Great Wine Country Bed and Breakfast: Beltane Ranch
Sitting in a white wicker chair on the porch outside of Room Two, looking across the Valley of the Moon and watching the sunset on Sonoma Mountain, it seems like the evening can’t get any better.
Then I sip the Beltane Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, made from the estate grown vineyards that are part of my amazing view, and our stay at Beltane Ranch becomes pure bliss.
The minute my husband and I turned off Highway 12 in Glen Ellen and saw the hundreds-of-years-old rock wall that runs beside the long, long driveway I knew that our stay would be rich in the romance of Wine Country. Many weddings and receptions are held here and it must be the most magical place to say, “I do.”
As we walk into our comfy and charming room at the 122-year-old inn we find a welcoming vase of fresh-cut flowers from the glorious gardens on the 105-acre property. There’s a roomy sitting area with a sofa, a wingback chair, an antique mirrored dresser and built-in shelves with books so interesting I’m tempted to stay in and read, except there are so many beautiful places to sit outside.
Guests are welcome to stroll the around the ranch and say hi to Paisley, the long-horned cow, who is a great photo op. There’s a tennis court and a hiking trail that brings you high into the Maycamas Mountains. Fresh-baked cookies await in the kitchen that you can munch in the homey living and dining room.
In the morning Beltane Ranch gets even better when owner and resident chef Alexa Wood brings breakfast up so we can eat out on the scenic second-story porch.
Each morning Alexa makes fresh fare highlighting their orchards, vegetable gardens and heritage-laying hens. She honors dietary needs, but when we said we were up for anything she smiled, “Oh, that’s so refreshing.”
We had perfectly cooked eggs with just-picked asparagus, bacon, a fresh fruit cup with a sprig of Beltane mint, and homemade cranberry muffins. And how do you not a love a place that brings you a whole thermal carafe of coffee?
Alexa grew up on this property. Her mother Rosemary Wood, whose 90th birthday celebration was going on while we were there, turned it into a B&B in the ’70s.
Now Alexa’s daughter Lauren Benward Krause and family live here, too, and Lauren is the marketing manager for the inn and Beltane Ranch wines. Alexa’s son Alex Benward and his family live just down the road and he works at Beltane as well. You feel the family love in how perfectly tended everything is, and they treat you like you’re family, too.
Beltane Ranch abounds with beauty, and is shining jewel of Sonoma history.