Charles Creek Vineyard Tasting Room & Gallery is situated in a charming 1890s storefront on the historic Sonoma Plaza. In addition to offering the opportunity to taste and purchase the small lot, hard to find Charles Creek wines the room also serves as a showcase for local artists with new exhibits hanging every 60 days.
Ramekins offers cooking classes from award-winning chefs in a beautiful, European-style villa in the heart of wine country. During each three-hour cooking class, up to 12 fledgling gourmands prepare and eat a multicourse meal under the careful tutelage of a crack team of expert chefs using essential culinary techniques, such as meat seasoning, soup simmering, and chopping thrown tomatoes cleanly in twain.
Genesis Fitness’s staff of coaches includes a lifelong athlete, a US Marine, a swim-team coach, and a dedicated computer gamer, all of whom transformed their bodies using the CrossFit method. Now the coaches teach this high-intensity training regimen that focuses on functional movements such as running, jumping, and climbing. They hold classes six days a week in their industrial gym with exposed-brick walls, red steel rafters, and padded floors.
The history of Ceja Vineyards dates back the 1950s, when Pablo Ceja, then working in St. Helena vineyards, dreamed of owning his own land where his ever-expanding family could grow their own grapes and make their own wine. Fueled by this dream for a better life for his children, Pablo moved his family from Mexico to the Napa Valley in 1967. Fortunately, 2 of his 10 children, Pedro and Armando, inherited his passion for wine and belief in hard work. When they were old enough, Pedro and Armando planted their first pinot-noir grapes in 1986 and, 13 years later, officially founded Ceja Vineyards with their wives and children. Today, the Cejas' operation boasts 113 producing acres and a chic wine-tasting salon where guests can enjoy sips of the vineyard’s red and white varietals, artisan cheeses, gourmet food items, and featured works from local artists.
In good Ceja tradition, Pedro and Armando’s kids are now beginning to purple their feet in the family business as well. Pablo’s family has undoubtedly made him proud; they’ve done much since their humble beginnings in St. Helena. The family hopes their story of hope and determination surfaces in every sip of their lovingly cultivated wines.
Now that eating on an ordinary table or atop a stack of Chinese acrobats seem horribly passé, adventurous foodies are seeking the next unconventional dining experience. Today's Groupon puts a little motion under your meal with two gourmet dinners on the Napa Valley Wine Train for $99 (a $198 value for dinner, $188 value for lunch). Treat yourself and a loved one to a three-hour ride through Napa Valley on an antique locomotive engine, accompanied by a delicious gourmet meal in lieu of the traditional mysterious murder.
Wildflower-filled vases adorn hardwood tables within Savour St. Helena's rouge-tinted tasting room, where servers dish out hard-to-find vinos culled from small wineries. The wine-tasting experience challenges pairs of budding sommeliers to identify subtle floral notes and passive-aggressive tendencies in four samples of premium vino. Tasters also munch muffuletta sandwiches stuffed with capicola and salami before redeeming their $15 credit for bottled vintages such as Areté Wines 2010 sauvignon blanc ($22) or a Houdini 2007 merlot ($32).