Category Archives: Event

Passport to Dry Creek Valley

“A modern tradition with century-old roots” is a great description of the Dry Creek Valley and its eclectic mix of modern winemakers, family farmers and historical vineyards.  Always one of the most engaging events of the season, it continues to grow and evolve each year to offer something new and exciting.

Tickets are still available for the weekend on the Dry Creek Valley Winegrowers’ website. Also, pre-event luncheons are still available for a couple of great locations: Sbragia, Comstock and Capo Creek Ranch.  This pre-event luncheons let you relax with the winemakers and owners and learn about the Dry Creek Valley in an intimate family atmosphere.

Last year the DCV Passport added vineyard tours which are expanded from two to four this year.  The events on Saturday are a first come, first served model, so be on time or miss all the fun.  On Sunday, the tours require an appointment as space is much more limited.  The springtime in Dry Creek Valley is one of the most beautiful and a perfect time to learn about grapes.

I love the fun atmosphere of the themes at many wineries – at Armida Winery they are hosting the classic “Caddyshack” and Chateau Diana is going back to the 60’s with Flower Power. The wineries also focus on great food and wine combinations to showcase the farm-to-table blessings we have in Sonoma County. Some of my favorites last year were Collier Falls Vineyard, Comstock Wines, Devero Farms & Winery, Dutcher Crossing Winery, Forchini Vineyards, Gustafson Family Vineyard, Kachina Vineyards, Manzanita Creek, Mazzocco Sonoma Winery, Pedroncelli Winery, Rued Winery, Selby Winery, Truett Hurst Winery and Wilson Winery.

If fabulous music and wine away the afternoon you will have many choices from Country Western to Rock-n-Roll – for variety try De La Montanya Winery, Dry Creek Vineyard (Salty Shanties), Geyser Peak Winery (Rat Pack style), Kokomo Winery (Blue Grass), Malm Cellars (Country), Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery (Vegas style), Papapietro Perry Winery (New Orleans Jazz) and West Wines (America Graffiti) among others.

If you would just like to relax with a combination of great wines, fabulous food, good music and incredible views that is available too – try some of my favorite views at Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery, Mounts Family Winery, Ridge Vineyards – Lytton Springs, Sbragia Family Vineyards, Talty Winery, Trattore Farms and Zichichi Family Vineyards.

If you like more activities try bocce ball at Mortarana Family Winery, Seghesio Family Vineyards or Lambert Bridge Winery; then hit it out of the park, baseball style at David Coffaro Estate Vineyards. Go for a unique experience and see a real amphora wine fermenter at Amphora Winery; catch talented local artisans at Amista Vineyards, sign a barrel at Blanchard Family Wines, visit a little piece of Germany at Gopfrich Winery, get a bottle signed by famed chef Charlie Palmer & winemaker Clay Mauritson at Mauritson Family Winery, visit old Hollywood at Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate, donate to local fire departments that help protect our precious vineyards with longtime volunteer fireman & winemaker Fred Peterson at Peterson Winery, and visit the biodynamic gardens at Quivira Vineyards and Winery.

There is something for everyone is this beautiful valley – don’t miss this annual event when the wineries of Dry Creek Valley showcase their best wines, food, music and entertainment.

#DCVPassport #Passport #DryCreekValley #Amista #Amphora #Armida #Blanchard #Cast #ChateauDiana #ColllierFalls #Comstock #DaveroFarms #DavidCoffaro #DeLaMontanya #DryCreekVineyard #DutcherCrossing #FerrariCarano #Forchini #Fritz #GeyserPeak #Gopfrich #Gustafson #Kachina #Kokomo #LambertBridge #Malm #ManzanitaCreek #Mortorana #Mauritson #Mazzocco #MichelSchlumberger #MillCreek #MountsFamily #PapapietroPerry #Pedroncelli #Peterson #Quivira #ARafanelli #RidgeLyttonSprings #RoadHouse #Rued #Sbragia #Seghesio #Selby #Talty #FTeldeschi #TrattoreFarms #TruettHurst #WestWines #Wilson #Zichichi #Vineyards #Winery #Cellars #Wines #Event #WineTasting #FoodPairing



April in Carneros – Wine, Food and Entertainment

Springtime is a fabulous season to visit wine country; there are lots of classic events including ‘April in Carneros.’ 

Carneros is where the San Francisco Bay meets Napa Valley and Sonoma County to produce the some of the finest cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sparkling wines in Northern California. But the Carneros wine region is becoming even more with new forages into Grenache, Merlot and Petite Syrah wines that are expanding Carneros fans everyday.

During April in Carneros various wineries in Sonoma County and Napa Valley will be showcasing their wines with food pairings and music. The Carneros Wine Alliance, the organizer for this event bills it as “Where Everyone’s a VIP!”

For incredible views, two of my favorite wineries are Gloria Ferrer and Schug Carneros Estate.  Both of these wineries feature elevated views of the Carneros wine region.  Gloria Ferrer is scheduled to be featuring sliders from Black Bean BBQ and acoustic pop music from No Buenos. Schug Carneros Estate is slated to serve Greek Lentil Salad and Asian Noodle Salad from Oliver’s Market to the sounds of The Movers

To visit families that embody the Mexican heritage that has dominated viticulture in both Sonoma County and Napa Valley for generations stop by Ceja Vineyards and Robledo Family Winery. Ceja Vineyards is an ultra premium Latino family owned winery founded by Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja producing a diverse range of award-winning varietal and blended wines from their estate grown grapes. Or experience a true “American Dream” at Robledo Family Winery and visit the first tasting room in the United States established by a former Mexican migrant vineyard worker and his family. Both of these wineries are scheduled to showcase their heritage in food and music. These wineries make you feel like family.

Carneros is also a great location for local history with locations like Larson Family Winery, once the home the largest rodeo in Northern California, its barn turned tasting room is still full of memorabilia. This fun-loving, country-easy, family-style winery is a great place to kick off your boots and relax with a great glass of wine.

For more history, visit the sister wineries of Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Cline Cellars produces rich, distinctive Rhône-style wines and intense Zinfandels served in an 1850’s style farm house tasting room with a California Missions Museum. Across the road, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards’ tasting room houses a premiere event venue and is named for founding Jacuzzi brothers (famous for the bath and spa products that bear their name). The winery is noted for its Italian varietals that showcase the Jacuzzi heritage.

The Bonneau family has been farming the Carneros region since the 1920’s originally a dairy farm and country store with vineyards replacing the dairy over the years. Since 2002 Bonneau Wines has produced their own label Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. 

There are many other great finds in Carneros from one-man wineries like Homewood Winery; to the boutique wineries in the beautiful Cornerstone Sonoma facility including Keating WinesMeadowcroft Wines and Poseidon Vineyard / Obsidian Ridge Winery; and wineries serving chocolate like Ty Caton.  In addition to the Sonoma County side of Carneros, Starmont Winery will be pouring on Sunday from their Napa Valley Tasting Room.

Tickets are available through many of the winery’s websites as well as the Carneros Wine Alliance

#AprilinCarneros #CarnerosWineAlliance #Carneros #SonomaCounty #NapaValley #Wines #Winery #Vineyards #Springtime #BonneauWines #CejaVineyards #ClineCellars #GloriaFerrer #HomewoodWinery #JacuzziFamilyVineyards #KeatingWines #LarsonFamilyWinery #MeadowcroftWines #PoseidonVineyard #ObsidianRidgeWinery #RobledoFamilyWinery #SchugCarnerosEstate #StarmontWinery #TyCatonVineyards







Art of Oak

Robert Young Estate Winery by artist Bob JohnsonThe Wine Road is celebrating its 40th (Ruby) Anniversary with a series of events / parties this year, but my favorite has to be the Art of Oak which will be previewing this weekend at DeLoach Vineyards in Santa Rosa.

Pictured to the left by artist Bob Johnson for Sponsor Robert Young Estate Winery is a propane fire pit with fireproof cover on wheels. The artisans were asked to meet with the sponsors but were left to their own creativity to develop the art work they presented.

The art work ranges from paintings to sculptures and includes many local artisans, like Sonoma Barrel Designs.  I visited these talents artists awhile back and became enchanted with their work.  For the Art of Oak they produced four pieces that include a framed map of Rochioli Vineyards made from the only type of barrels they use, a kitchen cart for the Stark Family Restaurants, an exquisite bench with an inlaid wine bottle on the seat for Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and the pièce de résistance is a playable child’s harp set in an artistic archway that not only plays music but lights up as well – made for the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts Children’s Art Program. 

The 40 barrels were sponsored by a variety of organizations / businesses locally for $500 & could have been purchased outright (sight unseen) by the sponsor for another $500, which many businesses did. Those not purchased are for sale during the Art of Oak at a price suggested by the artist and comparable to the work involved. Those items not sold during the Art of Oak will be auctioned off the huge gala – A Ruby Affair to be held in May.

After this weekend’s preview at DeLoach Vineyards, the barrels will be moved to 40 separate locations around the county and will be available their for viewing and photography.  The Wine Road will be hosting a contest for this event (sign up for their newsletter) and there will be a special give away by the Wine Road on Instagram – see my Instagram for details beginning February 16.

The proceeds of the sale of the barrels will benefits the Children’s Art Program at the Well’s Fargo Center for the Arts. For additional information on their programs related to music and art, contact the Center directly to become more involved

The barrel above was created by artist Graham Doran for sponsor Selby Winery.  Using the wood from barrels and compressing it into a block, it was then carved into a Texas Longhorn (Susie Selby is from Texas) by hand.  The horns are twisted metal from the barrel metal bands.  The barrel to the right was created by artist Amy Curley for sponsor H2Hotel.

Artists included: Andrew Thomas, Amy Curley, Arturo Monroy, Austin Hawley, Bob Johnson, Brendon Vogel, Bryan Tedrick, Candida Saniorenzo / John Arteaga, Debey Zito, Denee Locke, Francis Reese, Gary La Bonte, Graham Doran, Hillary Williams, John Ton, Julius Orth, Katherine Henderson, Lizabeth Kirby, Mark Thomas, Maureen Erickson, Maxfield Bala, Michael Dirk Risch, Mylette Welch, Nancy Woods, Nicky Ovit, Olivia Boyd, Paula Strother, Rob Macy, Ryan Taylor, Sheryl Melendy, Sonoma Barrel Décor & Design Co, Terry Schmit, Toby Johnson, Travis Kubota Ursula Xanthe Young, and Zach Rhodes

Sponsors included: A Rafanelli Winery, ACORN Winery / Alegria Vineyards, Balletto Vineyards, Big John’s Market, Brad & Robin Calkins, Camellia Inn, Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, Cokas Diko Home, Courtyard By Marriott, Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty, Doubletree by Hilton, Dry Creek General Store, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery, Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Garrett Ace Hardware, H2Hotel, Hook & Ladder Winery, Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel + Spa, J Rickards Winery, Kokomo Winery, Leap Solutions Group, Left Coast Marketing, Madrone Manor, Merriam Vineyards, Papapietro Perry Winery, Paradise Ridge Winery, Robert Young Estate Winery, Rochioli Winery, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Selby Winery, Sonoma Country Tourism, Sonoma Wine Country Leap Solutions, Sonoma Jet Center, Stark Reality Restaurants, Starlight Vineyards, Toad Hollow Vineyards, Topel Winery, Vanguard Properties, Vintners Inn, and Wells Fargo Center for the Arts

Locations for all of the barrels will be available on the Wine Road website by Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

#ArtofOak #WineRoad #RoadtoRuby #WineRoad40 #DiscoverSonomaCountyWine #DSCWine #Art #SonomaCounty #WellsFargoCenterfortheArts #Artists #WineBarrels #SonomaBarrel  

Happy 40th (Ruby) Anniversary to the Wine Road

“The Road to Ruby,” a year-long 40th Anniversary celebration of the Wine Road begins this month with the 24th Annual Winter Wineland.

WR_Logo_CIRCLE_FinalOriginally a group of nine (9) wineries in the Russian River Valley lead by the tenatious Mildred (Millie) Howie, the Wine Road began its quest to promote the wineries of Northern Sonoma County in 1976. Today, its “heaven condensed” group consists of 200 wineries and 54 lodgings in approximately 30 mile radius of Northern Sonoma County.  While not actually a “road” in the sense of a single, continuous stretch of paved highway, the Wine Road is a treasure map to the many jewels nestled within the Alexander Valley AVA, Dry Creek Valley AVA, and Russian River Valley AVA of Northern Sonoma County.  In addition, to their great wine maps & concierge services they host more than 25,000 guests annually through their three primary events – A Wine & Food Affair, Winter Wineland and Barrel Tasting.

In 2016, the Wine Road will host monthly events and promotions:

  • January
    • Winter Wineland, Jan 16-17th – #Wineland2016
    • Breakfast with the Winemakers
  • February
    • Three (3) day ticket to the Wine Road on sale for $40 (normally $60)
    • Art of Oak – Oak Barrel Art on display at 40 wineries – #ArtofOak
    • Alexander Valley Winegrowers AVA Tasting – focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon – #AVCabAcademy
  • March
    • Barrel Tasting Weekends, Mar 4-6th & Mar 11-13th – #WRBT2016
    • Breakfast with the Winemakers
  • April
    • Wine Road Selfie Contest – #MyWineRoad
  • May
    • The Ruby Affair – 40th Anniversary Gala & Dinner – #WRrubyaffair
  • June
    • Magical Mystery Tours – #MagicalMysteryTours
  • July
    • 40 Years of Cheer – Community Celebration in Healdsburg with Wine Tasting – #40YearsofCheers
  • August
    • Scavenger Hunt Contest – #WRScavengerHunt
    • Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley Tasting – focusing on Zinfandel – #DCVTasteZin
  • September
    • CA Wine Month – a celebration of the diversity of varietals available on the Wine Road – #CAWineMonth
  • October
    • Russian River Valley Winegrowers Tasting – focusing on Pinot Noir & Chardonnay – #RRVTasting
  • November
    • Wine & Food Affair, November 6-7th – #WFA2016
    • Breakfast with the Winemakers
  • December
    • Redwood Empire Food Bank – Instant Wine Cellar Raffle – #REFBinstantcellar

BobbyMany of the events are very limited and will sell out fast, be sure to watch the Wine Road website for ticket availability.  Most events go on sale about 60 days prior to the event.

Sonoma County is one of the original American wine regions and few counties have more of the character of old California.  Grapes and wine have been integral to Sonoma County’s history but they are also the harbinger of its future with many state-of-the-art facilities blended with historical families that work to provide a sustainable industry in an viticultural area that is proud of its diversity of soils, micro-climates, and winemakers.  Whether your style is a small boutique winery or an elegant chateaux, world-class wines are available throughout Sonoma County and the Wine Road has been instrumental in promoting and showcasing the Northern Sonoma County wines.

Sign up for the Wine Road newsletter to hear about the monthly contests to win Wine Road gifts or tickets by posting festive photos of the Wine Road member wineries or their wine.  Details of the monthly specifices are included in each month’s newsletter.  Entries are submitted on Social Media or by emailing them to

The Wine Road always contributes graciously to local charites and a frequent recipient of their philanthropy is the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) with donations of more than $300,000 in the past eight (8) years & a goal for an additional $200,000 during their “Road to Ruby” celebrations. In addition to their partnership with the REFB, Wine Road donates to 80–100 different non-profits annually. This contribution does not include the thousands of dollars in wine, tours, dinners, lodging and more that our members donate each year to numerous charities, locally and nationally.

In 2016 additional charities that will benefit from the proceeds of activites & donations include the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts Child’s Art Program (via Art of Oak), United Way of Wine Country & Worth Our Weight (via the Ruby Affair) and Becoming Independent (via 40 Years of Cheers).

Anytime is the right time to come and visit Sonoma County and the Wine Road Wineries and Lodgings.  Take lots of photos because you will want to remember this fabulous area and to become famous (at least to us) by sharing your visit.  Use hashtags to have your best postings recognized and featured on Twitter or Instagram.  Here are some of the hashtags (#WineRoad #WineRoad40th #RoadtoRuby) to use to have your best postings featured on our social media.  You can also tag @theWineRoad or me (@JolenesPatter) (@DiscoverSonomaCountyWine).

#DiscoverSonomaCountyWine #SonomaCounty #WineRoad #WineRoad40th #RoadtoRuby #SonomaCountyVintners #SonomaCountyWinegrowers #DiscoverRRV #RussianRiverValley #AlexanderValley #DryCreekValley #CabernetSauvignon #PinotNoir #Chardonnay #Zinfandel #SauvignonBlanc #Wines #Winery #Wineries #WineTasting

Fort Ross Wine Festival 2015

photo ~ Fort Ross Conservancy

photo ~ Fort Ross Conservancy

Fort Ross-Seaview Harvest Festival will be held on October 17th 2015 10am-5pm PST.  Harvest is the time to enjoy autumn’s fresh air with friends and family, acknowledging all that the seasons provide us.

In addition to the spectacular Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Tasting and Grand Luncheon, the day offers a wide variety of activities suitable for all ages:  Song, dance, and gentle apple harvesting in the historic orchard; Horse and buggy rides; Interpretive talks by dedicated experts on the historic orchard, replica windmill, and the Alaskan marine history at Ross; Working demonstration of replica Russian-style windmill; Demonstration boat build of a traditional nigilax, an open kayak used by the Alaska Natives at Fort Ross; Food trucks with delicious seasonal fare for sale; Local samples of heirloom apples, apple cider, apple baked goods, Sonoma cheese, and more; Su Nu Nu Shinal Kashia Pomo dances; Lovely Eastern European harmonies of Kitka Women’s Ensemble; Russian House Kedry demonstrating old world Russian cooking, song, and dance; Alaska Native demonstrate their crafts; and Historic Russian crafts, communal dances. Something to interest everyone in the family.

Grand Wine Tasting (12pm-4pm, $40 per person)

LogoPresenting a remarkable selection of wines grown in the FORT ROSS-SEAVIEW VITICULTURAL AREA that consists of the steep ridge top vineyards that overlook the Pacific Ocean and produce wines of structure, balance and finesse. The Grand Tasting features local grape growers and winemakers, and a chance to meet and greet the people behind the wines. Includes cheese sampling with Omar Mueller of Freestone Artisan Cheese and Sonoma County cheesemakers. Wineries Pouring in the Tasting Tent:

Flowers Vineyard and Winery – Michelle Forry
Flowers Chardonnay 2013 Camp Meeting Ridge Estates
Flowers Pinot Noir 2013 Camp Meeting Ridge Estates
Flowers Pinot Noir 2013 Sea View Ridge Estates 2013

Fort Ross Vineyard – Linda and Lester Schwartz
2013 Fort Ross Vineyard Chardonnay
2012 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir Special Cuvée “Top of Land”
2012 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir Special Cuvée “Stage Coach Road”
2010 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinotage

Kutch Wines – Jamie Kutch
Kutch Pinot Noir 2013 Sonoma Coast
Kutch Pinot Noir 2013 McDougall Ranch
Kutch Pinot Noir 2013 Bohan Vineyard

Martinelli Winery – Mary Rodgers
Martinelli Chardonnay 2009 Three Sisters Vineyard
Martinelli Chardonnay 2012 Charles Ranch
Martinelli Pinot Noir 2012 Three Sisters Vineyard

Precious Mountain Vineyard / Williams Selyem Winery
Williams Selyem Winery Pinot Noir 2013 Precious Mountain

Raen Winery
2014 RAEN Pinot Noir Fort Ross Seaview Home Field

Tin Barn Vineyards
Syrah 2012 Sonoma Coast, Coryelle Fields
Rose of Syrah 2014  “Joon” Rose of Syrah, Sonoma Coast, Coryelle Fields

Wayfarer – Cleo Pahlmeyer and Todd Kohn
Wayfarer Chardonnay 2013 Wayfarer Vineyard
Wayfarer Pinot Noir 2013 Wayfarer Vineyard

Wild Hog Vineyard – Daniel and Marion Schoenfeld
Wild Hog Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir 2011
Wild Hog Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2012
Wild Hog Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Vista

Grand Luncheon (1pm-3pm, $125 per person) Advanced Purchase Required:

Includes a four-course meal of seasonal fare expertly paired with wines from the area, prepared by renowned local chefs and served on a marine terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Includes entrance to Grand Tasting and Fort Ross Harvest Festival activities. Grand Luncheon tickets are available by advance purchase only and will sell out.


Grand Luncheon Menu

First course prepared by Barbara Hom
Trio of Corn: Chilled Soup of Corn Essence, Shellfish Oil
Corn and Crab Salad, Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, Cilantro Lime Dressing, Chive Oil
Corn and Cheese Tuille
Wine pairing: Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2013

Second course prepared by Andrew and Liya Truong, Michelin star chefs at Terrapin Creek Cafe
Marinated Black Cod served with sunchoke and potato puree, roasted mushrooms and celery
Wine pairing: Wild Hog Estate Pinot Noir 2011 and Fort Ross Pinot Noir Sea Slopes 2013

Third course prepared by Michele Anna Jordan
Grilled Sonoma County butterflied leg of lamb with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, smoked paprika, and a coriander and black pepper rub, accompanied by a warm farro salad with local Merguez, cherry tomatoes, local sheep milk yogurt, red onion, Italian parsley, smoked paprika and preserved lemon
Wine pairing: Piazza Del Dotto Pinot Noir 2013 and Wild Hog Estate Zinfandel 2012

Dessert prepared by Jamil Pedan, Applewood Inn
Buttermilk panna cotta with chardonnay poached quince, candied orange zest, puffed amaranth, and brown butter
Wine pairing: 2013 Fort Ross Late Harvest Chardonnay

Photo ~ Fort Ross Conservancy

Photo ~ Fort Ross Conservancy


About Fort Ross Conservancy
Fort Ross Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and California State Park Cooperating Association whose mission is to promote educational, environmental, and interpretive activities at Fort Ross State Historic Park and Salt Point State Park. Fort Ross Conservancy (FRC) has been in operation since 1973 and relies solely on income from grants, memberships, donations, and bookshop revenue. With funding from the Renova Fort Ross Foundation, FRC has overseen significant restoration in the historic orchard and is managing the creation of the Fort Ross Historic Orchard Management Plan being developed by esteemed National Parks and State Parks experts. FRC is wholly independent but works in accordance with its cooperating agreement with California State parks pursuant to California State Public Resources Code 513.
For more information on park attraction hours, activities, events, parking and driving directions please visit  http://www.fortross. org/info.htm.

IMG_9591About Fort Ross Seaview Winegrowers Association
FORT ROSS-SEAVIEW WINEGROWERS ASSOCIATION is an association of local grape growers and wineries dedicated to farming “coastal cool” grapes on the very edge of the continent. Here the vineyards are like islands in the sunshine above a sea of coastal fog that nips at their edges during the long, slow and temperate grape growing season. The maritime climate of the area is ideal for growing wine grapes of the highest caliber. The vineyards here produce pure, focused fruit with lively acidity, minerality and nuanced tannins. These exceptional grapes produce internationally acclaimed wines of balance, character, structure and finesse that tempt the palate with their elegance. See or email us at

A Wine & Food Affair 2015

Enjoy Wine Tasting along the WINE ROAD at the 17th Annual “A WINE & FOOD AFFAIR” in Northern SONOMA COUNTY

IMG_3311“A Wine & Food Affair” in Northern Sonoma County is a fabulous weekend of wine and food pairing at more than 100 participating wineries stretching across Sonoma County’s Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys.

You can purchase tickets for the weekend or Sunday only of the event, enjoying Sonoma County’s finest at your own pace.

Participating wineries will each prepare their favorite recipe for guests to sample throughout the event. Recipes will then all be found on the Wine Road’s online cookbook, so guests can replicate the parings at home. Guests will also receive a commemorative tasting glass.

The event will be held Saturday, November 7 & Sunday, November 8, 2015 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m

Tickets are $70 for both days or $50 for Sunday only.  Designated driver tickets are available (and highly encouraged) which offer non-alcoholic drinks and food pairings at each location.

Tickets are now on advance sale online and are non-refundable; listed price does not include tax or service charge. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the door. The event takes place rain or shine!

The Wine Road is a travel resource for those looking to visit the region, which is famous for its renowned wine producers and cuisine, scenic beauty, and wine country lifestyle. The association hosts three celebrated wine events throughout the year, “Winter WINEland” in January; “Barrel Tasting” in March; and “A Wine and Food Affair” in November. Made up of 197 vintners and 54 lodgings throughout the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys in Sonoma County, something is always going on along the Wine Road. To plan your next trip, please visit: For additional information, or to request a free map, contact Beth Costa at 800.723.6336 or via e-mail at

#AlexanderValley #DryCreekValley #RussianRiverValley #Winegrowers #Wineries #Wine #WineTasting #FoodPairing #WineRoad #TheWineRoad #SonomaCounty #Events

Inaugural Wind to Wine Festival – Proposed Petaluma Gap AVA

Wind to Wine FestivalDon’t miss this chance to taste some of the Petaluma Gap’s finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah at the Inaugural WIND to WINE Festival at the Sheraton Petaluma on August 8th. More than 60 wines will be available for tasting, including some limited production and library wines, but I would highly recommend the VIP tickets which includes a VIP Seminar lead by one of our local favorite Sommeliers, Christopher Sawyer, VIP Tasting Lounge, and Buffet Luncheon.

VIP SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – Saturday, August 8, 2015
11:00 am VIP Seminar
Noon VIP Early Access to Grand Tasting
12:30pm – 2:00pm VIP Buffet Lunch
1:00pm – 4:00pm GRAND TASTING General Admission
2:00pm – 4:00pm VIP Access to Elite Wine Lounge

The Petaluma Gap is best known for its wind, which allows for direct access to coastal marine air and fog. Hourly average wind speeds throughout the Gap regularly exceed 8 miles per hour (mph) nearly every afternooPetaluma Gap Fogn during the winegrape growing season, with winds in excess of 20 mph a common occurrence. It is this cooling “wind tunnel” effect that distinguishes the Petaluma Gap from neighboring winegrowing areas.

The Wind results in lower yields with grapes that reach physiological ripeness at lower sugar levels, developing wonderful flavors and fruit characteristics while maintaining ideal levels of acidity. It’s the perfect recipe for intense but well-balanced wines with character and distinction.

In February 2015, the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance submitted a petition to the  TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) to establish a new AVA.  This process normally takes a few years to complete, but to celebrate their AVA and showcase the wines produced in this area, they are hosting their Inaugural AVA Event – Wind to Wine Festival.

IMG_4939To kick off the event, Winemaker dinners will be held at Keller Estate and McEvoy Ranch on Friday, August 7th. Purchase a Friday dinner ticket and a Saturday Grand Tasting ticket together and receive a huge discount!

Keller Estate is one of the few wineries in the proposed AVA that is open to the public for tastings on a regular basis.  They also have a fabulous car collection – one of which is rotated into the Petaluma Gap tasting room monthly.

As McEvoy Ranch is a private residence, they are only able to welcome guests for scheduled events and by appointment.  I would recommend a ranch tour that gives you a history of the place as well as a tour of the orchards, vineyards, and state of the art mill. They sell olive oil and body products as well as wine from their ranch.

Sunday, the Winegrowers in the Petaluma Gap are scheduling vineyard tours to some of the most beautiful vineyards and ones that are rarely open to the public.  This will be an event not to be missed – watch the Petaluma Gap website for updates to their schedule of events.

#WindToWine #WindToWineFestival #PetalumaGap #Petaluma #SonomaCoast #SonomaCounty #Festival #Wine #Wineries #Vineyards #WineTasting #VIP #WineEducation #WineSeminar #WineLuncheon #WinemakerDinner #VineyardTour #Chardonnay #PinotNoir #Syrah #Sheraton


The Ultimate Wine Weekend – Your Way!

76Imagine Labor Day weekend in Wine Country with Jean-Charles Boisset (DeLoach Winery, Buena Vista Winery) ; Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane (Benovia Winery); or James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur semifinalists Mark and Terri Stark (5 Sonoma County Restaurants – Willi’s Wine Bar, Stark’s Steak & Seafood and Monti’s in Santa Rosa, and Willi’s Seafood and Bravas Bar de Tapas in Healdsburg).  These entrepreneurs are serving as honorary chairs for one of the most decadent weeken23ds of culinary and wine events, along with 200 or so of their favorite chefs, winegrowers, and winemakers in Sonoma County – Sonoma Wine County Weekend.

Sonoma County chefs have access to the seasonal abundance of the most fertile foodshed anywhere in the world, often grown and provided by small, local family farms – combine this with world-class wines and you have an event perfect for oenophiles and foodies alike!   Plan a weekend that exactly suits your fantasy from intimate luncheons or dinners to the exciting flagship auction at Chateau St. Jean with lots of exciting events inbetween.

BobbyI slide into the weekend slowly with an intimate winemaker luncheon on Friday – a fabulous way to meet with the owners and winemakers while you sample their current releases.  These are world class wines from the most diverse wine region in the world and the wineries pair them with seasonal local foods prepared by experienced chefs to perfectly highlight our local bounty.  These exemplary culinary and wine luncheons are relaxed and casual and usually hosted in the vineyards or wineries from which the wines are created.

At NightBut Sonoma Starlight dinner and dancing really gets weekend moving as Francis Ford Coppola’s team hosts an extravaganza – dine, drink and dance under the stars poolside Friday night at this iconic Sonoma County winery. Toast the start of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend at the sparkling wine reception, followed by a bountiful array of local, seasonal cuisine poolside. Over 25 local wineries will be on hand to share their finest Sonoma County wines, so you can create infinite perfect pairings for your favorite Sonoma County varietals and wines al fresco.

On Saturday, Kate MacMurray, daughter of Hollywood stars Fred MacMurray and June Haver, hosts guests at the breathtaking MacMurrary Estate Vineyards – once a gentlemen’s cattle ranch and now a premier estate vineyard for the Gallo Family of WiMacMurraynes.  This is a culinary and wine immersion into the culture of Sonoma County with a combination of chefs, winegrowers, and winemakers that is unequalled in Sonoma County – Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Estate Vineyards. Sip wines from more than 200 wineries pouring thousands of wines, and over 60 local chefs whipping up divine pairings in a once-in-a-lifetime experience for oenophiles and foodies alike. But it doesn’t stop there – cooking demonstrations throughout the day, farm-to-table marketplace, food & wine pairings with the pros, blind wine-tasting, reserve tasting, bubble room, sommelier lead tours, the crushpad (experience our harvest), and wine tours & talks. Many of these events sell out, so get yours tickets early – but the nice part is, you can customize your day to suit you own unique tastes and interests with a little or a lot.  On Saturday night you can relax at a winemakers dinner with local delicacies and wines that never disappoint.

Sonoma Harvest Auction 2On Sunday is the flagship event of this ultimate wine weekend with the Sonoma County Harvest Auction at Chateau St. Jean. One-of-a-kind auction items include unique tastings experiences, exclusive trips & packages, collectable etched wines, and many surprises every year.

In additional to acquiring fabulous items, your donations support deserving Sonoma County charities aiding efforts to support youth and children to ensure their success, preserve our environment for future generations, and provide for basic unmet health needs and services which improve the welfare of our local communities.

Your ticket not only offers you passage into the Wine Spectator Auction Tent, but it also allows you to minSonoma Wine Weekend Auction Story 1gle with Sonoma’s finest winemakers, as each table will be presided over by a local Vintner or Grower who will share not only their finest wines, but great stories, too! This is an upbeat fun time with featured chefs, including Ari Weiswasser, Glen Ellen Star; Armando Garcia, El Dorado Kitchen; Andrew Cain, Santé; Catherine Venturini, Olive & Vine; Douglas Keene, Cyrus; Duskie Estes & John Stewart, Zazu kitchen + farm; Dustin Valette, Valette; Jamil Peden, Applewood Inn Restaurant; John Franchetti, Rosso Pizzeria and Bar; Josh Silvers, Jackson’s Bar and Oven; Moaya Scheiman and Andrea Koweek, Crisp Bakeshop; Robert Nieto, Jackson Family Wines; and Tracey Shepos Cenami, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates.

This is truly an oenophiles and foodies extravaganza that can be customized to your favorite culinary adventures and wine experiences.  But tickets for the most popular events sell out fast, so don’t wait for the last minute to plan your Labor Day weekend in Sonoma County.

For updates follow Sonoma Wine Country on Social Medial: Like Sonoma Wine Country Weekend on Facebook at, Instagram at @SonomaWineCountryWeekend, and follow on Twitter @SonomaWCW. Hashtag: #SWCW.



Sonoma County Inaugural Barrel Auction

Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

I don’t know of anything more satisfying than a resplendent red wine on a winter’s evening or a crystalline white wine on a summer’s day.

Are your most discerning clients looking for unique wines that make an opulent-life even more luxurious?   Now you have the opportunity to exceed those expectations as Sonoma County Vintners announce the Inaugural Sonoma County Barrel Auction.

Licensed wine trade will have the opportunity to participate in a live auction for one-of-a-kind wine futures with lots ranging in size from five to 20 cases that include single vineyard bottlings, specific clonal selections, blends, wines aged using special barrel regimes and joint lot wines made by collaborating wineries.   All wines are “Never Before, Never Again” opportunities for heritage wine at its finest, showcasing the stylistic range and world-class quality of Sonoma County.

Auction Lots were cultivated in Sonoma County’s most highly acclaimed vineyards, handcrafted by legendary vintners, and curated by a hand-selected panel of influential Sommeliers & a Master of Wine. Every lot in the inaugural Sonoma County Barrel Auction is a masterpiece of Sonoma County winemaking. Here are a couple examples of the world-class collaborations:

Photo ~ Sonoma County Vintners

Photo ~ Sonoma County Vintners

A Russian River Valley Epoch: The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost Pinot Noir
An exclusive barrel lot by three epochs of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir history, Joseph Swan Winery (The Father), Williams Selyem (The Son) and Kosta Browne (The Holy Ghost) have joined forces to make a barrel of Swan Selection Pinot Noir from their finest lots of some of their finest vineyards in the Russian River Valley.
A Founders’ Lot from West Sonoma Coast Vintners
Featuring West Sonoma Coast Vintners founders Carroll Kemp at Red Car Wine, Ted Lemon at Littorai Wine,Vanessa Wong at Peay Vineyards, Damian Parker at Joseph Phelps Vineyards – Sonoma Coast, John Raytek at Ceritas, Akiko Freeman at Freeman, and Ehren Jordan Failla Wines in a never before collaboration on True Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This elegant and racy Pinot Noir represents the essence of the newly petitioned West Sonoma Coast appellation. Never before have so many heralded winemakers joined together to produce such an important wine from the region. West Sonoma Coast Vintners is an association of wineries and growers who are passionate about farming wine grapes on the coastline of Sonoma County. They advocate wines with a clear identity that evoke the complexity of our region and the authenticity of its community — wines with balance, integrity, character and nuance.

Photo ~ Maple Vineyard

Photo ~ Maple Vineyard

Dry Creek Valley’s Classic Zinfandel
Four visions of the famous Maple Vineyard‘s 2014 Zinfandel by Dutcher Crossing WineryMazzocco WineryBella Winery and Vineyards, and Armida Winery. Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County is one of the most renown terroirs for growing zinfandel grapes. Maple Vineyards is 27 acres of benchland at Dry Creek and Lytton Springs Roads, a few miles northwest of Healdsburg.

This is small sampling of the more than seventy unique wine lots representing twelve Sonoma County appellations.  A complete listing of the awe-inspiring lots and information about attending the invitation only event visit the Sonoma County Vintners Barrel Auction website.

#SonomaCountyVintners #SonomaCounty #SonomaCountyBarrelAuction #WineCountry #RussianRiverValley #DryCreekValley #AlexanderValley #SonomaValley #KnightsValley #SonomaCoast #Vineyards #Wineries #BarrelAuction

Protecting Wine Country for 100 Years

IMG_0353Geyserville Fire Protection District is celebrating 100 years of Service to Sonoma County’s Wine Country including over 200 square miles of prestigious wine growing vineyards in Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley, the largest fire district in Sonoma County.

You can help celebrate this accomplishment and support them through a variety of events and  fund raisers this year.

Limited Edition Wine from Peterson Winery
IMG_0374During Passport Dry Creek Valley, Peterson Winery will be serving Geyserville Firehouse Chili & Cornbread & selling their Limited Edition 2013 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. The grapes for this wine were grown by three current and former Geyserville Fire Protection District volunteer firefighters (Bernier, Borkow, & Peterson).  All of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Geyserville Volunteer Firefighters’ Association. Great chili, gorgeous men in uniform, and delicious Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel wine – not to be missed!  This limited edition wine will be released April 25-26 at Peterson Winery and you must have a ticket to Passport Dry Creek Valley to attend.  If the wine does not sell out, it will be available after the event at the winery and online.

Open House at the Geyserville Firehouse


Photo ~ Geyserville Fire Protection District

The annual open house for the Geyserville Fire Protection District will be held at the Geyserville Firehouse (20975 Geyserville Ave) on May 9, 2015.  Additional Information will be available on the Geyserville Fire Protection District website and Facebook page.

Additional Centennial Year Events include: Geyserville Chamber of Commerce June 9, 2015 BBQ, Wine Country to the Rescue July 18, 2015 Dinner Dance and AuctionGeyserville Volunteer Firefighters Association Pancake Breakfast Octover 25, 2015, and the always fabulous Lighted Tractor Parade on November 28, 2015.

IMG_0377If you would like to learn more about this great community resource, Ann Howard has documented the history of the Geyserville Fire Protection District from its inception in 1905.

This self-published book is available directly from Ann Howard by writing her at PO Box 639, Geyserville, CA  95441.

Proceeds from her book are also supporting the Geyserville Fire Protection District.

#Firefighters #Geyserville #DryCreekValley #AlexanderValley #PetersonWinery #WineCountrytotheRescue #WC2Resq #GeyservilleFireProtectionDistrict #GeyservilleFire #Wine #Winery #WineCountry