Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to reflect on a relationship and nurture it, and Sonoma Wine Country is the prefect place to do that.
If a little pampering is in order, consider getting a couples massage or other rejuvenating treatments at one of Sonoma County's amazing day spas.
Get a massage inside a 22-foot wine barrel at Magical Massage in Glen Ellen. Or enjoy the luxurious Cabernet scrub at Kenwood Inn & Spa, where crushed grape-seeds, grape-seed oil, brown sugar, and honey are orchestrated into a deep, soothing massage.
And tucked away along the scenic Bohemian Highway in western Sonoma County, the Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary is the only US day spa that offers the cedar enzyme bath, a rejuvenating Japanese heat treatment — and be sure to spend time in the meditation garden, sipping the spa's exclusive blend of organic herbal tea.
For more ideas, or to decide what type of massage you want, check out Choose a Wine Country Treatment.
Dinner for Two
You'll need advance reservations for the customized 11-course tasting menu at Healdsburg's SingleThread Farms Restaurant & Inn, which earned two Michelin Stars in 2018 for its first year of operation, and three Michelin Stars in 2019. Their dishes are crafted as works of art, with delicacies like black cod Fukkura-san (donabe style, which is rustic clay pot cooking) with root vegetables, cabbage, charred onion, and walnut-nori pesto.
Or, dine by candlelight in an historic 1881 Victorian mansion at Madrona Manor Wine Country Inn & Restaurant, which has earned a Michelin Star for a dozen years in a row for its New Californian-Global cuisine, like roasted brassica with estate-grown persimmon, pickled cippollini, and charred onion sauce.
Of course, Sonoma County offers many destination-worthy romantic restaurants from the coast to the mountains, and everywhere in-between, and offering a wide variety of styles and cuisines. For more suggestions, check out Top Romantic Restaurants in Sonoma County.
Sweets For Your Sweetie
Taste unique Wine Country flavors by chocolatier David Gambill at Sonoma Chocolatiers, where his signatures include Cabernet, Zinfandel, Champagne, Amaretto, and Port. However, there's also the jasmine green tea with lemon honey truffle, and periodic special flavors like garlic, cheddar white, and rosemary goat cheese.
And Wine Country truffles like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Port, and Champagne are available from Wine Country Chocolates in two locations, both within the Sonoma Valley — on the Sonoma Plaza in Sonoma and in Jack London Village in Glen Ellen. All told, they offer two dozen truffle flavors, dipped fruit and nuts, chocolate buttons, several different styles of chocolate bark, and a variety of other delectable delights.
Maybe your sweetie would prefer a Framboise chocolate cake slathered in raspberry sauce from VIllage Bakery in Sebastopol or a fresh fruit tart from Della Fattoria bakery and cafe in Petaluma. There are many delicious options.
Want to savor your sweets with a bit of wine? (This is Wine Country, after all.) Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Santa Rosa hosts a Wine and Chocolate Pairing featuring five exquisite dessert wines, each accompanied by its own seasonally focused sweet bite. And the Paradise Ridge Winery tasting room in Kenwood offers a decadent Artisan Chocolate & Wine Pairing.
And who knows – Valentine’s Day might spark that extra step: marriage.
For many romantic couples, the proposal can be almost as important as the wedding. It sets the mood for the relationship, whether it’s classic on-bended-knee with the ring slipped into a glass of sparkling wine, or rustic, with the ring presented on a nature hike at sunset.
It's a good idea to ask if a photographer can be arranged to discreetly capture the moment — many wineries, adventure companies, and hotels have the ability to set this up.
Some favorite places to pop the question include private hilltops overlooking the Russian River Valley, over a private dinner in a winery cave like Thomas George Estates or Bella Vineyards in Healdsburg. Other ideas include proposing over lunch a-deux in a secluded winery garden such as at Chateau St. Jean in Sonoma, or in a glamorous sparkling wine cellar like at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma.
Some couples have celebrated their happy moment in a private chauffeured limousine from Pure Luxury Transportation of Petaluma, stocked with champagne, chocolates, and flowers while on daylong tour of Sonoma County wineries.
For the more adventurous, propose on horseback at The Ranch at Lake Sonoma Horseback Riding with its scenic trails overlooking Lake Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, and the rugged Rockpile wine region. Maybe you'd like to pop the question after an 800-foot long zipline ride through the towering redwoods at Sonoma Canopy Tours in Occidental. Or, imagine asking your love to marry you while floating aobve picturesque vineyards, farms, and Sonoma County's awe-inspiring natural scenery in a hot-air balloon.
Perhaps you'd prefer to put all the details into the hands of the concierge team at the Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in Forestville. For example, they can arrange a private tasting at a boutique winery, a wine-paired dinner for two at the inn's Michelin-starred restaurant, and a candlelight tub turndown, followed by breakfast in bed — or whatever you think would be perfect proposal setting.
Written by Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet