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10 Great Wine, Food and Art Events in Sonoma this Spring

Each spring, all across Sonoma County, wineries open their doors for special events, chefs fire up the stoves for special parties, and art galleries plan extra special exhibitions. It’s a time to tempt, with tastings, food, music and peeks at the inner workings of these vibrant industries. Join in the fun! Get a free wineries map and guide here.

Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival, April 3 - May 27, 2017

This “jazzed up” 14th annual gathering along the cliffs in Gualala celebrates the yearly grey whale migration featuring food, beer, wine, poetry, art, and, of course, whales and jazz.
800-778-5252. An array of events runs through the end of May, with documentary films about jazz, jazz performances, poetry and jazz slams, educational talks about whales, and a highlight, the Chowder Challenge & Jazz show on April 29. More info.

The Art of Dessert, April 8, 2017

Eat dessert and sip wine for a good cause? Yes, please. Since its inception in 2003, The Art of Dessert has generated more than $2.2 million and helped the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts to provide the enrichment of the arts to almost 350,000 children. Proceeds raised through the evening’s ticket sales plus silent and live auctions benefit arts and education programs for low-income and at-risk children, including musical instruments loaned free of charge to children, and in-classroom student workshops with artists. More info.

Battle of the Brews, April 8, 2017

The Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds comes alive as hundreds of suds lovers converge to sample beers for the Craft Brew Cup Best of Show, and indulge in the Sonoma County Sandwich Showdown, while grooving to live jazz performances. More details.

Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival, April 8 & 9, 2017

This event at Westside Park in Bodega Bay has celebrated local fisherman and the beginning of salmon season since 1973. And good news, plenty of salmon are back and swimming this year, celebrated by the theme of “A Wish for Fish!” There’s fun for all ages, with a Blessing of the Fleet ceremony, artisan and vendor booths, live music, good food, wine and beer tasting, and the headliner golf tournament and Wooden Boat Challenge. More info.

Pearls Hogs the Road with Stephan Pastis, April 21, 2017

Cartooning is definitely an art, so come show your love for the talented Pearls Before Swine comic strip author at this party at Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Admission is free, and the author will share stories of his work, his beloved characters, and how much everyone hates his signature puns. Get autographed copies of his new Pearls Hogs the Road book, too. More info.

Flavors of Spring at Korbel Champagne Cellars, April 22, 2017

Put on your prettiest garden hat, and celebrate Earth Day by touring the historic gardens at this spectacular winery. Tram tour take you all across the estate, then walk into the cellar while you enjoy nibbles and California Champagnes served out of your very own logo flute. More info.

Apple Blossom Festival, April 22 & 23, 2017

Sebastopol’s heritage is founded on apple growing, and as this festival proves, it’s still a delicious enterprise. Taste pies, jams, and the fruit in all its pure finery, while grooving to live blues music and browsing an arts and farmers market overflowing with treasures. Enjoy the festival with an old fashioned parade down Main Street on April 22, followed by another festival day and the Blues Music Explosion on April 23. More info.

Wine Country Chefs of Tomorrow, April  26, 2017

This entertaining, action-packed night at Vintner's Inn Event Center in Santa Rosa combines great food, terrific wines, and silent and live auctions to raise funds for local youth culinary arts programs. It’s a great way to support budding talent, as high school students are partnered with a top hotel chef for a friendly appetizer competition. Guests taste the results and vote, awarding the "People's Choice Award." More info.

Passport to Dry Creek Valley, April 29-30, 2017

This festival is one of the longest-running regional wine events in Sonoma County, and this year, it celebrates it 28th anniversary with more than 45 wineries opening their doors and uncorking their very best bottles, including special library reserves. Activities feature wine tasting, gourmet food, property tours and live entertainment, while a big part of the fun is seeing what theme each winery comes up with each year. Past theatrical celebrations have included Escape to the Caribbean, Spirit of the Andes, New Orleans Jazz Fest, and Elvis. It’s a very successful recipe; Passport sells out every year, drawing visitors from all across the country. Start the party early, too, with the Prelude to Passport on April 28, boasting a variety of winemaker-hosted lunches and dinners. More info.

Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off, Salsa, and Beer Tasting, May 6, 2017

Plan a day of family fun at Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds to benefit children’s programming at Cinnabar Theater. Since 1997, home and professional chefs have gathered together to see who sizzles with sumptuous, mild or spicy chilies. This year, 40 chili teams and15 salsa teams vie for the judges’ taste buds, with beers from 40 breweries served alongside. More info. http://www.sonomacounty.com/sonoma-events/great-petaluma-chili-cookoff

Find more things to do in Sonoma County here.

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