When contemplating any kind of vacation, it’s always wise to plan ahead.
That’s particularly true when it comes to “wine touring,” since lodging can sell out quickly, as can tickets to wine-themed festivals and other special events.
But if the winter weather is making you itch (no, we’re not talking about dry skin) for a quick getaway to California wine country, here are a couple of last-minute ideas… one intimate, the other quite grand in scale…
WINE & CHOCOLATE WEEKEND – In Los Gatos, Calif., an easy drive from San Francisco International Airport, Testa Rossa Winery will host a two-day salute to two of life’s great pleasures: wine and chocolate.
On February 12 and 13, from 12 noon until 4 p.m. each day, guests will have the opportunity to sample gourmet chocolates alongside Testa Rossa’s tasty wines.
Attention, men: Valentine’s Day is February 14, so if you really want to make an impression… or if you need to get out of the dog house… consider making it a three-day weekend and adding a romantic dinner for two to conclude your getaway.
The San Francisco Bay Area is a food lover’s heaven, but keep in mind that the best restaurants get booked up early for Valentine’s Day. So don’t delay.
For further information on Testa Rossa’s Wine & Chocolate Weekend, visit: www.testarossa.com
VINOLIVO – If you already have your Valentine’s Day plans set, or if you need a little more planning time, consider attending Vinolivo ’11, presented by The Lodge at Sonoma and produced by the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance.
Vinolivo is described as “a gala celebration and feast for the senses,” and it’s set for February 18 beginning at 7 p.m. Attendees can:
* Sip Sonoma Valley’s best wines from more than 50 local estates.
* Get to know the winemakers and grape growers of Sonoma Valley.
* Ignite their tastebuds with culinary delights from more than 20 of Sonoma’s finest restaurants, caterers and artisans.
* Sample local savory olives at the Olive Bar.
* Enjoy seductive Port wines.
* Experience a perfect pairing at the Pommes Frites and Sparkling Wine Bar.
* Entertain their senses with the hottest deejay in town, Jason Woods.
As a special bonus, attendees will be encouraged to vote for their favorite wineries and restaurants, and doing so will enter them into a drawing for a Sonoma Valley wine getaway package. In other words, you could win a vacation while on vacation.
Tickets for Vinolivo are priced at $75, or $85 at the door (if still available).
For additional information, call 707-935-0803, or visit: www.sonomavalleywine.com