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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Days of Wine and Redwoods and SCIENCE

By Phil Plait

Do you like wine, gigantic trees, telescopes, and science?

Then do I have a vacation for you: Science Getaways is going to California wine country!

Science Getaways is a company run by my wife, Marcella, and me, where we take vacations you’d want to go on anyway and add science. We’ve done these in Tucson, Arizona (space!), Oregon (volcanoes!), Hawaii (more volcanoes!), and more. We lived in Sonoma County for many years before moving to Colorado, and it occurred to Marcella that there’s a lot of science in growing grapes, making the wine, and even in bottling and drinking it. So why not?

We’re calling this one Days of Wine and Redwoods. It’ll be from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4. We’ll be visiting several wineries in both Sonoma and Napa counties, talking to oenologists (scientists who study wine), and sampling their wares. Given the date, we’re starting off with a spooky Halloween cave dinner at the Deerfield Ranch Winery in Kenwood (yes, they store their wine in a cave, and it’s delicious).

We’ll also be visiting what is no fooling one of my favorite places on Earth: The giant redwood forest of Armstrong Woods. This is a profoundly moving and beautiful place, with trees towering more than 100 meters high.

We’ll wrap up the trip with a private night at the Robert Ferguson Observatory, where I’ll give a brief talk on some select astronomical objects and then, weather permitting, you’ll see them for yourself through their telescopes, including their brand-new one-meter telescope! I’m really looking forward to that.

If this sounds like the vacation for you—and you’re 21 or over, of course—then check out the information page and register. We’re actually down to just a few more slots, so book it while you can.

See you in California!

P.S. There’s still room for the Science Luau 2016 getaway on Sept. 19-23 too, assuming the idea of a week in Hawaii doing sciencey things appeals to you as well.

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