How to Plan an Intoxicating Central Coast Wine Meeting

What can be a more perfect pairing for a team-building meeting than coastal scenery with a sparkling glass of vino? Luckily, California’s Coast is well-stocked with some of the best wine-tasting in the world, and some of the most interesting places to do it. Here are eight places that can host your group for sipping and speaking.

Gilroy/Santa Cruz

Rosewood CordeValle Resort

South of San Jose, the prestigious Rosewood CordeValle Resort in San Martin is a 260-acre golf course (site of the U.S. Women’s Open in 2016) and tennis club. It is also an 85-acre winery, with access to 25 more wineries in Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail. In addition, it offers 4,400 sq. ft. of indoor meeting space and almost 4,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space with spectacular views of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Chardonnay II

Take your meeting out to sea with a team-building sea charter. Your group will get private instructions on how to work together to sail a 70-foot-long world class yacht off the coast of Santa Cruz. The three-hour program for up to 35 people includes a cheese platter, fresh baguettes, seasonal fruit and, of course, chilled chardonnay.

Monterey/Carmel

Cima Collina Wines

This award-winning vintner offers two choices for wine-themed events. White Oak Cottage in Carmel Valley blends a historic farmhouse dining feel for up to 80 people, with outdoor dining under a canopy of oak trees and a nearby fire pit for marshmallow magic. For larger groups, Cima Collina Winery and Barrel Room in Marina offers the backdrop of a working winery, and all the oak barrels and concrete flooring that entails for small-lot barrel tasting and urban wine experiences for as many as 300 people.

Folktale Winery

Whisk your attendees to this 15-acre, organically farmed vineyard and garden along the Carmel River for a refined experience. Whether it is a cocktail party in the wine cellar surrounded by stainless steel tanks and oak wine barrels for 60 people, an evening reception under twinkling lights by the fire pit in the garden and courtyard for 650, or diner for 300 in the Rose Vineyard (tented or un-tented), events held in this dreamy location were designed for happy endings.

Paso Robles

San Antonio Winery

With tasting rooms in Los Angeles, Ontario and Paso Robles, there is a glass of award-winning liquid accessible at all times. The Paso Robles Tasting Room can host groups as large as 100 and offers full catering. Heritage room can serve up to 50 people for a fireside reception. Patio Alfresco, overlooking the creek, seats up to 125. Tours to learn about the history of winemaking are available from a family that has been in the business since 1917.

Eberle Winery

Choose from dinner in the Wild Boar Room (eberle is German for “small boar”) in the Eberle Winery Caves, with capacity for 80, or a reception on the Vineyard Deck, with sunsets over the Coastal Mountain Range. All are award-winning breaks from the predictable conference space.

Santa Barbara County

Carr Winery

The same mild climate that makes Santa Ynez Valley perfect for growing grapes is also beneficial for budding connections between team members formed at events held in Carr Winery’s warehouse. This 2,300-square-foot, climate-controlled space offers an open floor with a U-shaped bar surrounded by wines that are being aged before they are crated in wood boxes and shipped all over the world. Pair meetings with winemaker dinners, live music and educational tastings for a change of pace.

Santa Ynez Inn

This newly remodeled AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel is the ticket for free wine-tasting at 21 local vintners, with 70 more in the area, along with orchards, lavender farms and horse ranches. Schedule more pairings in the 1,500-square-foot Coach House or on the outdoor lawn. To add even more bubbly to the stay, schedule champagne-infused Signature Massages at the spa, which includes a flute of sparkling wine, organic champagne body butter and champagne-infused aromatherapy.

Read more about California’s central coast in the October issue of Smart Meetings.

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