Even though we're accustomed to seeing an exuberant array of Wine Country event sites in a wide range of architectural styles, Soda Rock Winery is show-stoppingly different. It looks like the Hollywood set of a Wild West town … except that this is the real deal. Or at least it was in the 1860s when these fabulous old buildings housed the general store, post office and pretty much all of downtown Soda Rock. But leave it to the Wilson family, owners of 9 distinctive wineries, to lend a hip, modern sensibility to their faithful restoration of this standout venue.
The centerpiece is the two-story winery building, which resembles the exterior of the Alamo and is fronted by a large Courtyard Plaza with a fountain. Surrounded by seasonal gardens and a view to hills and vineyards, this is an excellent spot for an outdoor ceremony or reception. If you'd like something more rustic, a bride favorite is walking down the aisle beside the 100-year-old barn with more vineyards behind it. Even if you don't exchange vows here, you simply must pose for photos inside the barn: The weathered wood with all its knotholes lets streams of light filter in, creating a dreamy, ethereal effect. Your photographer will be in heaven and your wedding album will be even more memorable!
While Soda Rock's exterior is all original stone, once you enter the main winery building you're in for a surprise and a treat. The interior has been gutted and turned into a setting that's the ultimate in industrial chic. Cool and spacious, the Tasting Room and Lounge feature some things old … and some things new: The exposed beam ceiling, vintage carved wooden bar, and viticulture artifacts (like antique barrels and an early bottling machine), mix beautifully with marble accents, sleek leather chairs and contemporary art.
After cocktails (and their artisan wine, of course), you can move to the dual-level Ballroom. Its soaring, wood trestle ceiling, polished cement floor and enormous century-old ageing barrels make this quite unlike your standard ballroom. It's a most wonderful blank canvas, ready for your personal stamp. Whether you prefer it airy and open or wish to add lanterns, drapery and dramatic lighting, this space (and the adjacent Vineyard Room) can be transformed to suit virtually any vision.
Soda Rock also has four private rooms—including the Water Tower Suite with 360-degree vineyard views—that can be used as bridal changing suites. And if you're just not ready to say goodbye to friends and family yet, there's always the option to host a post-wedding brunch (think rehearsal dinner, too) at any of the Wilson family's other award-winning locations.