Your Private Vineyard and Winery for the Weekend
It was past 8 pm when we drove up to the grand gates of Landmark Vineyards in Sonoma, California. Expanding before us were acre upon acre of grapevines wrapped around a beautiful Spanish-style winery lit only by the full moon. A solitary light was on in the guest suite that would be our home for the weekend. We slowly opened the gate, took a deep breath, and pretended that this was our private slice of heaven.
Landmark Vineyards is a special place. Not only is it a certified organic winery, it also has two impressive venues where guests can stay the night. The first is the guest suite, which is connected to the winery and near the central courtyard. The suite has a big, cozy king-size bed, a romantic fireplace, and a private patio with views of Sugarloaf Ridge and Hood Mountain. The other venue is the darling guest cottage, which is nestled at the end of the property, past the pond and vineyards. The cottage sleeps up to four. It has a bedroom, a foldout couch in the living room, a nicely appointed kitchen, and a lovely front porch overlooking the vines. Along with the many accolades the wines have received, Budget Travel has named Landmark Vineyards one of the Top 9 Best Secret Hotels in the World.
That night we changed into the big fluffy robes in our suite, opened the bottle of Landmark wine waiting for us, and spent hours in front of the open fireplace fantasizing about owning such an amazing place. The winery was founded by John Deere’s great-great-granddaughter, Damaris Deere Ford, in 1989. Damaris asked her son, Michael Deere Colhoun, and his charming wife Mary to join her as partners in the winery. Michael and Mary then set in motion a plan that would make it a true landmark. In 1993, they hired world-renowned consulting enologist Helen Turley to work with winemaker Eric Stern. This collaboration led to some excellent winemaking. Under Eric’s careful attention, Landmark’s wines have consistently garnered rave reviews from wine journalists and connoisseurs. Their signature wine, the Overlook Chardonnay, has been on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list seven times since 1997.
Our Adventure Continues
The next morning we enjoyed a continental breakfast on the terrace overlooking the vineyards. Still snuggled up in our robes, we were the only souls on the property, and it was such a delight to walk the grounds alone dressed in robes and accompanied by a cup of hot coffee. Later that morning, we joined the incredibly enchanting owners, Michael and Mary Colhoun, on a wonderful sightseeing tour of the property. They shared with us their passionate story of the winery as we walked through vineyards populated with sheep employed to keep their organic property weed-free.
The best part of the day was our intimate wine tasting journey with a few other members of their prestigious Heritage Wine Society and winemaker Eric Stern.
The members of the Heritage Wine Society enjoy access to limited-production members-only wines, special discounts, release parties, and being a part of Landmark’s community of wine enthusiasts.
After the wine tasting, we strolled out into the courtyard, where every Saturday there is live music and wine tasting. Around a fountain, couples lounged in the sun sipping wine, and groups of friends played bocce ball and enjoyed picnics on the lawn.
For a perfect romantic getaway or family retreat, I highly recommend a stay at Landmark Vineyards. The quaint town of Kenwood is a few minutes away, so you can spend your days roaming the vineyards, exploring other wineries in Sonoma Valley, and enjoying wonderful nights in the sleepy town of Kenwood.
101 Adobe Canyon Rd.
Kenwood, CA 95452
Monday – Friday 9 AM to 5 PM
Tasting Room Hours:
Daily 10 AM to 4:30 PM
Guest Suite and Guest Cottage rates:
Weekend (per night rates): Cottage $325; Suite $275
Mid-week (per night rates): Cottage $275; Suite $225
Weekly: Cottage $1350; Suite $1050
Winter Special (Nov thru March per night rates): Cottage: $250; Suite $215