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Picnic Proposal Suggestions at Sonoma wineries

Hi Chowhounds...This is my first time on here and I have great one for you all!

I am planning on proposing to my girlfriend in a couple weeks (eek!) and am planning on a day trip to either Sonoma or Napa (we live in Oakland) for picnicking, wine tasting, and returning to San Francisco for dinner.

I read some of the previous posts for Napa proposal spots, so I have a few ideas, but none jumped out at me. Most were a bit far for a day trip, or would likely be crowded on the weekend. My girlfriend and I prefer the Sonoma area to Napa, so i hope someone has a suggestion for that area. A winery south of Glen Ellen with a nice view of the region would be ideal. I am also looking for a place that is either by appointment only or has large grounds, so that I could organize some private time without people around. Alternatively, does anyone know of wineries that have accommodated a private occasion such as this before in the Sonoma area?

Thanks!

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  1. The winery that first jumped to my mind is Ledson. It's a castle and is beautiful romantic, set in Kenwood. I don't know about appointments, but I'm sure there are plenty on places on the grounds to wonder off to for privacy.

    1. I would suggest Arrowood (near Ledson) because, well, their wine is really good. They have a pretty porch around their tasting room, but it's not a grand spot like say Ch. St Jean.

      1. First winery I thought of is Matanzas Creek, also near Ledson. They have a huge lavender garden with lots of little paths that a couple could get "lost" in. It would be really great if the lavender is in bloom (mine's a few weeks away yet) but it smells good all the time. I just love their chardonay, though I know that chardonay is not very trendy.

        1. That's so sweet! Best wishes to you and your bride-to-be (I'm sure!). The other suggestions sound great, but if you're still looking for ideas, my first thought would be to call Domaine Carneros and see if they can set you up with something private with champagne to celebrate.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I had a lovely picnic at Kunde once, table on a hill with a view....it was a trade tasting but you might give them a call and see what they can do. Ferrari Carano has those lovely gardens.....too bad Napa is out because popping the question in the caves at Schramsburg would be pretty cool! Good luck!

          2. I really think Bartholomew (sp) winery is a lovely spot. It's near Ravenswood Winery and Buena Vista Winery (it actually adjoins to Buena Vista). It has a small variety of hiking trails with lovely views, and right off of the parking lot are some gorgeous craggy oaks and a ledge that overlooks part of Sonoma. It's quite beautiful.

            Gunlache Bundshu (again, I'm not sure if I have the spelling perfect) has a beautiful cobblestoned sitting area that overlooks a pretty pond, and they have short strolling trails above their wine caves that are gorgeous.

            I know you menioned wanting to pop the question at a winery, but one of the most spectacular views in the area the the Sonoma Overlook trail. It's one of the highest points near Sonoma Square, and overlooks the whole town. There's a really cool stone bench up there right at the top that would be the perfect spot! It's a nice hike too, not too long and not exhausting.

            Additionally, SugarLoaf Mountain (near Ledson) has breathtaking hiking trails as well.

            Congratulations! Do come back and post about what you chose!

            3 Replies
            1. re: wineaux73

              thanks for the comments everybody.
              I've talked to a few of the wineries, and I think Bartholomew Park is the winner!
              Just need to go stock up for the best picnic ever!! =)

              1. re: oceanbrit

                I look forward to hearing how this goes, was just thinking of the same idea for a little later in the spring/early summer.

            2. This plan worked a treat! We started with a short hike at the north end of Bartholomew Park Winery. Around1pm, we started to scope out a spot for a picnic. It was the most perfect Sunday weather in Sonoma that we could have hoped for. Which unfortunately meant large space to ourselves was hard to find! We ended up getting a spot on the top of a hill, the view was awesome.

              Nicole was stoked with the St. Supery Rose, bread and cheese from Whole Foods, chocolate-dipped strawberries (that i made!), and the romantic mix on my ipod! I proposed after the strawberries! Nicole was lost for words.

              After the picnic we went to Gloria Ferrer for champagne on their deck, which was amazing, and then returned to Berkeley for dinner at A Cote.

              I informed the restaraunt ahead of time of my proposal, and they were very accomodating. Free champagne, appetizer and dessert.

              We are both on top of the world right now.

              Thanks for the advice. We enjoyed a day that we will remember forever!

              1 Reply
              1. re: oceanbrit

                How very nice. Thanks so much for reporting back. Congratulations to you both.