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Walnut Creek Magazine

The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance: Gateway to Sonoma's Good Life

Apr 15, 2019 02:09PM ● By Fran Miller

BY FRAN ENDICOTT MILLER

The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa glistens as the gatekeeper to Sonoma Valley’s varied riches. Centrally located within striking distance of the shops, restaurants, and tasting rooms that surround charming Sonoma Plaza, The Lodge is perfectly situated for exploration of this quaint, authentic, and unspoiled wine country terrain. 

Featuring hues of burgundy that hint at the resort’s viticultural location, the aesthetic is both playful and serene - the perfect backdrop for enjoying your weekend wine haul. Outdoor spaces are equally inviting – a large, central pool deck poised towards the sun; a hobbyist vineyard that begs for closer inspection, and individual balconies and patios encircled by lush gardens featuring more than 800 budding rose bushes. 

 

The Lodge is surrounded by more than 200 wineries, and throughout the year, many are represented in The Lodge’s Gallery Lounge, where every evening from 4:30- 6:00pm, guests (age 21+) are invited to sample. Enjoy live musical entertainment every Friday, and Saturday evenings in the lobby or on the pool deck. Sonoma is home to many popular groups and duos, each with a loyal following; these concerts make for a vibrant mix of locals and Lodge guests. 


The two on-property dining choices include Bean & Bottle, a ‘grab-and-go’ coffee spot by day that turns hip bar by night specializing in small batch, artisanal spirits. (This is the place at which you’ll redeem your two free sangrias, proffered at check-in.)  Carneros Bistro, offering farm-to-table, seasonal cuisine, is the resort’s other hot spot. The affable Dan Noreen (above) serves as beverage director; he’s curated an extensive wine list starring Sonoma Country greats, and his personal and long standing relationships with local beer distributors ensure that resort guests have access to a steady flow of highly regarded brews. The resort’s ‘Craft Beer Experience’ package includes a one hour tasting of Noreen’s on-tap picks, including highly sought after Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewery Company. Noreen serves as host, describing the sudsy variations of the six pours while encouraging guests to form their own descriptive opinions of each. A small plate of charcuterie accompanies each tasting; the package also includes lunch for two in Carneros Bistro, insider recommendations for other Sonoma craft beer locations, overnight accommodations, and resort fee.


As knowledgeable about flora and fauna as he is wines and spirits, Noreen also leads regular Friday morning hikes on the Sonoma Overlook Trail. Hike to the top and toast your accomplishment with the sparkling wine he stashes in his backpack. Prefer to enjoy your Sonoma exploration on wheels? Check-out one of The Lodge’s super-cool Mission bikes (parked out front in a creative wine barrel bike rack) from their extensive fleet and hit the local streets and trails in style. 

 

Photos courtesy of The Lodge at Sonoma