Luxurious wine country experiences can become a redundant thought. With some many offerings and incredible wine, one comes to expect luxury at every turn when booking your getaway. But what are the experiences that truly stand out? Join us in Sonoma County this winter with these unforgettable stops; from a new bubble room and high end lodging amenities to a deeply relaxing spa and chic culinary experience these will be hard to top.
Where To Experience Luxury
11447 Old Redwood Hwy,
Healdsburg, CA 95448
If wineries could be awarded Michelin stars, J Vineyards would top the list. Chef Carl Shelton’s masterful creations of tasting plates solidify the luxury experience of the Bubble Room inside J Vineyards in the heart of the Russian River Valley, a mere 5-minute drive from downtown Healdsburg. To enhance the royal guest experience, the new J Bubble Room offers double the food and wine pairing space to accommodate more patrons. This newly-designed space boasts bubbling glass chandeliers, an open kitchen area and a great wall of windows with a one-way view to people watch among a stunning view of nature.
Chef Shelton arranges his creations within this accommodating winery space. Inside and outside the building, each scene possesses a décor of its own and proves successful given the crowds that gather for tastings in the outdoor lounge, at the tasting bar outside, at the indoor tasting bar and in the Bubble Room.
Setting The Scene
The Blanket, Fireplace, and Wine menu in the Bubble Room is aptly titled, as it offers an amuse bouche, four courses and a dessert course sure to sooth your soul and warm you during the winter months. Chef’s creations are elaborate and structured, showcasing his extensive experience thinking outside the box and with ingredients sourced within a 25-mile radius.
An amuse bouche of Japanese futso squash injected with foie gras mousse starts off this culinary adventure. The flavors bring forth the creaminess in a sip of 2009 Magnum Vintage Brut.
Each tasting shows off the fresh nuances of the bubbles, and every pour is introduced with a J Family story told by the Bubble Room sommelier to explain the namesake vineyards. The first stop on this culinary journey is sprinkled with tiny cubes of beets, lardo and Marcona almond bits leading to the middle chicory wrap, the latter toned down with a glass of Blanc de Noirs 2012 from Nicole’s Vineyard, named after founder Judy Jordan’s daughter. This glass of bubbly is fruit-forward with raspberry flavor.
The juxtaposition of new and old brings taste to center stage with dishes like the crunchy Wheat Berry Porridge soaked in dashi (the base for miso soup), tossed with Matsu take mushrooms and poached egg to complement the 2014 Robert Thomas Vineyard Pinot Noir.
A tasting of Bow Tie 2014 Chardonnay pairs well with the apples served as part of the third course in a dish of puree of celery root, black rice, and chestnuts — topped with a serving of black cod cured for 10 minutes in salt, rinsed and then steamed in bamboo. The mouth-feel of the chardonnay and black cod add an extra creaminess and harmony to the tasting experience.
The momentum escalates with the fourth dish of duck, butternut squash, chanterelles and Brussels sprouts served with a 2006 Late Disgorged Vintage Brut fermented in stainless steel. The bubbly worked best with the cannelloni of duck confit but the experience doesn’t end here. One more glass of Cuvee 20 from Russian River Valley grapes, J Vineyard’s most widely distributed bubbly, is paired with a pumpkin cheesecake made with white chocolate and topped with pepitas.
Chef Shelton enjoys dehydrating and then frying ingredients like tapioca, and he relishes stuffing foie gras into tiny cubes of butterball potato and topping with Alba truffle bits. In true Michelin-style, he has successfully created a tasting menu that parallels in perfection with the paired wines. For a luxurious wine tasting experience full of artful culinary creations and award winning wine: Book your reservations at J Vineyards
A special sparkling menu will be available in December through the first half of January, as J Bubble Room will offer all sparkling on the tasting menu, with the option to add caviar.
Where To Have A Luxurious
Kenwood Inn & Spa
10400 Sonoma Hwy,
Kenwood, CA 95452
Located amidst vineyards, oak groves, walnut orchards and fruit trees, Kenwood Inn and Spa is designed with hand-crafted artistry providing an atmosphere to nourish the soul and engage the senses. This luxuriously intimate, peaceful hideaway for adults (18 years or older), offers 29 dreamy rooms and suites, each appointed with fireplaces, featherbeds, Italian linens for bed and bath, luxurious robes for lounging and breakfast each morning. Kenwood’s Mediterranean-style villa has three lush courtyards featuring an exquisite pool and two hot tubs, fountains, a serene pond, meticulously landscaped flora, and abundant ivy cascading up, down, and around the Inn.
For an incredibly luxurious experience we recommend booking the spacious Grand Rooms located on the ground, second and third floors. Averaging 650 square feet they surround the fountain, pool and central courtyards. The ultimate in privacy, they offer balconies or patios, king featherbeds, sitting areas with a fireplace, and deluxe bathrooms with oversized jetted tubs and extra-large showers with marble benches. Book the Kenwood Grand Room.
Where To Relax In Luxury
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa
100 Boyes Blvd,
Sonoma, CA 95476
Blessed by natural mineral hot springs in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California and an idyllic, world famous wine growing region abundant with local products, Fairmont Inn’s Willow Stream Spa offers an unforgettable retreat. For hundreds of years, ancient thermal mineral waters have graced this site. Today, their California resort is proud to be one of the only luxury spa resorts in the country with its own source of thermal mineral water.
While their spa menu is robust, offering not only traditional spa services, enjoy mind and body offering as well. Services include meditation, Reiki, Tarot Card reading and reflexology. For a luxurious experience, especially after you book an afternoon at J Vineyards, we recommend the Wine-Country Recovery Service—90 minutes. Soothe aching muscles and relieve fatigue after a busy day in Wine Country. Following a therapeutic soak in a golden fango alkaline bath, enjoy a nourishing aloe-gel wrap and foot massage—and feel tension melt away. The treatment concludes with a hydrating mini-facial and a cool beverage. Book your Wine Country Recovery today!
Where To Have A Luxurious Dinner
Dry Creek Kitchen
Hotel Healdsburg, 317 Healdsburg Ave,
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Set on Healdsburg’s historic tree lined Plaza, Dry Creek Kitchen mixes vibrant American cooking and world class bottlings with the intimate charm of a small town and true wine country hospitality. The inviting, recently revitalized dining room is punctuated by sculptural floral arrangements, floor-to-ceiling windows and oversized doors which open to a garden terrace, evoking wine country’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle. With a service staff committed to gracious conviviality, it is wine country living at it’s best: a warmly modern atmosphere in a naturally beautiful setting.
Dry Creek Kitchen’s luxurious attention to detail extends into the holidays with fantastic offerings, including a specialty four-course dinner menu with seasonal items like Truffled Venison Loin with braised sunchoke and shaved winter truffle. With a locally-sourced menu accompanied by optional wine pairings selected by Wine Director Rolando Maldonado, Dry Creek Kitchen is the perfect location to break bread with friends and family this holiday season. Make your Dry Creek Kitchen reservations