After the pain of the last few years, isn’t it time that you treat yourself to a girls week in Northern California wine country? During this 6 day/5 night long VIP weekend, we’ll focus on pampering ourselves at a world class spa and meet interesting and important women in the wine trade to learn what inspires them. We’ll feast at the best of this region’s market-driven culinary outposts, and we’ll steal some time for shopping and relaxing. All of our tastings are VIP with the owners or winemakers. We've secured these special tastings through a good friend of GG2W's who owns an award winning vineyard who knows all the important women in the biz. We stay at two of the most sensational hotels in the area and our last night is a tasting and dinner at a vineyard, a wine you cannot buy online or on the shelfs. This extremely special trip is not one you can replicate on your own.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip
Healdsburg, Sonoma Valley
You’ll want to arrive on the early side at the San Francisco Airport. If you want to hop on the shuttle, you need to arrive no later than 10:00 am. Why not arrive a day early and enjoy the City by the Bay. You’ll be whisked away from SFO heading north to Healdsburg in Northern Sonoma County for our next two nights. Snacks will be provided for the journey which is just over 1 hour.
Once in Healdsburg, a charming town in Sonoma County, we’ll meet up with Kim Wallace, the co-owner of Dry Creek Vineyards, a family-owned business for the past 50 years. Kim will lead us through a VIP wine-tasting of some of their best offerings alongside a picnic lunch. After our tasting, we’ll check into the chic and charming H2 Hotel.
Free time this afternoon to walk around the picture-perfect town of Healdsburg for shopping and inspiration at Gallery Lulo, Tamarind, Susan Graff, LimeStone, Cupcake, Oska and more. Or you may prefer to stay and rest back at the hotel. If you need a pick-me-up, try some of the locals’ favorite coffee at Flying Goat coffee.
Tonight, we’ll enjoy an evening of art and wine in town at the Paul Mahder Gallery with Matt Smith, Winemaker and cofounder of GrapeSeed Wines. We will taste, gaze at art, and feast on Charcuterie Boards with local fruits, cheeses, and meats. On our way home to the hotel, for those who wish, we can make a pitstop at cocktail hotspot Duke’s for a digestif before heading off to bed.
Art Gallery Experience
Healdsburg, Sonoma Valley
Optional sunrise hot air balloon trip - an amazing experience, not for the faint of heart! This glorious morning activity is extra cost.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Late morning, we will head into the Russian River Valley. We will stop for lunch at one of our favorites, Pascaline Cafe, a charming French gastronomic gem, nestled among world-class vineyards, and Gravenstein apple orchards.
After lunch we will make our way to J Vineyards, begun by the legendary Judy Jordan and now with female winemaker Nicole in charge of all the wines including their lovely sparkling, one of the best in the valley. We think you’ll find it an absolutely wonderful way to spend the day.
Tonight, we will dine at Chalkboard Restaurant and delight our taste buds with locally grown and sourced ingredients.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
We will start our day with breakfast with morning yoga.
After breakfast we will head to Healdsburg and enjoy a tour and tasting at Ferrari-Cararno Vineyards. While on site we will get to meet with one of the amazing Women in Wine. Ferrari-Cararno is run by a power trio of women who are leading the way in winemaking in Sonoma County wine country.
Tonight, dinner is on your own. May we suggest Valette, where the chefs provide a canvas for local farmers, winemakers and artisans to showcase their crafts.
After checking out, as we drive over to Napa Valley. Upper Napa Valley is home to the alluring mineral pools of the Calistoga Hot Springs which have been a retreat for visitors for generations. The composition of the mineral water is created by the filtration of rainwater through the alluvial Napa Valley soils resulting in a blend of trace mineral and essential elements. Geothermal forces elevate the temperature of the mineral water up to 180ºF at the source. We’ll be headed to Napa Valley not only to enjoy more wine, but to soak up some serious spa time.
We’ll lunch on creative California cuisine at a local café, and just after, we’ll have a meet and greet with Violet Grgich, the female President & Co-Proprietor of Grgich Estates, founded in the 70’s by her father. Their Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel all get high ratings.
This afternoon, we’ll check into the luxury hotel Indian Springs in Calistoga Springs. We’ll unpack and then enjoy some special spa treatments. Indian Springs boasts an award-winning spa. Here, we’ll all each get to enjoy a mud bath using local volcanic ash and water from the geyser and of course you can add on a massage, facial or anything else on their extensive list.
Indian Springs Calistoga is unique among Calistoga hot springs resorts. All the natural elements found in their pools and spa treatments come entirely from their own land. Four on-site thermal geysers supply a constant stream of mineral water, plus a substantial deposit of pure volcanic ash runs through the property. Water and ash are combined to create the mud in their famous mud baths, and the water itself is fed directly into the mineral pool, steam rooms and Buddha Pond.
After a completely relaxing time in the spa, we’ll have a re-invigorating dinner at the charming and delectable Sam’s Social conveniently situated right at our hotel, drinking wines we sourced at the many wineries we’ve visited.
Mud Bath Treatment
On our drive towards our adventures today, we’ll pass the Instagram worthy mustard fields in full bloom where we’ll stop for selfies.
Today we’ll have brunch at the Acacia House in posh St. Helena. We’ll be sure to save time afterwards for a bit of shopping. St. Helena has everything you’d want to buy from jewelry to consignment shops, art galleries, bookstores, chic clothing, artisanal chocolate as well as the Spice Islands Marketplace at the Culinary Institute at Greystone, heaven for cooks and foodies.
Next, we’ll head to Hall Vineyard for a private hosted tasting with Kathryn Hall, the proprietor. Since first working in her family’s Mendocino vineyards, Kathryn Hall dreamed of a place to showcase fine wines alongside expressive art and masterful architecture. Kathryn and her husband have done just that with their two vineyards in the Napa Valley. She will be stopping by to talk about the business and answer any questions we may have! Hall produces some of the most distinctive and unique wines from the Napa Valley and we will be tasting several blends before heading out.
This evening you are in for an incredible experience with Karen Maley, the General Manager for Robert Young Vineyards in Alexander Valley. We will head out in the late afternoon to their vineyard for a tour on their tractor, a delightful tasting, and enjoy an evening with a delicious catered meal and discussion with Karen Maley.
After breakfast we’ll make an early morning departure for SF Airport (depending on your flight time) or head back leisurely with a tasting at the female-run Iron Horse Vineyards in lovely Sebastopol, with owner Joy Sterling, for some final bubbles and toasts to celebrate our time together!
Right smack dab in the center of Healdsburg, our favorite town in Sonoma county lies the Hip H2 hotel. Striped bamboo floors, funky Peace Industry rugs and local art give the rooms character without excessive fuss.
Indian Springs Calistoga is California’s oldest continuously operated pool and spa facility located in a stunning resort. It unfolds over 17 acres of hills and ponds, olive and palm trees, roses and lavender.
As a mom to three kiddos, Stacia makes traveling a priority for her family. Stacia loves to explore the food and culture of a new location. She hasn’t found too many foods she doesn’t like. What makes a trip even better are the people she meets along the way.
"The vineyards are calling and I must go"
In California's premier wine region, the pleasures of eating and drinking are celebrated daily. It's easy to join in at famous wineries and rising newcomers off country roads, or at trendy in-town tasting rooms. Chefs transform local ingredients into feasts, and gourmet groceries sell perfect picnic fare.
Accomodations in a beautiful private Queen Size Room
All trips and 7 VIP tastings with the owners or winemakers
All entry fees as indicated
All meals and snacks indicated above
All transport within California including airport transfers
Robert Young Estates Evening of Wine, Tasting, and Food
A mud-bath treatment at Indian Springs Hotel
Your flight to/from California
Yoga and Hot Air Balloon ride
All personal souvenir purchases or wines you want to take or ship home
Additional spa treatments
Extra wine or beer beyond what is offered
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
You will want to fly in early to the San Francisco Airport. If you want to hop on the shuttle, you need to arrive at the airport no later than noon on September 21st.
The trip officially starts on the morning of September 21st, but you may want to consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and get ready for the next day's activities. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will take care of booking your room for you and make sure that you are kept in the same room as you will be in when the trip starts.
We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.
The average high-temperature, in September, in Sonoma, California, is 85°F, while the average low-temperature is 56°.
Stacia Whitney will be your trip leader. Stacia is a mom to three kids and she makes traveling a priority for her family. She loves to explore the food and culture of a new location. What makes a trip even better are the people she meets along the way.