Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015 California Wine Month: Celebrate the grape in Sonoma, California

Chardonnay Grapes - Sonoma County Tourism
I grew up in the San Francisco area. A Sunday drive to the Napa-Sonoma wine country was always a treat. And, Sonoma is still a major wine destination.

With harvest officially underway in Sonoma County, wineries are welcoming visitors with special events throughout September’s California Wine Month. From picking and crushing grapes to exclusive tastings and concerts, Sonoma County’s over 500 wineries offer a range of events to maximize guests’ wine country experience.

Below is a sampling of events happening in Sonoma County this fall:

Every Wednesday in September
Every Wednesday throughout September, the public is invited to enjoy Paradise Ridge wine while watching spectacular sunsets over the Russian River Valley. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends with the setting of the sun. The event showcases local food vendors and live music on the winery’s expansive veranda and poetry terrace. Tickets are $5 for wine club members, $8 for advance tickets and $10 at the door if available. For more information, visit www.prwinery.com.

Available throughout September
Deerfield Ranch Winery is offering a special hands-on cooking class with renowned winemaker and owner, Robert Rex. Rex will offer visitors an exclusive wine tasting lunch, featuring luscious wines, delectable food and sweeping views of the vineyard. For more information, visit www.deerfieldranch.com.

September 4 – 6
This highly-anticipated weekend is Sonoma County’s signature event and one of the top-three national charity wine events named by Wine Spectator magazine. The event brings together over 200 of Sonoma’s top winemakers and growers, along with 60 of the area’s best chefs. Since its inception, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has raised over $16 million for charities that benefit students, children, farm workers and people in need in the local community. The weekend includes intimate lunches and dinners at an array of winery properties, followed by the Sonoma Harvest Auction on Sunday. Tickets range from $85 to $500. For more information, visit www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com.

September 4, 11, 18, 25
Throughout the month of September, Sebastini Vineyard & Winery will host the Friday Night Music Series. Visitors can enjoy live music from a variety of musicians in the vineyard’s tasting room starting at 6:00 p.m. The winery will present “Food Truck Friday” on the last Friday of the month, featuring an enticing lineup of local gourmet trucks. The event is free for attendees. Wine is available for purchase by the glass and by the bottle. The following bands will be performing:
·         September 4 – Polyntlyss Sistars
·         September 11 – Sugar Foot
·         September 18 – BackTrax
·         September 25 – The Rolling Blackouts
For more information, visit www.sebastiani.com.

September 4
Roth Estate Winery celebrates the opening of the new tasting room with Adults at Play, a Friday night event with wine specials, small bite appetizers, outdoor games and live entertainment from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event is free to attend and wine and food will be available for purchase. For more information, visit www.rothwinery.com.

September 5
Surrounded by acres of vineyards, visitors are invited to listen to George Benson perform at Rodney Strong Vineyards intimate concert venue, The Green at 5:00 p.m. Benson, a musical icon and ten-time Grammy Award winning guitarist is known for his engaging blend of pop, R&B and jazz styles, alongside his formidable vocal talent. General admission tickets are $75 and VIP seating is $110. For more information, visit www.rodneystrong.com.


September 12
Sommelier Nicole Kosta will take visitors on a hike through the information and provide insider information on the soil, vines and geography of the area, while enjoying some sips of wine. After the hike, the winery will present a seated tasting of the rest of the current releases along with a brunch. Vineyard tour and tasting is $50 per person. For more information, visit www.duttongoldfield.com.

September 12
Seghesio Family Vineyard presents its first annual Harvest Homecoming celebrating their 120th Anniversary from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event will mark the release of the 2012 vintage of the most limited production wine, Chianti Station. General tickets are $75, including food and wine, parking and entertainment. VIP tickets are $150, including a VIP wine reception and opportunity to acquire limited vintages of Home Ranch Zinfandel and library vintages of Chianti Station. For more information, visit www.seghesio.com.

September 19
Lancaster Estate will host the annual Lancaster Fall Harvest Celebration from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., highlighting the release of the 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The celebration will include seasonal food and wine pairings along with the exclusive opportunity to sample wine from the barrels and purchase the limited production of Cabernet Franc. The event is open to wine club members and the general public. Guild members receive four complimentary tickets. VIP library tasting pre-party is $65; Member tickets are $45; General public tickets are $65. For more information, visit www.lancaster-estate.com.

September 20 – 22
Known as the ultimate getaway for food and wine lovers, the ninth annual Sonoma County Grape Camp is an experiential vacation that offers a hands-on experience harvesting grapes and blending wine during harvest season on various vineyards. Campers will have exclusive access to the influential grape growers, winemakers and chefs who help make Sonoma County a world-class culinary destination. Cost for Grape Camp 2015 is $2,000 per person and $3,700 per couple. Price includes three nights’ accommodations at Vintners Inn, meals, tastings and transportation during camp. For more information, visit www.sonomagrapecamp.com.

Extended hours through September 26
Tasting til’ Twilight continues at Matanzas Creek Winery with seasonal extended hours through September 26. The tasting room will remain open until 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings for guests to enjoy wine tastings, picnicking, bocce ball or simply relaxing in the beauty of the vineyard. The winery will also present live music on Friday nights. For more information, visit www.matanzascreek.com.

September 26
The Kendall Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens are again playing host to the annual Heirloom Tomato Festival, now in its 19th consecutive year. Tickets provide all-day access to samplings of more than 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes – grown in the Kendall-Jackson culinary gardens – a chef competition featuring Bravo’s Top Chef contenders and tomato-inspired dishes from nearly 50 prominent wine country and Bay Area restaurant chefs and food purveyors. The festival will also feature wine tasting, live music by Grammy nominated Andre Thierry and educational wine and garden seminars. General admission tickets for the Heirloom Tomato Festival are $95 and $175 for Premier Access tickets, with exclusive pricing available for Kendall-Jackson wine club members. For more information, visit www.kj.com/visit-tomato-festival.

September 26
Sbragia Family Vineyards will host the annual Harvest Moon Dinner from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. where guests can enjoy a gourmet four-course meal prepared by John Ash with wine pairings and live music by New Skye. After dinner, the winery will offer tastings of the 2005 Cabernet magnums to celebrate 10 years of Sbragia Family Vineyards. General public tickets are $195 and wine club member tickets are $165. For more information, visit www.sbragia.com.

October 2 – 4
The Sonoma County Harvest Fair marks its 41st year of showcasing the county’s grand harvest with world-class wines, award winning beers and a plethora of culinary wealth. Each October, travelers from over thirty different states are invited to Santa Rosa to participate in the farm-to-table experience, inspired by the county’s hard working farmers, ranchers, vintners and producers. The epicenter of the Harvest Fair is the Grand Tasting Pavilion, which features over 100 Sonoma County wineries bringing forth the best varietals of sampling. Tickets range from $5 to $125. For more information, visit www.harvestfair.org.

October 18 – 19
Travelers are invited to experience an insider’s view of world-class wineries with two days of exclusive tours. The excursion provides an in-depth history of Sonoma Valley and behind the scenes visits to four different wineries, chauffeur transportation and lunch. For more information, visit www.reservesonomavalley.com.

October 25
Pinot on the River will occur on October 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Russian River Valley town of Healdsburg. The day features tastings, seminars, vineyard tours and guest artisan food vendors focused on limited-production Pinot Noirs from Sonoma County and other top regions along the West Coast. Advance tickets are $75 and $100 at the door. For more information, visit www.pinotfestival.com.

To stay up-to-date on all events in Sonoma County, visit www.sonomacounty.com/sonoma-events. For more information on insider tips for upcoming travel to Sonoma County, please visit www.sonomacounty.com.


Information provided by Sonoma County Tourism