“The Applewood Inn is the spot to be in Sonoma County!”
Merely an hour from the Golden Gate bridge, in the heart of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir growing region, there is the finest hideaway you could ever find for those wine lovers. 360 MAGAZINE had the pleasure to spend two memorable nights in such a secluded, peaceful resort while immersing in a wine country living. Applewood Inn was built in 1922, at a carefully selected location to explore Redwood National Park, wineries and the rugged and beautiful Sonoma Coast.
The original structure (Belden Mansion) of the property was built in 1922, and became a hotel in the spring of 1985, when the original owners, Jim Caron and Darryl Notter opened the doors to the public. The restaurant opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1985, quickly garnering an international reputation for fine dining. The property has had numerous improvements over the years, with the most recent renovation being in 2016. The long-awaited restaurat Pinoli Cucina Rustica will be opening at Applewood on May 15th, 2017 under the guidance of Christian Darcoli.
This slightly off-the-beaten path inn offers 19 cozy rooms with a fireplace, comfy beds and even a mini-wine fridge to store all of your Russian River wineries or beer purchases. If you are visiting during this time of year, we suggest swimming in the heated pool/jacuzzi surrounded by a tranquil environment. Furthermore, breakfast at the Applewood Inn Restaurant was superb. Exploring the vineyards is a great deal easier after a two course mouthwatering meal accompanied by bottomless mimosas and spectacular views.
Among other attractions during your accommodation in Applewood, it is nearly mandatory to conduct a wine tasting at Dutcher Crossing Winery (www.dutchercrossingwinery.com) where you can try a wide variety of wines grown in the area. Our top selection was the 2015 Terra de Promissio Vineyard Pinot Noir and 2015 Chenoweth Vineyard Chardonnay. In addition, one of our most unforgettable moments during our journey in Sonoma County was our bike tour with Russian River Cycles (http://www.russianrivercycles.com) helmed by our wine expert Nick Briggs. For those explorers, there’s excellent hiking/walking trails throughout Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450) nearby the Russian River, where you can encounter a remarkable stump that washed ashore on Johnson’s Beach in 2006 (donated to the park by then owner Clare Harris).
Applewood Inn Restaurant & Spa believes in the security of the earth’s finite resources and that is why they rely on solar panels and self-sufficiency. Guests can embrace the ultimate “farm to table” experience since the bulk of their produce for the restaurant is grown onsite in the gardens, surrounded by lush vegetation. If this eco-awareness was not enough, they’re also installing additional vehicle charging stations in mid-spring.
This charming hotel is the perfect combination of unpretentious, down to earth-ness mixed with the sophistication of great wine and delicious food. The most pleasant of the choices when you are looking for a romantic stay in Sonoma County or a friendly getaway.