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11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine - #11 goes on my list!

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine – #11 goes on my list!

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine – #11 goes on my list!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I don’t know about you, but two of my favorite pastimes are playing golf and drinking wine.

(Definitely in that order!)  So when I came across this great article by Josh Sens of GOLF.com on golf and wine, I had to share.  There just does not seem to be enough time (or money) to get to all of these, but I definitely will make an effort to get out to Oregon. I love Oregon wine, and to tee it up on this State’s courses would be a blast!  If some of my readers would like me to put a golfing trip together to go to Oregon, let me know, and I’ll get right on it!  Cheers!

Where can you find the best golf and the best wine? Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but don’t worry, we mapped out the best spots for your multi-tasking trips.

1. OKANAGAN VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

THE WINEThe second largest wine region in Canada, with more than 130 wineries, the valley grows some 60 grape varietals. But ice wine is its signature style. As its name suggests, the wine is made from fruit that freezes on the vine, giving rise to a lush dessert libation with a bright acidic finish that cleans up any cloying sweetness and erases recollections of that double-bogey you made on 18.

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine - #11 goes on my list!

THE GOLFThe valley soil is also rich in golf, with more than a dozen public options. Tops among them are the two championship tracks at Predator Ridge(below), a luxe resort and two-time host of the World Skins Game. Both layouts buck and roll over the same lilting landscape on which ice wine vineyards thrive.

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine – #11 goes on my list!

2. NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

THE WINEWhat St. Andrews is to golf, Napa is to the American wine industry: the cradle where it all began. With hundreds of wineries in the offing, the visitor experience spans the spectrum, from appointment-only tours of cult Cabernet sauvignon producers to mass-tastings of two-buck chuck. Consider hopping on the Napa Valley Wine Train, which runs along the valley’s spine, making pit stops at marquee wineries while sparing you the worry of getting behind the wheel.

Recommended wineries: Dana Estate (by appointment only), Beaulieu Vineyard, Hall Rutherford (below)

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine - #11 goes on my list!

Beaulieu Vineyard!

THE GOLFAsk a local, and they’ll likely direct you to the Napa Golf Course at Kennedy Park, a municipal sleeper that ranks among the best values around. But the valley’s premiere destination is Johnny Miller’s property, the Silverado Resort and Spa (below). Its newly renovated North Course hosted the Frys.com Open this fall.

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine - #11 goes on my list!

Napa Valley Golf Course at Kennedy Park.

3. SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

THE WINENapa’s rustic neighbor sprawls from the sun-drenched inland hills to the Pacific Ocean, its mix of soil conditions and micro-climates covering a quilt of prestigious appellations. Pick your pleasure. Old-vine Zinfandel in the Dry Creek Valley. Buttery Chardonnay in the Alexander Valley. Or perhaps your preference lies with Pinot noir, which flourishes along the Russian River as it spills toward the fog-cooled coast.

Recommended wineries: A. Rafanelli Winery, Ridge Vineyards, J Vineyards & Winery (below)

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine - #11 goes on my list!

Photo: J Vineyards & Winery

THE GOLFIf Robert Parker gave out scores for golf design, he’d award 100 points to Mayacama (below) for its Jack Nicklaus-signature course. Problem is, the place is private. For public play, your two best choices are quietly compelling Windsor Golf Club, a former Nationwide Tour stop, and nine-hole Northwood, a charming Alister Mackenzie layout shaped through giant redwood trees.
11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine - #11 goes on my list!

Mayacama Golf Club.

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine – #11 goes on my list!

4. SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

THE WINE: “I’m not drinking any f–ing Merlot,” Paul Giametti’s Miles declares in Sideways, the hit film set in the Santa Ynez Valley. Not that you can’t find great Merlot here. And Viognier, Syrah and Sauvignon blanc. It’s just that the region’s calling card is Pinot noir, a delicate grape that thrives only when conditions are just-so. It’s poured in tasting rooms and restaurants all around the valley, which includes such quaint towns as Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. “Oh, its flavors,” Miles says of Pinot. “They’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet.”

Recommended wineries: Gainey Vineyard (below), Lucas & Lewellen Vineyard, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine - #11 goes on my list!

THE GOLFIn the film, Miles and his buddy, Jack, also hit it sideways in a scene shot at the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort (below). Its Ranch Course, a sylvan Billy Bell design framed by oaks, sycamores and eucalyptus trees, dates back to 1956. It’s private but open to resort play. The public River Course is a less demanding test set along the Santa Ynez River.

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine - #11 goes on my list!

Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort

11 Places you must go for Golf and Wine – #11 goes on my list!

5. MONTEREY PENINSULA, CALIFORNIA

THE WINEBetter known for its fairways and greens, the peninsula also generates some nifty reds and whites. A good number are produced in nearby Carmel Valley and many more are poured around the region. In Clint Eastwood’s Carmel-by-the-Sea, you can purchase a $65 Wine Walk Passport, which entitles you to tasting flights at any nine of 14 local tasting rooms, all within walking distance  of one another.

Recommended wineries: Ventana Vineyards (below), Bernardus Winery.

THE GOLFIt’s the golf destination of your dreams. When it finally comes true, you punctuate the moment with blowout celebration, starting out at Poppy Hills(below) and moving on to Spyglass. But you can’t tell your friends, much less live with yourself, if you go home without playing Pebble Beach.

 
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