Wine & Redwoods 2016


Photo credit torbakhopper on flikr


Days of Wine & Redwoods

October 31 – November 4, 2016

At Science Getaways, our mission is to offer wonderful and relaxing vacations while feeding your brain with added bonus science.  We plan fantastic group vacations, hosted by Phil Plait and Marcella Setter, adding in extra tours, talks, and activities so that we all can learn more about the the unique area we’re visiting. This makes your vacation more interesting, more memorable, and most importantly more fun!

If you like wine and giant trees and science, you’re going to love this getaway. We’re going to California wine country to learn about viniculture, oenology, dendrology, astronomy, and ecology!

Or, in layperson’s terms, we’re going to learn about winemaking and redwood forests, and look through some big telescopes.

This getaway will be a week of non-stop nerd fun. We’ll tour wineries in Sonoma and Napa to learn about the art and science of winemaking from wine scientists — with plenty of time to sample the wares, of course. We’ll walk through Armstrong Woods (one of our favorite places in the world) under the towering majesty of ancient redwood trees to learn how these amazing plants survive for so long. And our getaway will wrap up with a dinner and private observatory night at the Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. For some bonus indoor science, during the week Phil will give astronomy talks to our group.


The lobby of the Renaissance Lodge

The Renaissance Lodge pool











We’ll be staying at the Renaissance Lodge at Sonoma Resort & Spa. Our deeply discounted group rate will be $209 per night for a standard room, with a reduced resort fee of $5 per night. You may also upgrade to a cottage room for $284. This hotel is just a few blocks from the Sonoma Plaza, right in the heart of California’s premier wineries. You should plan to arrive in Sonoma on Sunday, 30 October 2016 and depart on Friday, 4 November.  Oakland and SFO are the closest airports, but Sacramento is also a good option.


The cave at Deerfield Ranch Winery

We’re going to start touring Sonoma Valley wineries on Monday, starting with Loxton Family Winery. The owner and winemaker just happens to be an Australian physicist, so we’ll start off with a big bang! We’ll end the day with a gourmet Halloween cave dinner at the Deerfield Ranch Winery in Kenwood, CA. At each winery we’ll get a tour, not just a tasting, to learn about the sciencey details of growing and fermenting wine grapes. Tuesday will be a day in the redwoods, probably with a stop at a winery first. Wednesday is Napa Valley day with wineries and time to explore the town and have a fabulous meal at the world class restaurant of your choice in Napa. Our last day will conclude with, you guessed it – another winery, followed by a gourmet picnic dinner at the Ferguson Observatory. We’ll have their 8-inch, 14-inch, and 40-inch telescopes all to ourselves for the evening! Weather permitting, we’ll see a very thin crescent moon at twilight, then Mars, Uranus, Neptune, the Ring Nebula, the Dumbbell Nebula, some star clusters and the Andromeda Galaxy.




Here’s the executive coach we’ll ride in.

Registration – This trip is for adults only (age 21 and over) and the registration fee will be $1870 per person. This fee includes transportation for all field trips on an executive motorcoach with leather captain’s seats, all wine tasting and tour fees, park and observatory admission, 3 lunches and 2 dinners. The registration fee does not include your travel to and from the hotel, your hotel stay, and other meals not listed previously.

If you would like to register or if you have any questions, please email us. Once you’ve emailed, we’ll send you a link to let you pay the registration fee and book your hotel room.  We hope to see you there!



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