By Laura Eggers
A wine country wedding conjures up images of colorful vineyards, earthy scents and romantically lit wine cellars. You need little in the way of decoration, as the setting is so naturally scenic. While most vineyards look similar, depending on the season and age of the vines, the winery buildings themselves can vary widely. Decide if you prefer the style of a country farmhouse, a French chateau or a simple stone building.
Another consideration is the winery's proximity to an airport and/or accommodations for out of area guests. Many wineries offer outdoor receptions overlooking the vineyard, perhaps with hors d'hoevres passed in an elegant tasting room. Some have wine cellars and barrel rooms that can be set up with candles in medieval style for the wedding dinner. A combination or variation of these can be incorporated, making the most use of the winery's natural attributes.
Another great thing about having a wine country wedding is that you really don't need much in the way of extra decorating costs. Plus, the gorgeous setting will enhance your wedding photos.
Popular wine tasting areas on the California Central Coast include Paso Robles, the Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo and the Santa Maria and Arroyo Grande areas. Not every winery offers wedding services, but the following places do. Call and inquire about their offerings, and then take a tour with your fiancé of the ones you are interested in. Be sure to taste their wines as well!
In the Paso Robles area, Jan Kris Winery is located in Templeton. They have a rose garden and gazebo as well as a banquet room with views of the vineyard. They can accommodate up to 200 people and will allow you to bring in an outside caterer. Call 805-434-039 or see jankriswinery.com.
Meridian Winery in Paso Robles can accommodate up to 150 guests in their Barrel Chai Room. Their outdoor herb garden can hold up to 200, while larger weddings can be held out on the lawn overlooking the vineyard. Call 805-226-7135 for more information.
Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles has a wedding coordinator included. Their setting is on a hilltop overlooking the vineyards. Call 805-239-1616 or see roberthallwinery.com.
Other wineries in the Paso Robles area, which offer wedding facilities, include EOS Estate Winery, 805-239-2563, Justin Vineyards, 805-781-7303, and Zenaida Cellars, 805-227-0382.
In the San Luis Obispo and Edna Valley areas, Edna Valley Vineyard has indoor and outdoor facilities and includes a wedding coordinator. They have a patio, garden, lawn, a banquet room and cask room and can accommodate up to 250 people. You can bring any caterer you wish. Call 805-544-5855 or see ednavalleyvineyard.com.
Further south in the Arroyo Grande area, Laetitia Winery offers wedding services. Call them at 805-481-1772.
Laura Eggers Underhill is the author and publisher of the online travel guides www.experience-wine-country.com
Thursday, February 25, 2010
By Laura Eggers