Friday the 13th of May was not unlucky for a group of corporate meeting planners who were invited, and who journeyed to Sonoma County’s Wine Country. The tour was spearheaded by Teddy, Stu, and Michael, the gracious and talented masterminds of Corporate Event Connections. Corporate Event Connections is a company which bridges the gap between corporate event planners and top Bay Area special event venues and service providers. The purpose of our trip? To share with the meeting planners the results of choosing well, your sites, your services, and the structure of a corporate trip or retreat.
The day began in Marina Green, where San Francisco Mini Bus picked up the planners for their journey to Sonoma with Matt, Tours of Napa leading the way. First stop, a welcome from Jason and Gina at the Hotel Healdsburg and Dry Creek Kitchen, followed by a tour of this property, along with their “sister” properties, h2hotel and Spoonbar.
These luxurious but quietly understated hotels and restaurants, remind us why folks journey from all over the country and the world, to visit Sonoma. Knowing the group would be famished at this point, the folks at Spoonbar hosted an incredibly delicious and generous, 3 course luncheon as respite. How about that bacon on the burger?
Onward, to see what is created when one of film’s most talented directors, combines his and his family’s love for friends and family, guests, wine, food, vineyards, historical items, and a pool. That, would be Francis Ford Coppola Winery. James welcomed us to this “Wine Wonderland” which, reopened in July 2010. Unexpected, magical, mysterious, surreal, and welcoming are just a few of the adjectives I would employ to describe this remarkable spot. You might think you can enjoy it all in an hour or so. My advice? Take the day. Oh, and the wine is excellent.
One more stop. Victor Trentadue, along with Jennifer and Alyssa greeted us with flutes filled with their icy cold Trentadue California Champagne, Charmat Method, made from French Colombard grapes. I must repeat myself and my adjectives, in describing this wine as unexpected and magical…a perfect combination of acidity and of delicate sweetness. Yum, and good on you, Victor! We boarded gondolas, pulled by a tractor, and traveled east to Trentadue Winery, for continued wine, chocolate, and cheese tasting, a
tour of the Sala del Leone Event Center, and of the grounds’ gardens and picnic
area, located beneath a grove of redwood trees. They say that certain locations will make time stand still and increase deep breathing. This would be one of those places. Wine tasting, corporate meetings, and weddings, Trentadue Winery can welcome all.
The day was bound to reach its conclusion. Before the planners boarded the air conditioned bus, bags of cool stuff were given to each corporate meeting planner. Oversized, burlap market bags, compliments of Shane, Offbeat Productions, were filled with wine, playing cards, reusable water bottles, candy, and succulent-grass gardens planted in terra cotta cubes from Kate’s Blossoms.
A special thank you to Miss Shelly Gerrish, founder of Captura Photo for her special touch as an artist and as a photojournalist in documenting our trip. Below, that would be Shelly, 0n the left. Cheers, literally and figuratively to the grace and your talents with shutter speed and aperatures.