Growing up in Wine Country is such a extraordinary experience for a child. Recently I had the pleasure of accompanying 30 exuberant (to say the least) 4th graders on a field trip to Cline Cellars and their California Mission Museum.
The evening prior to the Mission field trip, I had glanced at the form to see where the museum was, figuring it to be by the Sonoma Mission itself. And of course the museum was located on the grounds of a winery and vineyard. Lucky Wine Country kids.
Here in Sonoma County, with the number of wineries, a tasting room needs to have a unique feature to bring in visitors. One of the reasons it is important to visit more than one winery on each visit, to experience what it has to offer. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting Cline Cellars in Sonoma, California where they have many unique attractions for guests other than their lovely wine pours of course.
Californian children in 4th grade study the missions and their influence on the culture of the native people. They also study the architecture and at the end of the learning series, each kid creates a model of a California Mission of their choosing. This year my 10 year old choose Mission La Purisima Concepcion which is located in Lompoc, CA. What a terrific place to be located for us wine lovers with all those Los Olivos and Santa Barbara Wineries close at hand.
At the Mission Museum at Cline in Sonoma, the collection is focused upon the architecture and building of each of California’s 21 missions. It is a large compilation of wonderfully detailed models of each of the 21 different buildings and surrounding garden landscaping.
What a perfect outing for children who are currently building a model of a California Mission. The woman who gave us a tour of the museum itself was wonderful and got the kids really excited about the game they played while visiting.
It is wonderful when children are excited about learning new things and “playing” a game focused on education. The game was a simple clipboard, pencil and worksheet that led the children around the museum to answer trivia question about each of the missions. This required them to read the placards next to each model mission and really learn a few things about each one instead of just focusing on their own building.
They also allowed time for the kids to look around at the other replicas and artifacts that had been collected throughout the room.
After the tour of the museum on the inside, we were led outdoors to tour the Cline Cellars property, learn more about the connection, see their adobe replica mission period building and also the mausoleum (yes, like I mentioned, each winery has unique attractions folks) although the children get a view from quite far away and it is a small building and great history lesson.
Helen led us on a tour of the vegetable gardens, orchards and flowers in bloom in spring over to the bell. Each child was allowed to ring the bell and then proceed on to feed the wineries local donkey population. Another cute and unique feature at the winery is of course feeding the donkeys a carrot.
Which as you can imagine, the kids thought was “awesome sauce”… which is a direct quote from Carly.
Helen and I had been “virtual” friends for quite some time and chatted often on social media and through acquaintances had spoken as well. Helen is the social media guru for Cline Cellars, Jacuzzi Cellars and Viansa, all within 2 minutes of each other in Sonoma, CA.
She is terrific and it is just by chance that she was helping out and leading the end of our tour with the kids through the garden. It was lovely to meet her and we got a chance to chat afterwards. Next time, I get the “Adult” tour….haha.
I had taken my own car to the winery and stayed afterwards to do a tour of Cline Cellars, Jacuzzi Family Winery and Viansa Winery and Marketplace. At the end of the children’s tour of the winery, ponds, gardens, vineyards, museums and landscaping, we come to a lovely grassy area where the Estate keeps various wild game birds, hens and exotic looking fowl.
The kids got a moment to check out all of the different feather colors on the birds and read info plaques about each animal before heading back to school. The group learned more about the history of our California Missions, architecture, gardens, winery history, animal care and more on this trip and although it seemed like a whirlwind of a tour with a long herd of kids to wrangle, it was informative and fun as well.
Below I have included a photo gallery tour of my walk around the Cline Cellars property and I will soon be writing an article detailing my visit that I know you are all dying to read. Stay tuned and I will post soon more about Cline…for now enjoy the photography slide show and what’s to come. My journey to Jacuzzi Cellars and a demonstration cooking class are listed in a Jacuzzi Article Here, check it out. Jacuzzi is right across the street and these two wineries are terrific to pair together. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the photo tour of Viansa which is only 1 minute away from Cline & Jacuzzi and who I stopped at last that day, Viansa Article Here.
Raising a glass as I write this article to my next trip to Cline Cellars in Sonoma when I stop by and taste. I was driving so I did not get to taste wines that day but I stopped by the fermenting room, toured the property and also stopped in the tasting room for a bit. Where I have to say, I ran into several other parents from the field trip who had also stayed to have a sip of wine.
It looks like it is not bad to be a parent or a child in Wine Country…They all raised a glass and relaxed after the kids boarded the bus back for school, what a day.