With the release of the Netflix film "Wine Country," a romp through the vineyards might never be the same. But a theatrical adventure through the real wine country might rival it. Last summer we stole a weekend away to Sonoma County from our hometown of Calistoga. The tab: About $600 for a one-night stay with breakfast at the Kenwood Inn & Spa, two tickets to "Broadway Under the Stars" and a picnic dinner.
The Kenwood Inn & Spa is a Mediterranean oasis tucked within the gorgeous Valley of the Moon. Lush grounds, hidden alcoves and a secluded pool set the stage for relaxation. Villa-style accommodations with Italian furnishings, fireplaces and feather beds furthered the away-from-it-all feeling. An abundant (and complimentary) breakfast served in a vine-strewn courtyard made us feel as though we had awakened under the Tuscan sun.
More than a whiff of garlic greeted us at the door of Cafe Citti. This charming, old-school eatery in Kenwood, about 11 miles southeast of Santa Rosa, lacks the pretense of many wine country spots and offers authentic Italian eats at affordable prices. We took our meal to go (more on that below) but enjoyed perfectly crusted bread on the patio while we waited. We decided on a three-dish combo plate ($14.50), which included house-made tortellini, marinated calamari salad and a spicy garbanzo bean dish that was dripping with garlic and laced with a special sauce that would satisfy my discerning Italian mama.
I have seen a lot of theater during my time in New York City, but none of it compared to the experience of taking in a Broadway-caliber show amid the grapevines of Jack London State Historic Park. The Transcendence Theatre Co.'s summerlong extravaganza was billed as "the best night ever," and I'd be hard-pressed to disagree. Live music and preshow picnicking paired with locally sourced wines ($9 to $15 a glass) set the table for the magical "Broadway Under the Stars" spectacular "Those Dancin' Feet" (Aug. 9-25 this year ).
THE LESSON LEARNED
The show takes place in the woods, so consider footwear and fashion choices and pack a blanket to snuggle under once the sun drops. Flashlights come in handy for the winding foot paths back to the car or shuttle bus.
Kenwood Inn & Spa, 10400 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, Calif.; (707) 833-1293. Rooms for two start around $475 in summer. Wheelchair-accessible.
Cafe Citti, 9049 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, Calif.; (707) 833-2690. Wheelchair-accessible.