A couple weekends ago Patrick and I packed our bags and headed on a Valentine’s Day getaway to the beautiful Sonoma Valley. I received so many questions regarding what we did and where we stayed after sharing our trip on Insta Stories, so I thought it would be helpful to share our full weekend itinerary here to reference. If you decide to use this itinerary for a romantic getaway or girls weekend, send me an email or DM with a photo from one of the the locations and i’ll make sure to share it on my Insta Stories!
FRIDAY, 6 PM
We arrived at the cutest little B&B, An Inn to Remember, the Friday before Valentine’s Day after a quick 50 minute drive from our home in San Francisco. Pro Tip: Leave early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid traffic and the drive will be a breeze!! We pulled into our reserved parking spot right in front of our room and quickly fell in love with the undeniable charm, coziness and hospitality. An Inn to Remember is an intimate stay with only 7 rooms that are each decorated with an elegant French-Vintage style that completely enhance the wine country experience.
SATURDAY, 9 AM
We requested the Mimosa Suite and loved how spacious it was! We had our own large deck that looked out at a luscious garden and peaceful water fountain. On Saturday morning we enjoyed coffee and a light Italian breakfast on our sunny patio, which is complimentary to all guests, before getting ready for a fun day of wine tasting!
Saturday, 11 – 11:50 AM
Our first wine tasting was scheduled at Sonoma-Loeb, which is located in Sonoma Valley’s Historic Plaza, and is just a 5 minute walk from the Inn. Sonoma-Loeb is known for producing limited production Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. On a sunny and early afternoon tasting, I tend to lean towards white wine and especially loved the 2015 El Novillero Chardonnay Carneros. I also highly recommend coming here if you are a Pinot fan.
SATURDAY, 12 – 1 PM
After a lovely first tasting at Sonoma-Loeb, we walked right around the corner to Pangloss Cellars for our second tasting of the day. The tasting room is unlike any we have been to before and is one that we instantly fell in love with. Pangloss Cellars was founded on the belief that the experience is just as important as the wines themselves, and both the experience and wine were beyond all of our expectations and made our Valentine’s Day celebration even more special. The recently restored, 115-year old building in Sonoma’s Historic Town Square is the perfect location for celebratory tastings and events. Patrick and I could not stop saying how this space would be perfect for events! So if you are looking for a space to host your engagement party, birthday celebration or work event – I urge you to check this place out! We were completely spoiled by the most incredible Wine Flight with Food Complements. Each wine flight included 3 wines that went exceptionally well with their beautifully presented food pairings. We were absolutely blown away by each bite and sip and even tried Caviar for the first time! We left with 2 bottles of the Sauvignon Blanc 2o15.
SATURDAY 1 – 2:45 PM
We were picked up by Pure Luxury outside of Pangloss Cellars and were off to lunch! Pure Luxury is a great option when doing a full day of wine tasting so that you don’t have to worry about how to get around. They have luxurious transportation options for both intimate and group experiences. Our driver even gave us amazing suggestions for what to do while in town!
After a quick 30 minute drive we arrived at VJB Cellars for lunch and our third tasting of the day. I can’t tell you how excited Patrick was that we were having lunch here. Okay, I guess I was really excited too! We share a love for wood oven pizza and wine so it was the perfect place to spend the day of love! What we didn’t know was that this popular lunch spot would also be the winery that surprised the most. The first thing we noticed was that the only wine we recognized on our tasting menu was the Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest were completely foreign to us! The real surprise came when we fell in love with varietals we never knew existed. I started off “starring” each wine I enjoyed, and by the end each wine had a big star next to it. They were all so unique and wonderful. I don’t know how else to describe it other than you need to go here and request Mike Nicholls to host you, he is the absolute best and is so informative and passionate about wine! We left with a bottle of the 2015 Rosso Family Blend (50% Zinfandel, 25% Barbera, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon) but easily could have left with several of the other varietals too.
SATURDAY, 3 – 4 PM
The fourth and final tasting of the day was just up the road from VJB Cellars at Ledson Winery. I remember driving by Ledson Winery the very first time I visited Sonoma and being in such awe. The 16,000 sq.ft. French Normandy winery is known around the world as “The Castle,” for obvious reasons. This particular winery has been on my list of places to go since I moved to San Francisco 2 years ago, so to say that I was excited is a complete understatement. We enjoyed a private tasting in one of the beautiful upstairs suites where we learned the complete history of the family winery and how it came to be the exceptional winery it is today. Ledson specializes in Zins and Cabs, which are Patrick’s favorite varietals, so this was the perfect last stop on our day of tastings. Our tasting was only scheduled to be an hour, but we enjoyed chatting with the knowledgeable wine consultant so much that we ended up staying until close to 5! Each glass blew us away and we ended up taking home the 2013 Dry Creek Valley ‘Estate Old Vine’ Zinfandel. I am not typically a Zin fan, so we were very excited to find one that we both really loved. Plus their branding is beautiful and I have a deep and never-ending appreciation for outstanding wine with an equally beautiful appearance.
It was amazing to see the winery in perfect condition and thriving after receiving unwanted and inaccurate media attention during the recent fires. Someone photoshopped an image of the stunning building burnt to the ground and rumors circulated about it being completely destroyed. This is completely inaccurate, so please spread the word that these statements were not true!
SATURDAY, 7 PM
DATE NIGHT! We were here to celebrate Valentine’s Day so a romantic dinner and an outfit change into a pretty V-Day dress was in order! We had reservations at Carneros Bistro which features farm-to-table cuisine and was named one of the Top 50 Restaurants in the Bay Area by San Francisco Magazine. After a day filled with lots of great wine, this was the perfect cap to a perfect day. I ordered a refreshing Cucumber Martini and we each started with the most delicious Mushroom Soup we have ever tasted!! I ordered the Winter Squash Gnocchi for my main course (Patrick kept stealing bites because it was SO GOOD) and Patrick ordered the Wood Grilled Wagyu Eye of Rib, which he said was delicious as well. We finished off with a Milk Chocolate Pana Cotta that was unbelievable and almost too pretty to eat. The entire dining experience was wonderful and we will definitely be coming back.
We cannot thank Sonoma Valley enough for the most incredible and romantic Valentine’s Day Getaway this year. Sonoma Valley is a destination that offers an amazing experience year-round. Located in the heart of Northern California Wine country, Sonoma Valley is a 17-mile span that encompasses the city of Sonoma and the villages of The Springs, Glen Ellen, Bennett Valley, Carneros and Kenwood and is home to more than 100 premium wineries, 85 percent of which are family owned. The destination is easily accessible from all major Northern California airports, and a quick drive from San Francisco, which makes it the an easy trip for weekend getaways or celebrations. Sonoma Valley has become one of Patrick and I’s favorite weekend getaways, and was the perfect place for us to enjoy our romantic Valentine’s Day weekend. We will be back very soon!
Photos by Andrea Lowry Photography