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California wine country, 5 nights, from $695

A ranch in Healdsburg is the base for a foodie adventure that includes hearty meals, wine and cheese tastings, and visits to a local winery and an olive press.

The Real Deal: Five nights at the Bishop's Ranch in Healdsburg; five breakfasts, one brunch, four lunches, and five dinners; wine classes and tastings; culinary demonstrations on herbs, mushrooms, and cheeses; trips to a winery, an olive press, a specialty bakery, and a cheese store; and local transportation, from $695 per person—including all taxes and gratuities.

When: Oct. 11–16, 2009; add $28 for March 14–19, 2010.

The fine print: Based on double occupancy; solo travelers will be paired with other guests. Refer to promo code 1144RJ when booking. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Elderhostel, 800/454-5768,

Why it's a deal: The cost of Elderhostel's A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine: A Taste of Provence package breaks down to $139 a day. The package includes five nights' accommodations; all meals; activities such as wine classes, culinary demonstrations, and tours of a winery, an olive press, a bakery and a cheese shop; all local transportation; and all taxes and gratuities.

More: You may be able to extend your stay, depending on availability. Contact the Bishop's Ranch directly (707/433-2440, to inquire about pricing and make arrangements for extra nights.