Historical Victorian Inn in California Wine Country
Nestled in a premier grape-growing region in the Alexander Valley, Auberge on the Vineyard is a Queen Anne–style inn with gingerbread trim and wraparound verandas. The seven-room bed and breakfast—which has been featured on the Today show—dates back to 1910. Inside, you’ll find a cast-iron wood stove, clawfoot tubs, antique chaises, and french accents sprinkled throughout.
The Margaux, Lorraine, and Hermitage rooms are housed in the main inn. Two of the units have large bay windows, and all feature Victorian touches such as patterned wallpaper and floral bedspreads. The recently renovated Sancerre, Echezeaux, and Vouvray rooms are in the adjacent carriage house, which has a western-facing balcony from which you can survey more than 100 acres of Alexander Valley vineyards and watch the sun set over the mountains.
Each morning, the inn’s owner, Roxanne, prepares a three-course breakfast that includes fresh fruit, meats, and a hot entree, such as quiche lorraine or pain perdu. Winery passes grant access to a variety of wineries throughout Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, including Dry Creek, Russian River and Alexander Valleys. The pass waives tasting fees and offers up to 20% off at a number of wineries.
Cloverdale, California: Up-and-Coming Wine Country Outpost in Alexander Valley
Named one of the Coolest Small Towns in America by Budget Travel in 2010, Cloverdale (population: 8,500, give or take) is a small community about 80 miles north of San Francisco, adjacent to California’s Highway 101. Cloverdale’s vibrant downtown is home to art galleries and local eateries, but it’s known chiefly for its prime location amid mountains and renowned wineries.
The Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys are two of the most prestigious wine appellations in California, with several world-class wineries offering tours and tastings. Your stay at Auberge on the Vineyard features a winery pass so you can sample some of the vino.
When the weather’s nice, head to Lake Sonoma, about 25 miles away, for outdoor recreation. The area is popular with boaters, fishers, and hawks, which can occasionally be seen swooping from the sky to pluck smallmouth bass and bluegill from the water.