Fun for the guys in Wine Country

Vermeil Wines
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The North Course at the Silverado Resort and Spa has been named the No. 16 golf course in California by Golf Week magazine. The South Course is pretty awesome, too. Redesigned by PGA Hall of Famer Johnny Miller, both courses at this Napa County hotspot feature dozens of water crossings, elevation changes, and routing through historic oak trees.  In Sonoma County, the Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club is a wonderful respite, with 18 holes tucked around Lake Nagasawa in the hills behind Santa Rosa. This course was designed by Ted Robinson, Jr., and includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis programs (including a Har-Tru clay court) and more.

Other courses worth exploring in the area include Mayacama, the Sonoma Golf Club, and Northwood, the only public course of the bunch mentioned here.

Viewfinder Tip: Guests of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa get access to tee times at the Sonoma Golf Club; for details, inquire at the hotel concierge.

Wineries for the sports-lover

Passions for wine and sports come together at local wineries that are owned and operated by long-time athletes and sports celebrities. Two Napa Valley destinations I’ve enjoyed over the years: Vermeil Wines and Clif Family Winery.

The experience at Vermeil Wines, owned by former NFL coach Dick Vermeil, is a sports fan’s fantasy. Memorabilia and photographs line the walls of both of the winery’s tasting rooms—one in downtown Calistoga, and a newer tasting room in Napa. Because Vermeil spent nearly 30 years coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams (where he won a Super Bowl), and Kansas City Chiefs, the mementos represent three different eras. There also is memorabilia from San Jose State University, where Vermeil was the backup quarterback, and UCLA, where he served as head coach.


Categories: Abacos, Napa Valley, Sonoma, USA, Wines

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