While the latest tech gadget, wine aerator, or bottle of wine routinely make great gifts for the holidays, the gift of an experience can be pretty special. So, for those of you looking to think outside of the box — the standard gift box, that is — when it comes to holiday gifting this winter, we’ve put together a list of experiential gift ideas that are sure to wow those on your nice list.
Whether you want to treat your mom to a mother-daughter gourmet outing in Napa Valley, enjoy a horseback ride with your significant other through the hills of Sonoma County, or sip and cycle with your best friend through Calistoga, our WineCountry Experiences Gift Guide is here to help with gift giving ideas for those who prefer experiences over material things.
For the quintessential Napa Valley experience, look no further than Merryvale’s picnic lunch at their beautiful Profile Estate Vineyard. Located on a ridge 800 feet above the valley floor, you’ll enjoy a guided vineyard tour before settling down on the tasting deck to savor spectacular views, a gourmet Italian lunch, and, of course, a lineup of world-class Profile Collection wines.Offered at $315 per person.
Budding wine enthusiasts and bonafide wine geeks alike will adore being a winemaker for a day during the Taming the Lion Wine Blending Experience at Hess. Guests will learn the art of blending in a fun and relaxed environment while creating their own custom blend from three different red varietals (the three grapes featured in Hess’ signature Lion Tamer Red Blend). Upon completing the perfect cuvee, the wine will be bottled with a custom label and corked so they’ll be able to take home their own special blend that same day.Offered at $315 per person.
While wine and cheese are always a good choice, why not step it up a notch by gifting them Napa’s only Pan-Asian food and wine experience? An adventure for the palate, this refreshingly different tasting experience features a selection of seasonal, Asian-inspired bites served alongside a flight of five unique wines from RD Winery’s line of Fifth Moon wines. The foodie and the wine-o alike are sure to find pleasure in discovering the versatility of Asian flavors with both familiar and less common varietals, including zinfandel, gruner veltliner, and malvasia bianca.Offered at $70 per person.
This five-course, farm-to-table wine and food experience at Brian Arden Winery in Calistoga is one of our most popular WineCountry Experiences, and for good reason — not only does this experience include a behind-the-scenes tour of the beautiful property’s expansive garden and winery facility, but it also lets guests go on a culinary journey of five exquisite courses, all cooked in front of them by the winery’s own Estate Chef. Top it all off with a tasty selection of wines from this small, family-owned winery and you can almost guarantee your giftee will have a perfect day in Napa Valley.Offered at $165 per person.
Guests will venture along bucolic country roads as they explore Calistoga on two wheels during this moderate, yet leisurely, 12-mile Napa Valley bike tour. This five-hour guided experience will include plenty of scenic views in between stops for wine tastings at small, off-the-beaten-path wineries, plus a signature Wine Country picnic lunch. A Sonoma version of this experience is also available.Offered at $250 per person.
Treat your sweetie to a secluded horseback ride through one of the most beautiful trails in Sonoma County. The trail winds its way through hills, meadows, creek crossings, and cliffside views, stopping at a private (and secret) vista for a gourmet picnic lunch overlooking Lake Sonoma. This picturesque two-hour ride ends at a beautiful barn (built from one 800-year-old Redwood tree), where a glass of Dry Creek Valley wine or an ice cold beer awaits.Offered at $239 per person.
Need more holiday gifting inspiration? Visit our sister site to view our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for all the wine and drink lovers in your life.