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July 30, 2010
Best Winery Wedding Places!

I am unable to think of another business where the beauty of producing a product is so well complemented with the beauty of the facility and surrounding areas. Wineries are truly amazing places.

I spent some time this week reviewing some of the wineries I felt would be the best places to have a wedding (or other special personal or corporate event) in California, Oregon or Washington. And as on the Newlywed Game, Bob Eubanks would say, “And here they are!

Northern California, Mendocino County. Nelson Family Vineyards in Ukiah off of Highway 101. For the nature lover in all of us, imagine trading vows among the California Redwoods, after having walked past lavender and rosemary-lined paths. Great trees and a great commitment! The winery has three venues which accommodates up to 300 people.

Northern California, Sonoma County, Ledson Winery and Vineyards. This winery has a rich history dating back to 1896 in England, where Barker Ledson yearned for the New World, setting sail at the young age of sixteen (surely not the high tech boats 16-year olds use today!). This majestic and classy 16,000 square foot Normandy Castle on 17 luscious acres,  is  a truly
superior estate property that stands out with few peers. This is truly important when marrying royalty, like your spouse! Accommodates up to 250 guests.

Northern California, Napa County. Charles Krug Winery. Founded in 1861 as the first winery in Napa, it lays the foundation for your ‘true love’. Charles Krug winery has been owned by the Mondavi family since 1943, with Peter Mondavi at the helm since 1966. Have your wedding here and you’re not only part of Napa’s beginning, but also with one of the most influential wine-pioneering families.

Central California. Los Gatos. Testarossa Winery is just an OMG when it comes to the wedding in the wine cave (up to 80 fit in here). Built in 1818 and it just gets better from there. Good for up to 150 guests with a variety of packages available, this facility is amazing and an event coordinator is ready to help you!

Washington, Spokane. The Cliff House at Arbor Crest Winery, is a National Historic Site. Built in 1924 by inventor Royal Newton Riblet, this is a three-story Florentine style house. With over four acres of gardens and 75 acres of grounds, it boasts a gazebo, waterfall, and a sunken rose garden. Just look at those colorful flowers!

Southern Oregon. Medford. Eden Valley Orchards. In the historic Voorhies Mansion, with its Europe-inspired gardens and pear-tree lined walls dating from 1925, there is also a private rose garden. For the horticulturist in you, this is the place and even includes Honey Fig trees and a unique symmetrical Monkey Puzzle tree (for the clown in us all?). A beautiful place where the scents and scenery come together!

Washington. In Goldendale, overlooking the Columbia River, Maryhill Winery. These folks have it down, with a huge facility and the fee includes a ton of amenities and paid help. More of a turnkey setup here for up to 360 guests! Maryhill was named Washington Winery of the Year for 2009, and for good reason. They produce 19 different varietals and 27- award winning wines. So no matter what your spouse loves (other than you), they produce it. How cool is that?

I cannot sign off this week without sharing the YouTube video of a winery owner that I have had the pleasure of meeting with a number of times while developing Brixage. I’m talking about Donald Thiessen of Stacked Stone Cellars in Paso Robles. Undoubtedly, one of the neatest wedding videos ever and is worth the 4-minute watch if only to see the guy object to the wedding! My hat is off (literally) to Donald and Maddy. Congratulations! See the video clip.

Brixage, 26238 Enterprise Court, Lake Forest, CA 92630

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