While we don’t quite have the bone chilling winter winds we do look for crispness to the air, when that starts to nip at our glass, it can only mean one thing – the holidays are right around the corner. While you’ll be hard pressed to find a better activity than an evening lounging in front of a fire with a glass of Cabernet, the season calls for a little socializing. Inject a bit of excitement into your festivities by hosting your next holiday shindig somewhere special. Or be the office hero and suggest wine country for your company’s holiday gathering. Check out the list below for some of the finest spots in the valley to kick off the season in style.
Image Source: Charles Krug
2800 Main Street
St. Helena, CA 94574
4.5 Stars, 89 Reviews
As one of the first tasting rooms in California, Charles Krug has history on its side. Overlooking the great lawn, the grounds include a completely restored 1881 Carriage house once built to house Carolina Krug’s horses. Boasting two levels of event space, the upper Great Room opens to soaring cathedral ceilings, old growth redwood floors and hand forged chandeliers while the lower level, surrounds guests with grand pillars and a view of the winery. Each floor can comfortably hold up to 250.
For something extra special, book a private tasting in the Library Room. Sit down at their communal table, enjoy a flight and view a selection of Charles Krug wines that back to the 1940s, all of which are housed in their temperature-controlled reserve cellar.
Image Source: The Meritage Resort and Spa
The Meritage Resort and Spa
875 Bordeaux Way
Napa, CA 94558
4 Stars, 1,542 Reviews
While a carved rock room might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of event spaces, the Meritage has done something special. Nestled under its nine-acre vineyard is the Estate Cave. Roomier than you would think, it’s almost 4,000 square foot entertainment space can accommodate up to 200 guests. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter, the Estate Cave is a truly unique space perfect for cozying up with friends and enjoying the warmth of the holidays. But if that’s not your style, they also offer the Vineyard Terrance a larger outdoor space with sweeping view of the lawn and grape covered hills.
Hold your after party at Crush, the Meritage’s on site sports and cocktail lounge where not only can you score a glass of wine in a private venue, but also try your hand at earning some strikes at their very own bowling alley.
Image Source: Silverado Resort
1600 Atlas Peak Road
Napa Valley, CA 94558
4 Stars, 2,650 Reviews
Silverado knows a thing or two about recreation. Aside from the usual golf and tennis activities, they encourage guests to get out and have an adventure. With miles of hiking and jogging trails on property, as well as a spa, bocce ball court and lush vineyards, Silverado has something for everyone. Their new events venue, Mansion Gardens, offers more than 30,000 square feet of usable space, and features Napa Valley style foliage – including a small vineyard – spacious lawns and a 5,000 square foot pavilion for receptions, dinners and meetings. If a grand space is something you’re looking for to make your party something special, there is no better place than Silverado.
Enlist one of Silverado’s Destination Coordinators to set up a personalized experience for your group. They can arrange anything from canvas painting and cheese making, to a blind tasting competition amongst your peers. Who doesn’t appreciate a little friendly competition?
Image Source: Freemark Abby
3022 St.Helena Highway N.
St. Helena, CA 94574
4.5 Stars, 51 Reviews
Intimate events are something that Freemark Abby does well. While other wineries might overwhelm guests with the amount of space they offer, Freemark gives guests a personalized intimate tasting experience, and an even better space for events. With a lush, wood hewn bar and warm tasting room they can easily accommodate groups of 12-120. To soak up the winter sunshine, they also offer space on their patio.
Check out the neighboring restaurant Two Birds One Stone for an innovative take on Asian Fusion. Bonus – complimentary corkage, so be sure to pick up a bottle of Freemark Abby’s highly reviewed 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon before heading over.
Image Source: Sinegal Estate
2125 Inglewood Ave.
St. Helena, CA 94574
For those that appreciate the architecture of buildings as well as wine, look no further than Sinegal Winery. Designed by Signum Architecture of St. Helena this state-of-the-art facility boasts clean lines and a classic midcentury modern style. Newly renovated, their tasting lounge, terrace, wine caves and Estate Room are all open to the public. Visitors are welcome to pull up a chair on their patio or take a glass down to sip beside the on property lake. Hearkening back to a simpler time, this venue is perfect for intimate gatherings and holiday parties alike.
After taking a tour of their newly dug 6,500 square foot wine cave, head back above ground to tour the edible garden. Vegetables from this site are sold and served at many local restaurants in the area.
Image Source: Safari West
3115 Porter Creek Rd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
4.5 Stars, 799 Reviews
Who would have thought that a little bit of Africa could be found in wine country? With Safari West, the savanna comes to you. Along with a whole host of animals, they offer multiple venues to fit any event. Their Elephant room offers a mixed meeting space with views of the aviary and outdoor patio while their newest addition, Flamingo Landing, boasts stunning view of their hillside giraffe enclosure, gazelle paddock and wildebeest viewing area. And if that’s not close enough, take your group on the ultimate tour by boarding one of their open air safari vehicles and going out into the park. For something truly unforgettable, Safari West offers the best in class and adventure.
Book a night in one of their imported African Safari tents to snooze under the stars. Complete with plush bedding, wood floors and a copper soaking tub it is the ultimate glamping experience.