Manny Mestas will serenade couples with romantic mandolin music. Cost is $120 per couple.
Vina Robles Hospitality Center, Paso Robles: Foodies can savor an elegant, old-fashioned candlelit dinner this Feb. 14 at the "Valentine's Day Dinner and Musical Serenade," prepared with regional ingredients by The Grill at Hunter Ranch and paired with Vina Robles wines. Enjoy the classical strains of the renowned SLO Winds Clarinet Choir and the Estero Bay Brass Quintet. Cost is $160 per couple. Also at Vina Robles, wine-loving couples can test their knowledge and please their palates with a "Petite Sirah and Chocolate Pairing" throughout February. Cost is $36 per couple and includes five showcased Petite Sirahs, each paired with a hand-made chocolate truffle.
The Wine Wrangler, Paso Robles: Perfect pairs can celebrate perfect pairings on this special four-hour "Valentine's Day Wine & Chocolate Tour" offered Feb. 14-16, featuring outstanding Paso Robles wineries and specialty California chocolates. Cost starts at $118 per couple.
Zipline Romance Package at Hampton Inn & Suites, Paso Robles: For those who need a little adventure with their partner, check out this thrilling package, starting at $349. Stay one night Feb. 14-17 in this charming wine country town and enjoy a thrilling ziplining experience with Margarita Adventures over rustic vineyards at Santa Margarita Ranch, home of Ancient Peaks Winery, and receive sparkling wine and fresh roses.
Fiddlehead Cellars Pinkie & Tamales, Santa Barbara County: Start with a taste of premier sparkling wine 'Bubbles' and then taste the rest of the current line-up with a special highlight of 'Pink Fiddle.' Free mini-tamale included with a $10 tasting fee. Feb. 9, 12-3 pm. Pink attire is encouraged! Prizes for the best pink outfits; send your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Need the perfect gift? Give your love a bouquet of ROSÉS! Buy 5 bottles of 'Pink Fiddle' and get the 6th bottle for a penny. Special pricing is good all weekend: Friday–Sunday.
Riverbench Vineyard & Winery Valentine's Archery Lessons, Santa Barbara County: Will Cupid hit the mark? Come show off your hot shot skills at Riverbench, where you can try your hand at archery. $15 per person for a one-hour lesson, includes a tasting (after the lesson, of course)! Sat. Feb. 16, 11-12 Noon.
Avila Lighthouse Suites, San Luis Obispo County: Starting at $225 per night, lovers can escape to this oceanfront hotel in the charming seaside village of Avila Beach with the "Romantic Avila Beach Dinner Package." Savor a box of four delectable truffles from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, a bottle of sparkling wine from Laetitia Winery, two souvenir sparkling wine flutes and a wine opener. Enjoy dinner for two with a $50 gift card to the Custom House, as well as an extended continental breakfast the following morning.
Breakaway Tours, Paso Robles/San Luis Obispo County: Looking for a wine tour to celebrate the day? Join other incurable romantics on the "Valentine's Day Dreamy Central Coast Wine Tour," a distinctive five-hour tour in Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo, offering a sparkling wine tasting, chocolate and a gift rose. Offered Feb. 14-16, the tours include four unique wineries and a gourmet picnic winery lunch. Cost is $225 per couple.
Central Coast Food Tours, San Luis Obispo County: Indulge together in the perfect pairing- local wine and chocolate-on this special epicurean tour taking place every Thursday through Saturday in February. For $175 per couple, the Wine & Chocolate Pairing Tour starts with a visit to an artisanal chocolate maker who teaches how chocolate is grown, processed and crafted into delicious confections. Learn the fine art of pairing chocolates to wines, then, test your knowledge at three award-winning wineries.
Dolphin Bay Cooking School's Cooking for Two Class, San Luis Obispo County: Dial up the romance by learning how to easily create an intimate, delicious meal for special occasions at this Feb. 13 class with Lido's Executive Chef Jacob Moss. Cooking demonstration concludes with a multi-course, local wine paired meal based upon the chef's presentation, followed by a local wine reception. Guests enrolling in a cooking class may reserve a suite at a special rate for the evening. Class costs $250 per couple.
SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel, San Luis Obispo County: Throughout February, couples who book the "Ahh Spa Romance Package," starting at $309, get a one-night stay in an Ocean View King room, heart shaped truffles, romantic couples massage at A Vital Touch Salon, bottle of wine from Laetitia Winery and a framed personalized SandNote and flowers.
Frangipani Estate Winery, Temecula Valley: Take time for romance at this "Valentine's Day Wine-Paired Dinner" Feb. 14-15. Enjoy a three-course wine-paired dinner along with music from "Sinatra and Friends." Cost is $65 per person.
Monte De Oro Winery & Vineyards, Temecula Valley: Enjoy a delicious meal and spectacular vineyard views at this "Third Annual Valentine's Dinner" on Feb. 14, including a champagne toast, four-course meal, wine-pairing for each course, live music and dancing.
Oak Mountain Winery, Temecula Valley: You and your sweetheart are a perfect blend. The "7th Annual Wine Blending Party" on Feb. 15, led by winemaker Steve Andrews, lets you create a wine that reflects your love. Sample three different red wine varietals and start blending and tasting until you make your special bottle of wine. After the class, savor a sumptuous dinner paired with wines. Tickets cost $95 per person.
Ponte Family Estate/Ponte Vineyard Inn, Temecula Valley: Book the "Vineyard Romance" package (starting at $284) this February, which includes a welcome amenity, a bottle of sparkling Moscato and a $100 dinner credit for a romantic meal together. For an extra romantic touch add flowers, a horse-drawn carriage ride through the vineyard ($99), and/or a couples massage. Take your sweetie to an elegant dinner on Valentine's Day in the Vineyard Pavilion ($95 per person), which includes a sparkling wine and passed hors d'oeuvres reception, a four-course dinner with wine pairings, music and dancing.
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, Temecula Valley: Pamper yourselves at Grapeseed Spa with the Total Decadence Package, which includes a 50-minute upper body Warm-Stone Relaxation Massage, a Vanilla Peppermint Foot Massage and a Sugar-Kissed Hand Treatment. Finish with an award winning glass of sparkling wine and truffles to share as you snuggle up in an oversized chaise lounge on the spa's spacious veranda overlooking Mount Palomar. Special Price $119 (Regular: $162). Booking Code: Valentine. Available Feb. 10-17.
This Valentine's Day bring your true love to South Coast Winery's Vineyard Rose restaurant for a spectacular pairing of fine wine, great food and music by renowned Spanish guitarist David Maldonado. Cost is $95 per person with wine and $75 without wine.
Know she or he is the one? Book the "Romantic Runaway Wedding Package" and let South Coast Winery's expert event planners turn your fast-planned wedding into an unforgettable wedding fantasy. For $2,100, invite up to 40 of your friends and family and get a beautiful ceremony location, two-night stay for the newlyweds, officiant, wedding cake, bouquet for the bride and boutonniere for the groom, and sparkling wine for a toast. The "Wine Lovers Package" starts at $199 per night, which includes an overnight stay in a Deluxe Luxury Villa tucked away in the vineyards, complete with rose petals, chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling wine, Ultimate Wine Tour, cheese pairing for two, a select bottle of estate wine, Mimosa Breakfast for Two and discount passport booklet.
Wilson Creek Winery, Temecula Valley: During this "Romantic Valentine's Dinner" whisper sweet nothings over a tantalizing five-course prix-fixe meal while being serenaded by the sensual saxophone stylings of Mark Norris. Then sweep your Valentine off his or her feet and dance to a renowned local DJ, and later enjoy a special bottle of champagne. Impress your special someone by adding on a horseback ride through the vineyards to your Valentine's Day festivities.
Temecula Carriage Company, Temecula Valley: This February, enjoy a romantic and relaxing horse-drawn wine tasting tour in Temecula's beautiful wine country, including South Coast Winery and Ponte Winery, as well as a gourmet picnic or a romantic evening under the stars. Prices vary.
The Winemakers Tour, Temecula Valley: Experience a first-class tour of Temecula Valley hosted by the winemaker. Learn about the winemaking process while enjoying vineyard vistas and tasting great wines throughout February. The tour, which costs $80 per person, includes all tastes, a free bottle of the winemaker's special reserve (per couple) and chocolate.
D&D Ballooning, Temecula Valley: Want to pop the question California style? Try a private marriage proposal hot air balloon ride over Temecula vineyards. For $650 a chase vehicle featuring a large "Will You Marry Me?" sign will catch up to the balloon mid-flight so the bride-to-be can see it and the aspiring groom is prompted to propose. Then the balloon lands for a moment for the bride to receive a basket of roses, and soars again as the couple plans for their future.
California Dreamin' Hot Air Balloon Flight and Wine Tasting Package, Temecula Valley: Looking for a memorable Valentine's Day or the perfect way to propose? There's no better way to experience the beauty of the Temecula Wine Country than from the vantage point of a hot air balloon flight, followed by two-for-one tasting tickets at local wineries. Each couple taking a hot air balloon flight on Valentine's Day only will receive a bottle of local wine ($178 per person on Valentine's Day; $140 per person weekdays; $158 per person weekends).
California is the most visited state in the U.S. for wine and food-related activities. The state is the world's fourth largest wine producer with nearly 3,600 wineries and 90 percent of U.S. wine production. It also farms 400 agricultural crops, providing a wide assortment of fresh ingredients for the fine chefs in California's 90,000 restaurants and eateries.
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