At the Jackie Chan Academy of Romance, students learn that the best ways to end an amorous evening are by flying off in a helicopter or roundhouse kicking their host in the face. Graduate to action stardom with today's Groupon: for $195, you get a 15-minute helicopter tour for two (a $340 value) from Sonoma Helicopter, followed by an exclusive wine tasting and cheese pairing (a $60 value) at Hop Kiln Winery in Healdsburg (a $400 total value).
Today's adventure begins with a 10- to 15-minute private helicopter tour in an R-44 Raven II chopper. Delight in a panoramic view of the vineyards, and then soar along the Russian River, past redwood-covered slopes, climbing over the mountains for views of the upper appellations. The experienced pilots conclude the tour by twisting down over the neighboring boutique wineries of Healdsburg, then back to the airport.
After the flight, oenophiles will drive to the winery for an exclusive one-hour tasting at the Hop Kiln Winery, a historic landmark ranch boasting 250 acres of estate vineyards. Sip-seekers can whet appetites for adventure with wines such as HKG Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Estate and HKG Chardonnay Russian River Valley Estate, which come paired with an array of local gourmet cheeses, including Spring Hill Cheese from Petaluma, Bellwether Farms, and Laura Chenel’s Chevre at the private tasting bar. Patrons are welcome to linger and purchase, if they wish, more wine, loaves of freshly baked bread or deli meats from the gourmet Tasting Room to prepare for a well-grounded picnic.
Overly intoxicated individuals may be asked to leave with no refund.
- I thoroughly enjoyed my experience here. The grounds are beautiful and historic, and the tasting room is big and welcoming. – Summer C., Yelp, 8/8/10
Sonoma Helicopter's fleet of choppers hardly ever stops spinning as they lead training, photography, and tour flights throughout the Sonoma Valley and wine country year round. Their thorough training program pairs classroom and flight sessions to produce pilots capable of taming wild helicopters, and the mountain-flying school further specializes chopper jockeys. Aside from aerial surveys that delve into animal populations, power-line patrols, and crop pollinations, the staff also takes to the air to give guests a bird's-eye view of Sonoma.