Just a little over a month ago Patrick and I were finishing up our California adventure with a romantic two-night stay at the Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma County.
We saved the best part of our trip for last and arrived at this lovely boutique hotel just after lunch on a bright & sunny day.
Farmhouse Inn is a 5th-generation family owned luxury 5-star hotel that also hosts a Michelin-starred restaurant. It was recently voted California’s Best Hotel by Travel & Leisure, so naturally Patrick and I couldn’t wait to dive in and see what it was all about!
Upon checking in, we were greeted with a glass of vino. We were in California wine country after all!
Patrick and I then strolled the grounds together exploring our new romantic oasis.
Light pink roses were in bloom almost all over the property. Forget summer, fresh blooms are just another reason why spring is our favorite time to travel!
Cheers to part three of our California adventure, delicious red wine, and pale pink flowers that match my party dress!
The actual farmhouse at the front of the property houses the restaurant, which we ended up visiting quite a few times during our stay! (More on that below!)
Guests rooms are scattered throughout the property. Some can be found in quaint cottages and some are tucked away in what was once a working barn.
Our room, or shall I say rooms, were tucked away in the back of the barn. White paneled walls, vaulted ceilings, and rustic details greeted us, as did another bottle of wine!
With the most luxuriously soft sheets on this four-poster bed & a two-way fireplace just across from it, it’s safe to say that this overnight stay at Farmhouse Inn has made it to the top of my favorite places traveled list.
It’s a serious list you guys!
Patrick and I spent the rest of the evening lounging around our rooms and exploring the property, taking it oh-so-easy.
We spent a lot of time on these Adirondack chairs, watching the fire and listening to the wind blow through the trees behind us.
You really forget how noisy it can be living in the center of Houston, Texas, that is until you find yourself so far removed from “it” all.
Our first full day in Sonoma Valley started off with lots of coffee, of course, and a delicious breakfast at Farmhouse Inn Restaurant.
Whipped goat cheese was actually part of said breakfast. And I was in my own version of foodie heaven. (Stay tuned for said delectable breakfast eye candy!)
We had heard through friends who had visited the area before that the best way to see wine country is through a private tour. Patrick did some research for us and booked us on none other than a day-tour called Terrific Tours.
Judging by the title alone, we knew we were in for a “terrific” day.
Farmhouse Inn lies in the heart of The Russian River Valley. The Russian River Valley is where you’ll find vineyards growing grapes that will one day fill up the bottles of world-class Pino Noirs & Chardonnays. (Which just so happen to be some of our favorites!)
Near The Russian River Valley lies The Alexander Valley, (there are quite a bit of specialized valleys in this area!) which is home to the 140-year-old Simi Winery.
At Simi, the first stop on the tour, we were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the fermenting & bottling process and we even visited the historical cellars.
As we were still in Northern California, we continued to stumble upon the great American Redwoods.
Simi Winery’s property was just filled with them!
But there was one particular tree on-site that was not part of the normal Northern California foliage.
This cork tree! The tree was planted when the vineyard was built, all those years ago, so the family would not have to import the cork for their bottles.
I guess I never really thought about where the cork from each bottle of wine comes from. Fun to think about how it was actually shaved off of a tree!
After learning as much as we could about what goes into the wine-making process, in just a 45-minute time span, we ventured out to Simi’s tasting patio for a private wine tasting.
Our terrific tour guide, Hampton, explained the proper way to sniff, sip and swish our glass of vino before tasting.
We then swished the Chardonnay in our glasses around & around for the full experience.
We even took a few notes, starring our favorites.
We drove through acres upon acres of gorgeous green vineyards, while our tour guide told us more about the history of the area and the science of winemaking.
One of my favorite stops was at Stuhlmuller Vineyards.
This might have had to do with the friendly orange tabby cat that was hanging around. But the views from the tasting room were truly amazing!
After a long (but glorious) day of wine tasting, we headed back to Farmhouse Inn for our fancy dinner date at their Michelin-starred restaurant. Guests are encouraged not to take photos during the dinner, but to sit back and enjoy the experience sans technology.
Blogger, avid-food-photographer that I am, I thought this would for sure be a struggle for me! But I left all of my picture taking devices back in our room and enjoyed the most romantic four-course dinner possible with my man!
My favorite part of the experience was the beverage one. (We were in wine country after all!) A master sommelier handpicked drinks for us that paired perfectly with each of our courses. She came around in between each course to pour our glasses and tell us interesting details about each glass of wine we were about to consume.
Patrick and I made sure to order something different from one another, that way we could sample each other’s food. (It’s a great thing we have going on here.) So in total, the two of us tried 8 different dishes and 8 different varieties of wine.
The only way one can finish off a meal so fabulous is by retreating to the outdoors.
For our 5th course! Red wine and smores.
I was convinced that I was still hungry because there was NO way that I was going to pass up homemade graham crackers, marshmallows, and delectable dark chocolate!
We woke up the next morning, only to fill our bellies again with more delicious fare from Farmhouse Inn’s restaurant.
At breakfast that last morning, I managed to bring in my phone and snap a few photos of the lovely Farmhouse Inn Restaurant.
The restaurant sources its food from the owner’s own ranch as well as from local artisan farmers. Which means, the menu is always changing!
Each morning when we visited the restaurant for breakfast, our menus were completely different from the day before.
Unexpected and delightful dishes, such as pickled strawberries and goat cheese, started off our breakfast experience.
Then unique takes on more traditional dishes finished them off. I ate every single bite of the hazelnut french toast above! Looking at the photo right now, I’m ready to hop on a plane and head back to Sonoma just for another bite!
Lambert Bridge Winery was recommended to us and we arrived just in time for a private tasting in their Redwood Barrel Room before lunch.
Because a glass of wine is always the best appetizer to your meal, right?
After so many tastings, Patrick and I had felt we had become mini-experts on the different notes and varieties of California wines.
Okay … okay … we know we weren’t really experts after such a short visit, but the experience did broaden our wine-drinking horizons. And I will say, we left Sonoma much bigger fans of Chardonnay than we were when we arrived.
You’ll just have to make the visit yourself to see what I’m talking about! 😉
A visit to wine country is a must when going on any sort of California adventure. This part of our trip was by far the most relaxing and luxurious. A stay at Farmhouse Inn is the perfect way to vacation & wine-d down from the real world.