Wine connoisseurs assert that novice tasters should never pair red wine with fish, white wine with red meat, or excessive wine with jury duty. Lap up today's Groupon in moderate proportions at Long Meadow Ranch Winery in Saint Helena. Choose between two options:
- For $85, you get a three-course Farm-to-Table wine and food experience for two (a $170 value).
- For $150, you get a Napa Valley Dream winery tour and a three-course wine and food experience for two (a $300 value).
Long Meadow Ranch Winery is dedicated to producing gourmet foods and wines, harvested and made using sustainable-farming practices. Perfect for an afternoon getaway with a sweetheart or a charming break from a cross-country crime spree, the Farm-to-Table wine and food experience starts at noon with a tour of the ranch's bounteous gardens. After frolicking through the cucumber fields and strawberry swarms, guests can meander through the vineyard, which showcases the ranch's commitment to organic-farming practices and its abiding sustainable philosophy of using all products of the ranch for maximum efficiency and minimum environmental footprint. Walkers then retire to the fully restored, Gothic-revival beauty of the nineteenth-century Logan-Ives House to enjoy a three-course, seasonal meal prepared with ingredients that, like a cow lost in Times Square, come fresh from the farm, accompanied with wine and olive oil from the ranch.
Those seeking a more in-depth look at the ranch's inner workings can take advantage of the Napa Valley Dream winery tour. Strap on your wine helmet bright and early at the Logan-Ives House for coffee, fresh fruit, and pastries at 10:30 a.m. Guests take the ride up into the Mayacamas Mountains to Long Meadow Ranch itself, touring the vineyards, olive fields, wine caves, and olive-smooshing facilities. Tourgoers can see the sights on foot, or a Swiss Army truck is available to ferry passengers or cut giant toenails with foldout clippers. After the three-hour tour, built-up appetites are satisfied at the Logan-Ives House with a seasonally inspired meal, ranch-spawned wines, and olive oils.
Guests must make reservations at least 24 hours in advance for the Farm-to-Table experience and 48 hours beforehand for the Dream Winery Tour.
- Centered around the 19th-century Gothic Revival house that contains the wine-tasting room, the property is home to a terrific restaurant called Farmstead, a seasonal farm stand and a nursery. – Ray Isle, Food and Wine
- With the coupling of hearty, tasty food and a creatively stylish "barn" setting, we were seriously impressed and highly recommend Farmstead. – Justin L., Yelp, 1/5/11