Five Things to Do in Wine Country in November


Calistoga’s latest winery, signature food, and wine fests from Big Sur to Paso Robles and a fall trunk show in Yountville, all happening in November in Wine Country.

Race up to Calistoga’s new equestrian themed winery, Tamber Bey

This private equestrian facility-turned-winery and tasting room harkens back to Calistoga’s small-town agricultural roots, but in the most modern way.  For avid horse lovers Jennifer and Barry Waitte, the availability of the Howard Backen-designed property last year was pure serendipity for this couple who had long been looking for a permanent home for their Tamber Bey wines. The brand is named after Arabian horses that Waitte owned named Tamborina and Bayamo. 

Photo Lowell Downey

The setting is incredibly peaceful, beginning with a beautiful drive past grazing horses on 22 acres of land. Even the stables sport Howard Backen’s signature style of open, light-filled spaces.

Photo by Lowell Downey

The former club house has been transformed into a comfortable tasting room where visitors can taste a flight of their white and red wines paired with cookies specially created to complement the wines. I especially liked their single-vineyard Deux Chevaux (meaning “two horses”) Rabicano Bordeaux-style blend and the Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon wines, the latter paired with a “triple threat” cookie made with three types of chocolate and topped with grey sea salt.  The wines are made by Frederic Delivert in concert with Thomas Rivers Brown in the converted 15,000-square-foot horse arena. Open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. by appointment. Flights $25-35pp, or $45 for a 1 1/2 hour tour and tasting. 1251 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga.

Escape to the rugged Monterey Coast for the 5th annual Big Sur Food and Wine Festival

Sierra Mar Restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn. Courtesy Post Ranch Inn

Showing the best of coastal living, the Big Sur Food and Wine Festival runs November 7 to 10 and features gourmet food and wine dinners, “Magical Mystery Tours” of the most private and exclusive homes, an auction including unique Big Sur experiences and stunning hikes. Lexus is sponsoring a Pinot Walkabout on Friday, November 8 and the Grand Public Tasting on Sunday, November 10, both taking place at the Post Ranch Inn between 12 and 3 p.m. Check the website for the full schedule of events and tickets. $95-$185 pp, various locations in Big Sur, luxury shuttles available.

Take a break in Big Sur’s newest restaurant in a decade, Big Sur Roadhouse

Photo by James Hall Photography


While in Big Sur for the festival or touring Monterey Wine Country, check out the new Big Sur Roadhouse designed by SF designer Steve Justrich. The casual design mirrors Big Sur’s laid-back style while the earthy tones and redwood furnishings blend in with the terrain. Local artisans leave their mark on the space, crafting the bar, stools, raw steel fire pits, and lighting. It’s the perfect setting to savor CIA-trained Chef Matt Glazer’s mouth-watering “Coastal Cajun” cuisine featuring locally-sourced dishes such as Seabass Po’ Boys and blackened Wild King Salmon.  They also have a small bites menu for those really on the go. For those who decide to stay overnight, check out neighboring Glen Oaks Big Sur. Restaurant open daily between 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 47080 Highway 1, Big Sur.

Head to Paso Robles for the 3rd annual Garagiste Festival

Inside the Stallion Barn at Windfall Farms. Photo by Allyson Nichols Magda

Explore the unique varietals and blends that distinguish Paso Robles vintners at the 3rd annual Garagiste Festival taking place from November 7 to 10. The main event day is Saturday, November 9 which includes seminars as well as the Grand Tasting of over 125 wines poured by nearly 50 winemakers. $135 pp for an all-day VIP pass or $60 pp for the Grand Tasting between 2 – 5 p.m. Check the website for the full four-day schedule including winemaker dinners, mixers and symposiums. Windfall Farms, 4715 Flying Paster Lane, Paso Robles.

Shop luxury gifts for the holiday season at Ma(i)sonry’s Sunday Salon and Trunk Show

Ma(i)sonry. Photo by Deanna Apallas

Peruse luxury linens and couture attire from FJÄLL, Isoude and Kearsley perfect for the season at Ma(i)sonry’s Sunday Salon and Trunk Show in Yountville November 10 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Blackbird wines will be served. Reserve in advance by November 8. 6711 Washington Street, Yountville.

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