Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

At Your Service

Enjoy the best of wine country with a private concierge service.



Brian Laird

Looking to spend a bachelorette weekend with friends? Melanie Schwartz will help you pick which wineries to hit and what shops to visit after. Have friends visiting town? She’ll clue you in to under-the-radar art galleries and get you tickets to the opera. Need a romantic getaway? She’ll book you a room at an intimate B&B, and a couple’s massage for the afternoon.

Schwartz, a Sonoma resident, is the founder of Booker and Butler, a business that helps Napa and Sonoma visitors as well as locals find out what’s hot and what’s new in Wine Country. Her business is a two-part model: One, Booker, in which Schwartz helps visitors map out and book their itineraries, and two, Butler, whereby she helps locals and vacation-home owners with everything from finding a pool cleaner to accommodating guests.

“I’ve got an insatiable appetite for what’s going on in Wine Country,” she says, “and I’m a full-time networker.”

To get a feel for their time, financial, and geographical constraints, Schwartz has clients fill out an online questionnaire. Then, she maps out a few custom itineraries to match the request.

Courtesy of Milliken Creek Inn“I don’t have a list of go-to places or wineries that I reuse,” she says. “Every plan depends on the client.”

Schwartz, who worked in corporate advertising, real estate, and hospitality, stays in the know by scouring newsletters, local and national media, and social networks. She also takes monthly field trips to different pockets of Wine Country, looking to add winemakers and others in the hospitality industry to her Rolodex.

She’s been in business for only a year, but Schwartz—who has served on the boards of Wine Country nonprofits and has had a hand in events such as the Sonoma International Film Festival—feels right at home in her new role.

“I get to live the life of Wine Country for a living, and that’s pretty lucky,” she says. “What I love to do is share that with other people.”

To view sample itineraries, visit bookerandbutler.com.
 


Tip 1
There’s more to Wine Country than just wine. Consider a trip that’s focused on art, architecture, olive oil, music, or theater, or outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

Tip 2
It takes time to have a good time, so don’t jam-pack your schedule. Book tasting tours with plenty of time in between, and let yourself relax at the pool or spa. Serendipitous things happen when you’re not in a rush.

Tip 3
Enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Pack the car with snacks, rent a Segway or motorcycle, or hire a driver. There’s even a company that will drive you around in a 1947 Packard convertible limousine (ccwinetours.com).

Edit ModuleShow Tags

St. Helena Getaway

Head to St. Helena for a cycling adventure, wine tasting, boutique shopping, and more.

Luxury Glamping

Go camping in Style at Autocamp Russian River.

Winemaker for a Day

Get a taste of the wine-making life at these Napa and Sonoma wineries.

Top Events

Stomp, speed, and sip your way through harvest season in Wine Country.

Rest Your Head in Wine Country

Discover Napa and Sonoma’s best new and renovated hotels.

Forward Thinking

A Napa entrepreneur fuses food, wine, and philanthropy.

Gaining A New Perspective

Artist Gretchen Kimball opens a painting studio in Napa so she can help open others' eyes to the joys of art

Going with the Flow

Two friends keg wine for the masses at their new Napa warehouse.

Vineyard Vows

Expert advice on tying the knot, Wine Country style, from one of the Bay Area’s best in the business.

Summer Hit List

10 Reasons to attend Festival del Sole’s 10th anniversary.

The Music Man of the Napa Valley Opera House

With Peter Williams at the helm, the Napa Valley Opera House heats up.

Around Sonoma County with Bruce Cohn

Vintner, entertainment guru, philanthropist, and very fun guy Bruce Cohn talks about what to see and do in Sonoma County.
Edit ModuleShow Tags