To relax or invest, vineyards worth a look

Take a beating in the stock market this year? There’s nothing quite like a dose of financial abuse to make you want to disappear to wine country for a week or two. While you’re out there, though, it may pay to turn your head back to investing, if only briefly. Lease or buy a vineyard-or just hide in a villa for a weeks-with a bit of help from BeautifulPlaces.

Sorry for the reality check, but this form of therapy isn’t cheap. The BeautifulPlaces properties are upscale, and the amenities are focused on the high net worth crowd. The Napa and Sonoma Valley properties range from Tuscan estates to Provencal cottages, from Carneros to Dry Creek Valley, CA. As these lavish settings would suggest, guests typically take advantage of the certified nannies, professional photographers and in-villa spa treatments that BeautifulPlaces can arrange. If you’re inclined, get a unique tour of the night sky with the help of an astronomer.

No, I’m not joking.

Of course, if you’re hitting Napa or Sonoma, wine is on your mind. Tours, tastings and custom wine blending experiences can be arranged. Even people like me have access to these activities, though. If you’re looking for something unique, spend some time with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein. President and wine guru of Full Circle Wine Solutions, he’ll walk you through an intricate tasting day. This “day” may start months in advance, when Goldstein talks to you about your preferences-food and wine-as well as whether you collect (or, like me, just gulp right from the box glass). When you hit the ground, Goldstein will create wine and meal pairings you won’t soon forget, especially when you’re “cooking” meals in the microwave at home.

If all this isn’t enough, and you just have to buy a vineyard, BeautifulPlaces will put you in touch with Premier Pacific Vineyards. These guys invest in and develop vineyards along the west coast. For serious financial types, this is a great way to get a foot in the door.

Head out to California wine country, but be ready to drop a few bucks along the way. It’s probably worth it. After the way the markets have treated us this year, even the rich deserve a break.