The General Managers at Cypress Point, Shinnecock, Maidstone and Augusta National know you by name. You struggle to balance your time between your vacation homes in Aspen, on Nantucket and in Palm Beach. Your wine cellar overflows with first growths, and Thomas Keller calls your private chef for tips. Missing from the checklist? Your own Sonoma winery, complete with estate vineyards, winery chef and bespoke bottlings.
A splurge to end all splurges, it’s a dream escape designed for the wine fanatic who thought they had checked all items off the bucket-list. It’s on offer through Ram’s Gate Winery, a Howard Backen-designed rustic-chic estate in Sonoma County, for an asking price of $500,000. That’s far less than it would cost to buy the winery itself. But you still get to act as if you own the place. Over a long weekend of your choosing, the actual proprietors of Ram’s Gate will shut down to the public— and open their estate exclusively for you.
Included in the deal are three nights of luxurious accommodations for three couples, daily breakfasts, lavish dinners, cooking classes, intimate wine-tastings, picnic lunches, helicopter tours and more. It’s a wine-country fantasy made real.
Here’s How it Plays Out
To start your visit right, you’ll be greeted on arrival by Ram’s Gate founder Jeff O’Neill, who’ll dig deep into his personal cellar and pop a few prized corks for a Champagne reception in your honor. Think vintage bubbly, caviar and canapés, served on a trellised patio with a vineyard view.
When Jeff departs for the day, he’ll leave you with not only the keys to the winery, but also to a Mclaren MP4. It’s yours throughout the weekend. Your friends will enjoy use of some stunning wheels of their own.
The next day, you’ll board an Agusta 109S Grand – one of the fastest and most admired helicopters in the country – for a bird’s eye tour of Ram’s Gate’s marquee single-vineyard growing sites, including Sonoma Coast’s Durell and Gap’s Crown, before touching down amid Russian River Valley vines for a picnic lunch prepared by Ram’s Gate chef Taylr Behnam.
Feeling rested? Good. There’s work to do.
Before sunset that evening, you’ll gather in the barrel room with Ram’s Gate head winemaker Jeff Gaffner for a Pinot Noir blending session—a hands-on clinic that will give rise to a custom-bottling of your own private label, made with 95+ Robert Parker scoring fruit from the Ram’s Gate Estate and El Diablo Vineyard.
Methesulas. Magnums. You name it. Ram’s Gate will ship you a barrel’s worth of finished wine. A bottle or two in-hand return home for an intimate evening with friends and a very private dinner.
Your third day brings a morning of relaxation with alfresco massages at your home away from home. Refreshed, you’ll head back to Ram’s Gate Winery to join Kyle Connaughton and his wife, Katina for a day of culinary delights.
They’re the couple behind Single Thread Farms Restaurant & Inn in Healdsburg, the most hotly anticipated wine country restaurant opening of the year. Kyle is the culinary wizard who once ran the pioneering research kitchen at the Fat Duck in London. Together with his wife, Katina, a farmer and master gardener, Kyle will give you and your guests a cooking class, using ingredients harvested from Ram’s Gate’s garden. Afterwards, they’ll treat you to their modernist musings with a multi-course meal, paired with Ram’s Gate estate wines.
Time moves slowly in wine country, but soon enough, your final day arrives. You mark it with a farm-to-fork lunch at Ram’s Gate’s Vineyard Table. Tucked amidst the estate vines soak in the views and a glass of Vintage Estate Sparkling Rosé to prepare your palate for five seasonal pairings, each sip and bite carefully crafted by Ram’s Gate’s winemaking and culinary teams.
As a parting gift, one couple in your group will receive an inaugural membership to Ram’s Gate’s soon-to launch 30-member Collector’s Trust, leaving your mark with two vine rows in the Estate Vineyard reserved in your name in additional to a plethora of special experiences and wines only available to Collector’s Trust members.
The memories are yours to keep.
About Ram’s Gate Winery
Ram’s Gate Winery was founded in 2011 when Proprietor Jeff O’Neill, along with business partners – Michael John, Peter Mullin and Paul Violich – collaborated to build a winery with the intention of producing the finest small lot single vineyard designate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from its Estate Vineyard in Carneros, and from grapes sourced from some of the most sought-after vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. Located at the gateway to Sonoma and Napa, Ram’s Gate’s breathtaking Howard Backen-designed estate blends the best of the region’s wines with stunning architecture and gracious hospitality. For further information or to inquire about visiting and memberships, please visit www.ramsgatewinery.com.