A fire swept through the Mayacamas Mountains foothills in 1964, creating an environment ripe for the knobcone pines that quickly repopulated the land. Four years later, Jane Davenport Jansen purchased more than 40 acres of the nascent thicket, taming it with vineyards planted on the open valley floor. In 1987, she began cultivating a garden along the rocky, steep hillsides, which were pocked with the remains of abandoned rock quarries. Heavy rains and natural infiltration of waters created a group of ponds, creating a serene natural environment that Jansen soon planted with seedlings, flowers, and plants from seeds collected on more than 25 annual Asian expeditions. Until she passed away in 2000, Jansen funded the growth and cultivation of the 25-acre garden, which is now one of the largest collections of scientifically documented, wild-source Asian plants on the continent. Visitors can view the rare plants and vast selection of Asian greenery blossoming from the Glen Ellen countryside as they meander through the gardens during self-led tours.
Benziger Family Winery hosts daily tram tours that depart on the half-hour from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with the exception of noon. Imagery Estate Winery hosts tastings Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Crafted from locally sourced grapes, the Fogstone Wines lineup of varietals are handcrafted and overseen by two friends who set out to make the best wine possible. The result was a small collection that ranges from a sweet chocolate port to a reserve merlot.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
Each year, Mud Factor plows into towns across the country towing along a fun, yet challenging 5K course full of obstacles and mud to trudge through. But it's not just the adults who get covered in the dirty stuff. Mud Factor Kidz offers all the steep hills, muddy pits, and dark moments of introspection as the grownup course. Athletes between 4 and 13 years old run between 1.5 and 2 miles. Costumes are encouraged for runners who like to rock their own style.
Both producers and importers of wines, Boisset Wine Living curates a selection of wines from France and the US for the tasting and drinking pleasure of discerning sippers. Offering an "at-home" collection, sommeliers travel to clients' abodes to share a selection of wines during guided tastings. After tastings, clients can even order wines to be delivered, selecting their favorites from the tasting experience.
Explore an authentic South American gastronomy tour.