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Archive for May, 2010

The last site on our tour is Merryvale Vineyards where we got to have lunch in the Cask Room, which has got to be one of the most romantic places on earth to hold a reception.  Wrought iron gates open up to admit guests into a long, atmospheric space with wine casks stacked to the ceiling on either side.  We’re not sure that our description can really do the space justice; just check out the picture below for an idea of what it’s really like.

On our visit, we got to sit down in the gorgeous Cask Room for a great family style lunch provided by Wine Valley Catering.  Wine Valley’s Grilled Rosemary Chicken with Spanish Romesco Sauce and their Penne Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, and Grilled Eggplant were scrumptious, as was the wine provided by Merryvale.  For more info on Merryvale, contact Kelly Craig at kcraig@merrvale.com.

Well, that does it for our little tour of Napa Valley wedding venues!  We loved each venue we got to visit and had such a great time with all of the other planners on the tour.  We would like to thank La Tavola Fine Linen for putting the tour together, Pure Luxury Wine Tours for making sure that we got to and from each site safely and comfortably, and Wine Valley Catering and Merrvale Vineyards for providing and hosting lunch.  Hopefully we’ll get a chance to check out more incredible venues soon!  In the meantime, happy hunting!

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Our next (and very different) site is Charles Krug Winery, owned and operated by the Peter Mondavi Family.  The winery has several acres of park-like grounds, so you have tons of options for ceremony and reception locations.  And since the grounds include a large, covered barbecue pit, couples who prefer something casual can grill up ribs or hamburgers for a homey, laid back rehearsal or reception.

The grounds aren’t the only exciting thing about this venue; the part we’ve really fallen in love with is the Carriage House.  The Carriage House is a two-story event space with a capacity of over two hundred.  Guests would enter past the fountain on the first floor, where a cocktail hour could be held amongst stacks of wine barrels.  The reception would then be held on the stunning second floor, where high vaulted wood ceilings and clerestory windows make this space light, airy, and dramatic.  With pristine wood floors and huge chandeliers, this space exudes a sort of earthy elegance and would make for an absolutely unforgettable reception. 

For more information on Charles Krug Winery, contact Patty Grantham at pgrantham@pmondavi.com or go visit them a do a bit of wine tasting!  Next time, we’ll visit one of the most romantic reception sites we’ve ever seen…

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For this leg of our tour hosted by La Tavola Fine Linen we’d like to introduce you to a place that you’ve probably never heard of: Sylvan Manor.  Sylvan Manor (or Sylvan Lake Manor) is a private estate situated eight miles above St. Helena in Angwin.  Driving out to this property set in the woods makes you feel like you are leaving civilization behind.  It has extensive, beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding a traditional Bavarian manor house.  We imagine stringing hundreds of market lights and lanterns above the lawn next to the house to create a romantic, storybook setting. 

Besides the beauty of this property, want to know the best thing about Sylvan Manor?  When you book this venue, you are automatically given two days of unlimited use of the property, including lodging in a cute cottage for up to 8 guests.  With two days at your disposal, why not use the grounds for a rehearsal picnic the afternoon before your wedding?  With the cottage right there, you can spend the night and wake up well-rested for your big day.

If you love secluded, romantic venues, the quaint charm of the Bavarian manor, or just the convenience of on-site lodging, Sylvan Manor is well worth looking into!  In the next installment of our tour, we’ll be visiting a winery that has gorgeous spaces both inside and out.

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Since winning the 2010 NACE Tabletop Competition we’ve been brainstorming about creative new ways to use the structure we created for that event.  In our first table, we created a table-sized wooden box and filled it with rocks, moss, and flowers, then placed a plexiglass sheet over the box to serve as the table surface.  We loved the way the table turned out, but at a recent Bar Bat Mitzvah Resource Fair at the Center at Twenty-Three Hundred, we decided to transform it into something more lush and romantic.  So, we took out all the rocks and the manzanita branch and filled the box with freshly picked leaves, bunches of hydrangeas, and ivory candles.  
The result?  Love at first sight!  The table was elegant, unique, and literally glowed with the lights turned down.  We have lots more fun ideas for this table, hopefully we’ll get to try them out soon!  Special thanks to Laurie Schmalzel, Mike Regan, Sara Hamm, and Lara Kiniris for all the fun on the day of the fair!
 

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Are you a middle sister?….or do you know one?  If so, have we found the wine for you!

First, before we can tell you about the wine, we just have to tell you how we found it…it’s too good.  Last night the three of us girls here at Arcularius Events went out with Mom to find a wedding dress for Marianna, the youngest of us three (who got engaged a month ago!).  We chose Diamond Bridal Gallery in Granite Bay because of its wide selection of Spanish designer dresses, which Marianna fell in love with after countless hours searching wedding gown websites.  This place did not disappoint!  The interior was comfortable, the sales associates were totally sweet, and the dresses were to die for.  Marianna tried on just seven dresses before she found “the one” and, after a few tears and a bit of dancing in the dressing room, walked out of the store with a receipt for a wedding gown!! 

What does this have to do with wine?  Well, at the beginning of our evening (before the dress was found and the tears were shed), middle-sister Mairead stepped out to find a bottle of champagne to turn dress shopping into a celebration.  She came back with champagne and a wine that was just too perfect…Middle Sister Rebel Red.

Rebel Red is a red table wine, but the collection of Middle Sister wines includes Drama Queen Pinot Grigio, Mischief Maker Cabernet Sauvignon, Goodie Two-Shoes Pinot Noir, Surfer Chick Sauvignon Blanc, and Smarty Pants Chardonnay.  How adorable is that?  What’s more, lots of these bottles have won awards up the ying-yang, so not only can you give your favorite middle sister a wine that describes her personality, you can give her wine that she’ll actually like!

Check out Middle Sister’s fun website for info on all their wines, a silly music video, and an enlightening “Which Middle Sister Are You?” quiz. (PS, we took it, and we are apparently Drama Queens, who knew?)

Have fun wine tasting!

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To continue our little tour of great Napa Valley wedding venues, we move from Shady Oaks’ Secret Garden to Barbara’s Barn, a site that might be the very definition of “California Country Chic.”  

Imagine having a ceremony on this lovely little lawn, with stunning views of the lush hills that surround the valley…
 …and then walking a mere 20 feet to enjoy cocktails on this poolside patio.
Post-cocktails, you and your guests would meander over to the barn itself, where long tables would be set up in the stalls that border a concrete dancefloor.  Lights are already strung in between the stalls, as well as shades that can be pulled to cover the dancing space on hot days. 
It would be a beautiful, intimate, and completely unique day.  How fabulous does that sound?

Now, we know that you may have to imagine this place on a sunnier day than the one our pictures show to really love it, and we also know that this site does not always allow ceremonies, so that is something you would want to look into.  But, that being said, we love Barbara’s Barn!  We think it is the perfect combination of rustic and modern – it is a polished, stylish farmhouse that would be the perfect setting for an elegant hoedown!  Plus, while the barn as-is can accommodate up to 120 guests, Barbara is currently developing an adjacent property that will also be available for events with overnight accommodations.  This property will be able to handle parking and a large tent, allowing for a capacity of 200-150.

If you’re interested in this site, contact Cindi Oscourn at Mint Locations: cindi@mintlocations.com.  


Two down, two more to go!  Next time we’ll be covering a unique property that is perfect if you’re looking for a touch of the old world…

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We all know that Napa Valley is a hot spot for weddings, but with so many different vineyards, inns, and ranches to choose from, it can be hard to narrow things down and find a venue that is perfect for you.  The girls here at Arcularius Events want to help all you venue-hunting brides out there by saving you the legwork and sharing some of the most interesting venues we’ve seen.  Over the next few posts, we’re going to show you the unique, beautiful, and somewhat lesser-known places that we got to visit on a fantastic Napa Valley site tour hosted by La Tavola Fine Linen.

The morning of our tour started at La Tavola’s gorgeous Napa showroom, where we were picked up by Pure Luxury Wine Tours, a Napa-based green transportation agency.  Pure luxury drove us in an uber-comfortable shuttle bus to our first site, Shady Oaks Ranch and Vineyards.

Shady Oaks Ranch Meadowbrook main house

The main house at Shady Oaks

Shady Oaks is a lovely  site in the heart of Napa Valley with expansive green lawns and lush gardens.  The main estate home sleeps 16 and is accompanied by 3 more cozy cabins that come with rental of the site.  The 12.5 acre grounds are home to a reflecting pond and gazebo, several intimate gardens, and 400 year old Oak trees (the oldest in the valley). Shady Oaks is secluded and romantic and, with little lights scattered among the gardens and a string quartet playing, would make the perfect setting for a fanciful, elegant, Secret Garden-type wedding.

Pool at Shady Oaks Ranch Meadowbrook

Seating by the pool

Gardens at Shady Oaks Ranch Meadowbrook

The lovely gardens

More gardens at Shady Oaks Ranch Meadowbrook

More of the gardens

For more information on this site, contact Wayne at wayne@gwines.net.  Next time, we’ll leave the fairy tale charm of Shady Oaks for a site that can only be described as “California Country Chic”…

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