Grape Golf Getaways

11 02 2009

When I was younger and my father became a golf fanatic we traveled to any and every golf destination and waited while he played.  We would usually find something to occupy our time, save for that one day he decided to play 36 holes.  It is always a good idea to find a resort that offers more than just the greens.

Santa Barbara Sidesaddle

Alisal Guest Ranch Resort in the Santa Ynez Valley offers much more than two 18-hole championship golf courses. Golfers can enjoy The Ranch Course designed by William Bell Jr., a par 72 course that spans 6,500 yards surrounded by sycamores that give the Alisal its name. There are also 10, 000 plus acres of this working cattle ranch to enjoy. While there are no TVs or phones (and limited cellular phone service), guests can enjoy tennis, hiking, a petting zoo, and riding the 50 miles of trails on horseback. When the morning’s activities have worked up a big thirst guest can jaunt over the bridge to the quaint Danish town of Solvang with wine tasting rooms galore. Try Mandolina (, Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards (Malbec and Viognier are especially good) and Stolpman There are also many area wineries that offer tours and tastings, most by appointment. The resort offers winemaker dinners, winery tours, boot camps, team building and golf events. For heavy hitters the Alisal even offers “Rent the Ranch Buy Out” programs where for a price you can take over all 73 rooms and the ranch. 800 688-6411

Alisal Trail Ride
Alisal Trail Ride


Livermore Links

A close jaunt from San Francisco, Livermore wine country beckons with multiple wine tasting opportunities. The Course at Wente, a Greg Norman-designed course offers unique opportunities to play and taste. Wente Vineyards offers a Golf Stay & Play package in conjunction with The Lafayette Park Hotel ( This winery, founded in 1883, is now managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family. Other local tasting rooms abound, Murrieta’s Well, their White Meritage a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is especially refreshing after a round ( , Tamas Estates ( , Concannon Vineyard (, Steven Kent Winery and La Rochelle ( Touring information for the area can also be found at

Karl Wente at Murrieta's Well

Karl Wente at Murrieta's Well

Monterey and Carmel

Golfers and foodies alike will find mecca at Pebble Beach Food & Wine to be held April 16-19, 2009. The Lodge at Pebble Beach as well as the Inn at Spanish Bay offer luxurious lodging amidst some of the best and most scenic golf courses in the world, The Pebble Beach Golf Links, The Links at Spanish Bay, and Spyglass Hill Golf Course, considered one of the toughest in the world. ( During the event numerous wine tastings and culinary opportunities abound as star chefs and wine professionals lead tastings and seminars. If you cannot make it to this premiere event, consider the Monterey County Vintners Great Wine Escape Weekend each November ( a weekend of food and wine seminars and dinners at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa ( and sneak away for some golf during the afternoon. Or head inland to the Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club ( in Carmel Valley and take off on your own to area wineries and tasting rooms. Bernardus, Galante and Morgan even have tasting rooms in the town of Carmel, in walking distance of each other and local galleries and restaurants. ( While wineries across the state of California use the delicious Monterey fruit to produce wine, there are some fantastic local tasting rooms a short drive from Monterey or Carmel. (



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