Wine and golf -- the perfect pairing at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in California
SONOMA, Calif. – Admittedly, most of my wine education comes from the movie “Sideways,” but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good vintage when one is picked out for me. Such is the case with my recent visit to the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, which not only does a great job of pairing wine with gourmet food, but some vintage golf as well.
There’s something about a trip to the California wine country that lowers the blood pressure. Everybody and everything is so laid-back, and it transcends to everything, including golf.
On this particular trip, we were treated to a side trip to the Deerfield Winery and the home of Robert and P.J. Rex. Their backyard offers one of the best views of the Sonoma Valley.
Deerfield is a small certified organic winery, best known for its blends. The nice part about it being organic is that there are none of those things in it that you give you headaches, like sulfates. And after sampling more than a half dozen of their exceptional wines – throughout hors d’oeuvres and dinner in a wine cave, I can report that their claim was true.
There would be plenty more wine experiences in our remaining two days at the Fairmont Sonoma, most notably during a three-hour dinner at the Michelin 3-star Sante Restaurant at the resort. All the courses were exceptional, but something they refer to as a “grown-up mac and cheese,” or Maine Lobster Black Truffles Fontina Val d’ Aosta, was truly exceptional.
The resort itself, with its 226 guest rooms (60 suites), is everything you might expect in a fine Sonoma wine country retreat. There’s an extensive history, pools fed by natural geothermal springs, a world-class spa and access to the exclusive Sonoma Golf Club, which has played host to the Champions Tour Charles Schwaub Cup several times.
The course, by the way, was designed by Sam Whiting, architect of San Francisco’s Olympic Club Lake Course, which hosted this year’s U.S. Open. Like wine, the course at Sonoma Golf Club has only gotten better with age, and it doesn’t give you a headache playing it.
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