Thought of the day: why are horses romantic? Don’t laugh, I’m serious. There is a mystery about them. They are synonymous with heroes and have been for centuries: white stallions led by knights in shining armor, galloping steeds commanded by fearless warriors, cavalry in the American frontier, and on and on. Ever been to New York? Even in this day and age it’s not uncommon to see police officers on horseback there. Equines symbolize bravery, boldness, wildness, freedom, journey, adventure, victory. Romantic, indeed.

Now, when we introduced our Vineyard Romance package last year at Ponte Vineyard Inn, we thought we had covered all of the romantic amenities one expects from a night at a great hotel: chocolate covered strawberries, a bottle of sparkling wine, a gift card for shopping. But then our hotel staff decided to step it up a notch. They created a new package built around…a horse and carriage ride. They named it the Country Horse and Carriage Ride package and it is a big hit. Who wouldn’t swoon over the romance of the delicate click clock of hooves, wind in the hair, fresh air, vineyard scenery and the general ‘sit back and relax’ attitude while cuddled up with the dear one? (Look out, wedding department, we’ve a feeling marriage proposals are about to increase tenfold.)

Included in the package is a luxurious night at Temecula Wine Country’s #1 rated hotel, a 90-minute horse drawn carriage ride through Ponte’s private vineyards, a bottle of red or white Ponte wine, a delicious sandwich lunch and wine tasting tickets to Ponte Winery. Right now is the perfect time to book the Country Horse and Carriage Ride because, well, any time’s a good time for romance, yes? The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer…know what I mean (wink)? And, oh, the carriage provides a nice blanket for cool fall evenings.

Learn more about and book your Country Horse and Carriage Ride package at Ponte Vineyard Inn here.

–Erica Martinez