vino in the valley.

As a silly romantic girl, I sit places and think, "I would like to get engaged here." Vino in the Valley is one of those places. (Of course, not now. Now that I've said it aloud, it is ruined. Keep shopping, future-fiance.) About a one hour drive from Eau Claire, the same from Minneapolis, it's a spot that is definitely worth the drive if you're looking for an evening out. And I do literally mean "out": Vino is an entirely outdoor experience. Dinner is served in a pavilion with billowy white tie-back curtains, looking out on the small vineyard from which local crooners serenade relaxed diners. Early this summer, a random smattering of girlfriends got together at this picturesque eatery-indulging in wine, pasta, bread and fudgey desserts.

It's been weeks since I took these photos, and I swear I think about this fudge pop at least once a day. The inside is a moist, heavy chocolate cake, the outside a crusty fudge topped with fresh whipped cream, a strawberry and a refreshing mint leaf. Drool.

After dinner, the five of us took a stroll past the vineyard and through a field to the bubbling creek, where we refilled our wine glasses and toasted to our wonderful evening together.

There was a gorgeous amount of fog hanging in the air that night, floating just inches above the field of scattered weeds and wildflowers. Unfortunately, the vines had not yet taken off in the vineyard, but it the scene was still very photo-worthy.

All of my trips to Vino are running together in my mind (there have been four in the past year...), but I believe we took advantage of the outdoor games at Vino, playing a round of ladder ball and relaxing while listening to the smooth vocal stylings of the live musician.

My favorite part of the entire experience is this: Several times during the night, the owner of Vino cues up the classic tune "That's Amore", beckoning diners to sing along with their tablemates, clinking and drinking each time they belt "that's amore!" At this point in the night, I typically have at least one glass of wine in me...which is enough to make me giggle endlessly while attempting to keep up with the "amore".

The girls and I discussed how we'd really love to be taken here by a boy, on an uber romantic date...without having to tell him by dropping obnoxiously obvious hints. So, boys, I'm doing you a solid, here. (And I know there are a few of you reading this. Past comments and conversations have proven this.) Woo your love interest with a little trip to Vino in the Valley. Sure, it's a longer drive than your local Olive Garden, but it will be beyond magical...and she will love it. I guarantee it. :)


  1. HOld the phone, you forgot to invite me. I'll forgive you this one time. My baby loves vineyards :)

    And the pics? I am kinda thinking that I need to print them and hang them in my house. They are some of the most gorgeous things I've seen in awhile.

    And my Target doesn't sell booze. Boo to PA liquor laws!

  2. Annnnddd, I'll be forwarding this onto that husband of mine momentarily. We are in the mood for a day/overnight trip around the EC area and you have raved about such a picturesque spot. Thank you for finding our next adventure. :)

  3. wow, so dreamy! how have i not been there yet? what an awesome outing...especially since our quick runs to sonoma are no more. :(

  4. Fab, fab, fabulous! I want to get engaged there, too... (and I'm already married ;~)

    Looks wonderful. And I love that you were clever (and sneaky) enough to bring in your own wine.

    How long till Ireland?!

  5. What a nice place! The pictures you took are so beautiful! Too bad I live so far away :D

  6. It looks absolutely fabulous. I need more friends who enjoy a good glass of wine as much as I do so I have reasons to go to places like this!

  7. I don't want to completely go off subject here, but Target sells wine? Where do I sign up??

    Looks completely magical. So the engagment idea is blown... but what about the wedding ceremony??


  8. Beautiful photos of a lovely place! I love how you caught the layer of fog....

  9. Wow what an amazing looking place and surroundings Bethany! It does indeed sound very romantic and just the place to be wooed!

  10. amazing pictures!! breath taking!

  11. I would really like to go here and I think you did it perfectly with friends. You're such a romantic. Hopefully you'll always be a romantic and not become jaded and cynical, like myself.


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