Virginie Boone is a contributing reviewer of California wines for Wine Enthusiast Magazine with a focus on many of the state’s interior areas.
She also writes about wine, beer and spirits for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Prior to specializing in wine, she worked as a travel writer for Lonely Planet and the Rough Guides, penning books to Northern California, New England, the Deep South, South America and France’s Loire Valley.
Writing Between the Vines spoke to Virginie about her retreat at the Arista cottage located in Sonoma.
Did the retreat meet your expectations?
The retreat exceeded my expectations. Total alone time in very luxurious accommodation surrounded by vines, kicked off with an amazing meal at Arista Winery.
What was the most unexpected part of your stay?
The quiet and aloneness in a part of the Russian River Valley I hadn't known very well.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of your retreat?
Having a comfortable place to work surrounded by nature and the tie into Arista.
Did the vineyard setting inspire you and/or your writing?
Very much so. I can't think of anywhere more inspiring except perhaps near the ocean.
What did you work on during the retreat?
I worked on a variety of longer features I had assignments for.
No one can write 24 hours a day! What other activities did you do during the retreat—any napping, hiking, or exploring the local area?
Hiking and exploring mostly. Two of my favorite things to do. Wish I had napped more ;(
Can you sum up your experience in eight words?
Inspiring, peaceful, invigorating, led by wonderful winery hosts.