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Mancation Memories: Hitting the Wine Road and the Scotch Trail With The Ultimate Guys Trip

Ultimate guys trip whiskey trail Scotland

The Glenlivet

Elevate your next mancation with a wine and spirits road trip across picturesque Sonoma and the lush landscape of Scotland.

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SONOMA WINE ROAD
With over 200 wineries on the Sonoma Wine Road, the challenge isn’t deciding what to fill your glass with but where to raise your glass. Thankfully, the October 2019 wildfires didn’t damage wineries, hotels, restaurants or the natural beauty of Sonoma, so the city is ready to cater to you and your crew.

Trattore Farms Sonoma guys trip

Trattore Farms

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DAY ONE
Leave the driving to Pure Luxury Transportation, and start the journey with a grounding in winemaking along the Get Your Boots Dirty 4×4 tour at Trattore Farms. Grab a glass of their Stone Soup Red Blend and learn about the terrior as winemaker, Edd, drives you through the vineyards. Enjoy a relaxing lunch tasting overlooking the esteemed Quail Hill vineyards of the appointment-only Lynmar Estate located in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The family-owned property of city-slicker turned farmer, Lynn Fritz, is everything wine country should be; bucolic, peaceful and perfect for sharing a glass with good friends.

Combine movies and Malbec at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Here Hollywood and vino come together to showcase the best of both worlds.

guys trip to Coppola Winery

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Combine movies and Malbec at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Here Hollywood and vino come together to showcase the best of both worlds. The tasting room is filled with memorabilia from blockbusters like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. Work off your lunch with a game of bocce with the boys before heading to a private tasting with varietals that are personally curated to your taste.

Valette restaurant Sonoma guys trip

Valette

For dinner, choose the local’s gourmet favorite, Valette, whose focus on modern gastronomic delights highlight locally-sourced ingredients. Don’t miss the day boat scallops en croute. If racking up Michelin stars is important to you and your friends, head to Madrona Manor to sample their classic tasting menu.

Consider spending the night in Healdsburg at the stylish Harmon Guest House, or take refuge at the Zen Gaige House + Ryokan where complimentary Port and Madeira are the best nightcap to a perfect first day.

Hook and Ladder winery ultimate guys trip

Hook & Ladder Winery

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DAY TWO
These days, firefighters are revered in wine country, but for years Hook & Ladder has paid homage to first responders. Started by a former San Francisco fireman, the only thing on fire here is the winemaking. The Tillerman Red Blend and Sangiovese are special standouts not-to-miss.

For a completely unique experience, the Helicopter Tasting with Williamson Wines is a must for any guy’s trip. Enjoy a scenic flight over wine country before a food and wine pairing. Opt to have owners Dawn or Bill Williamson join the tasting and you’ll be regaled about the couples start as techies in Australia to becoming Sonoma winemakers, all while learning about and tasting the wonder of a perfect pairing.

Kenwood Inn Sonoma Calfornia

Kenwood Inn Spa

If you can handle another tasting, the laid-back backyard feel of Russian River Vineyards is an ideal way to while away the afternoon, or detox with a CBD massage at the newly reopened Kenwood Inn Spa. Cap your wine weekend at the Farmhouse Inn, arguably the top luxury accommodations in the area. Enjoy dinner at the Michelin star restaurant on property before heading to the fire pits for an après-dinner drink and cigar to cap a great guy’s weekend in wine country.

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Speyside is home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whiskey distilleries and this iconic trail will take you and the guys to five famous distilleries, and a cooperage, all within a 75-mile radius.

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SPEYSIDE MALT WHISKEY TRAIL
Speyside is home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whiskey distilleries and this iconic trail will take you and the guys to five famous distilleries, and a cooperage, all within a 75-mile radius.

With everything in close proximity, it’s easiest to make The Craigellachie Speyside your base. The 26-room hotel’s closest neighbors are Macallan and Aberlour, and its Quaich Bar is one of the world’s best whisky bars with over 900 kinds to tempt.

guys trip to Glenlivet Distillery in Scotland

Glenlivet Distillery

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DAY ONE
Meet your very British and very funny driver, Kevin, from Chirton Grange and head to the Glenlivet Distillery. The Inspiration tour gives the history of single malt scotch, coupled with a dram drawn straight from the cask and tastings of new and limited release Scotch.

Cardhu Distillery in Scotland

Cardhu Distillery

Follow the River Spey north to Knocando, home of the Cardhu Distillery. Cardhu is the only malt distillery pioneered by a woman all the way back in 1811. The distillery is known for its limited quantity single malt scotch that is produced using a deliberately slow distillation process to create an incredibly smooth and mellow spirit.

Give your palette a rest with a visit to the Speyside Cooperage nine miles down the road in Dufftown. It’s the only remaining working cooperage in the UK and you’ll not only learn how whisky barrels are made, but you can test your own skill making a mini cask.

Wrap the day up at Toots Café & Bar at the Station Hotel. The restaurant is named after Ernest Forsyth, a.k.a. Toots, an ancestor of the current owners who ran a cooperworks business that made cooper stills for the local whisky industry.

Opened in 1786, Strathisla Distillery is the oldest working distillery in the Scottish Highlands, and the first owned by the Chivas Brothers.

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DAY TWO
Start the day on the Glenfiddich Solera specialty tour that explores one of the most unique whiskies in the collection. You’ll also be able to create your own version of Glenfiddich 15 blending different cask samples.

Opened in 1786, Strathisla Distillery is the oldest working distillery in the Scottish Highlands, and the first owned by the Chivas Brothers. It is the ideal place to sample Chivas Regal with the Chivas Cellar Tasting where you’ll sample several Chivas drams directly from the barrel.

Strathisla Distillery Guys trip in Scotland

Strathisla Distillery

Benromach Distillery is the smallest on the Speyside trail, but it’s home to the world’s first fully certified organic single malt. Book a Contrast tasting to experience the many unique flavors the distillery is creating in its line.

Copper Dog pub Scotland guys trip

Copper Dog Pub

End the evening with dinner in the hotel’s Copper Dog pub. Drawing both locals and guests, the pub atmosphere is always lively, and the menu features both traditional Scottish and international fare. Raise a dram to this great guy’s trip in the famous Quaich Bar to round out the long seaside weekend.

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