After the pain of the last few years, isn’t it time that you treat yourself to a girls’ weekend in Northern California wine country? During this long VIP weekend, we’ll focus on pampering ourselves at a world class spa, meet interesting and important women in the trade to learn what inspires them. And we’ll make room for some serious adventure. We’ll feast at the best of this region’s unique market-driven culinary outposts, and we’ll steal some time for shopping and simply relaxing.
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. You’ll be whisked away from SFO heading north to Healdsburg in upper Sonoma Valley 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 Valley 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.
Healdsburg, Sonoma Valley
Optional sunrise hot air balloon trip - an amazing experience, not for the faint of heart! This glorious morning activity is extra, so plan on a $299.00 fee if you want to go for it!
Breakfast at the hotel.
Around 10 am today we’ll head 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 start the day.
We will stop for lunch before we try our luck at wild mushroom foraging with an expert mycophagist, followed by a cooking demonstration at Relish Culinary, the much-loved female-owned culinary school in town. Here we’ll have a lively discussion about food and wine followed by a scrumptious meal focusing on our discoveries.
Mushroom Foraging and Hike
Mushroom Cooking Demonstration
Fabulous dinner at Relish Culinary
We will start our day with Breakfast with morning yoga.
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
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.
Next, we’ll make a pilgrimage to Corison Wine. Cathy Corison is a pioneer in women’s winemaking in the valley. She was told while getting her master’s degree that she wouldn’t be able to get a job in Napa because she was a woman. Defying all odds, by 1987, she had opened her own winery. Here we’ll taste her award-winning Cabernets.
This evening you are in for an incredible experience with Karen Maley, the General Manager for Robert Young Vineyards. 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. Her kids love to jump on a plane for new adventures. As for Stacia, she 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 meals, snacks, and cooking demonstration
All trips and 7 VIP tastings with the owners or winemakers
All entry fees as indicated
Mushroom Cooking Demonstration and Catered Meal
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)