Around the country, things are finally starting to open back up and return to normal. We have been locked inside for over a year and it is time to plan that late summer or fall trip. Where should you go? Who should you take? What should you do? Do some research and have fun finding these answers. That said, we have an idea for you.
Do you prefer Chardonnay, Merlot, Chablis, Pinot, or Cabernet? Maybe a blend? Even if most of your experience has been related to wine out of a box, a destination trip to a winery could be the perfect trip for you and your loved ones. Relax outdoors, experience a new part of the country, and taste different wines to learn your preferences. Sounds awesome, right?
Here’s the thing: You can’t drink the entire trip (I mean, you could, but taking a break is probably a good idea). Or maybe not everyone in your group enjoys wine as much as you do. We have the solution.
How about a trip that includes both golf and wine?
We can help. We have looked across the country (from coast to coast) to help you pair the perfect winery with an awesome golf course/resort. We suspect everyone in your travel party will love golf, wine, or both! Try one of our pairings or create your own.
Charlottesville, Virginia – Jefferson Vineyards & Birdwood Golf Course
Located near the University of Virginia, you will find Jefferson Vineyards and Birdwood Golf Course.
For the past 40 years, Jefferson Vineyards has been family owned and operated. You can relax in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains while trying their signature wines, including the Jefferson's Own Estate Reserve 2016, the Viognier 2019, and the Cabernet Franc 2017.
Located a quick 15-minute drive from the vineyards is Birdwood Golf Course. This public course was recently renovated by Davis Love III and has been ranked as the #7 best course in Virginia. You will enjoy beautiful views while your game is tested by this challenging layout.
Need a place to stay? Birdwood is part of the Boar’s Head Resort.
Enjoy history? There is plenty of it in Charlottesville, VA.
Milford, New Jersey – Alba Vineyard & Saucon Valley Country Club
Keep in mind that New Jersey is the Garden State.
This would be an awesome trip. Saucon Valley is considered one of the better courses in the country and has hosted eight USGA championships, including the upcoming 2022 US Senior Open. Playing this course is a true bucket list item. Here is the bad news: It is private, so you will need to know someone who can get you a tee time. If you can’t manage a tee time, try the nearby Steel Club in Hellertown, PA.
Regardless of which golf course you play, you will be less than 15 miles from Alba Vineyard. The vineyard is located amongst the rolling hills of Warren County, two miles east of the Delaware River in the beautiful Musconetcong Valley. Their wines have been winning awards since 1984, and you must try their Chambourcin, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
Braselton, Georgia – Chateau Elan
This is the 3-in-1 package. Chateau Elan was designed for our concept of golf + wine! Located in the Georgia rolling foothills, it is a winery, luxury resort, and a golf destination.
The golfer in your travel party will find 45 beautiful holes to play. They have two championship courses and a nine-hole executive track. Plenty of golf to keep you busy between tastings.
Visit the Chateau Elan tasting room to try a bit of everything, or make your selection and let them make you a picnic basket for a beautiful afternoon in “the fields”. There are several upscale and casual restaurants on the resort, so you will never have a reason to leave the grounds.
Buchanan, Michigan – Tabor Hill Winery & Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame
You don’t need to be a “fighting Irish” alumni to enjoy this pairing of wine and golf. The Warren golf course at Notre Dame is a championship course that was opened in 1999. It is open to the public and was quickly identified as one of the best collegiate courses in the country. It has already hosted prestigious events including the 2019 Senior US Open, NCAA men’s & women’s regionals, and Big East Conference championships.
Take a short 30-minute drive from the course and you will find the Tabor Hill Winery. They have been making award winning wines for 50+ years. You can choose from their tasting room, restaurant or vineyard lounge.
Kohler, Wisconsin – Whistling Straits & Blind Horse Winery
If you decide to try this pairing, we recommend you stay at Whistling Straits – they provide several different options for lodging, including private cabins in the woods for your group. The golf courses at Whistling Straits are world-renowned and have hosted 6 professional major championships.
Did you know that the 2021 Ryder Cup will be played there in September?
Less than 10 minutes away you will find the Blind Horse winery. Interesting name, right? This land was a family-owned farm in the 1800s and their favorite working horse happened to be blind – the owners loved the story and decided to use it for their name. Schedule a winery tour and enjoy.
Pebble Beach, California – Pebble Beach Golf Course & Pessagno
If you play golf, Pebble Beach is on your bucket list. All golfers want to try the course where Tiger Woods crushed the rest of the U.S. Open field. Can you take the aggressive line over the ocean on the 18th hole? Truly stunning views of the coast throughout your 18-hole adventure on the number-one ranked public course in the country.
After your round, take a 45-minute drive to Pessagno’s River Road Winery and Tasting Room. Here you will find a beautiful selection of limited quantity, luxurious wines from prestigious single vineyards throughout Monterey and San Benito.
Sherwood, Oregon – Ponzi Vineyards & Heron Lakes Golf Club
The Ponzi family established their vineyard in 1970 when they planted Pinot noir cuttings. This 130-acre vineyard is considered one of the nation’s finest. During your visit you can enjoy their tasting room or try one of their “adventures,” which includes fireside seating, bocci courts, or a covered terrace.
Only a short drive from Ponzi, you will find the Herron Lakes Golf Club. This 36-hole public golf course offers plenty of fun for the serious or not-so-serious player. The Greenback course was designed by Robert Trent Jones II and has hosted a couple USGA national championships (US Public Links).
Planning Your Trip is Part of the Fun!
What do you think of our wine & golf pairings? Do you have other ideas? Finding the perfect combination of golf and wine will be part of the fun. Research different parts of the country and see what pairings sound good to you. Now that you have your plan, it is time to prepare for your trip. A few quick tips!
Pay Attention to the Climate
Experiencing a new part of the country is awesome, but make sure you come with the correct attire. If you are planning a morning tee time followed by a late afternoon tasting, make sure you check the hourly forecast. Make sure you pack layers to deal with cool or breezy conditions.
Stay Healthy During Your Trip
We never seem to have enough time on vacation. As the old saying goes, time flies when you are having fun. You don’t want to have to change your plans due to nagging foot, ankle, or lower back pain. Make sure you pack the appropriate footwear to support your long days on the course and walking the vineyards. You might want to consider some additional arch support.
Don’t Make Your Schedule Too Hectic
It is ok to take a break during your trip. Don’t feel like you must plan every minute of the day. Leave some downtime to relax and rest. Make sure you pack casual clothes and sandals that allow you to prepare for the next adventure.
Enjoy your adventure. Make memories with friends and loved ones. Share laughs on the course or over a glass of wine. You deserve it!