My VIP Tour of Raymond Vineyards


I recently embarked on my first ever wine-tasting outing in Northern California’s “Wine Country,” and it was so much more than I could’ve ever imagined. I went with a group of ladies, as we were all celebrating my sister Adrienne’s upcoming wedding, so it was a girls getaway bachelorette weekend of sorts. Like I said, I had never been wine tasting, so I asked around for recommendations before finally settling on a VIP Tour Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena. The contact who booked gave me a heads’s up that it was a  non-conservative and atypical of a traditional winery..whatever that is. Honestly I was just expecting a plain room in the middle of a huge field of grapes on a vine and wine barrels. I couldn’t have been more wrong in “stereotyping” a vineyard/winery. This was anything but boring, typical AND oh so perfect for our occasion!


I instantly fell in love with our VIP host Gina, she was a complete doll! As soon as she saw our group, we got our glasses and popped the bubbly. Then she proceeded to take us for a short tour of their grounds, with beautiful gardens, farm animals and even a “Doggie Winery” if you will. She explained to us that they create their own energy and do their best to be “green.”



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From there, the party started! We went into an indoor facility where they make the wine and this place is almost indescribable, you kind of have to experience it for yourself. It has sexy mood lighting with several Vegas showgirl-like outfitted mannequins…it had a Moulin Rouge feel…lots of “French” influence! There were elaborate chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and lounge music pumping through the room..and of course we were surrounded by wine!




From there we went to another outdoor area where we had an impromptu photo shoot on picturesque white lounge furniture before being ushered in to the “JCB Lounge.” JCB standing from wine maker and owner Jean Charles Boissant. The JCB Lounge is all-gold EVERYTHING! There’s also a huge projection screen and just a very rich, very high end vibe. My first thought was this is the perfect backdrop for a hip hop video! LOL!


Our last stop on the VIP tour was the private Red Room. Think velvet and leopard fabrics…it was out of this world, the room just sucked you in and invited you to relax. Gina was even kind enough to let my sister pic the Beyonce Pandora station to provvde our soundtrack for the room. All in all, I was blown away by this place..and I’m sure when I return there’ll be so much more to take in that I missed this time around. We may not have went to Vegas for this bachelorette, but Raymond Vineyards made us feel like that’s where we were..and the wines were amazing too! It couldn’t have been a more perfect VIP Tour of the Winery or for my sister’s special outing. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to visit it.


I would highly recommend this as a stop for anyone’s next jaunt into wine country. It’s nothing short of amazing and didn’t disappoint..both of which I never expected to be saying about a winery.

West Coastin’

I just got back from a wonderful (extended) weekend back home in the Bay Area! I truly covered the whole Bay…drove on just about every freeway and crossed more than one bridge! From SF down the peninsula..San Jose to the East Bay…and even into Wine Country, it was a nice escape from the humidity and a reminder of the GREAT family and friends I am blessed with!!

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From a Hennessy Artistry event in the 408 with my girls to celebrate Shonte’s birthday… Thanks to Tony (Kinetix) and Frankie Needles for making it a memorable night.

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It was a Raiderette reunion with a few of my San Jose O.G.’s sprinkled in!

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Then to a beautiful wedding at Ruby Hill for the new Mr. and Mrs. Caleca, with Cora as my’s out second wedding together! lol These ladies are some of oldest and dearest friends…LOVE THEM!!!


I even enjoyed a nice Sunday afternoon picnic in Napa in Oakville at Diamond Oaks winery…and that was a first for me…I mean MY Bay Area doesn’t really include “Napa/Sonoma”…but it was fun and I will be back for wine tasting!!
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We had perfect weather and ate lunched from atop a hill with a beautiful vista view. This trip I even squeezed in a lunch with the “Three Amigos” at Tres Agaves by the SF Giant’s Ballpark…

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…followed by a dinner at Sino at Santana Row with my sister Ade and Brian Tong of CNET fame! Until the next Bay Area episode…