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4 Sonoma Wine, Food and Cheese Events Not to Miss

Barrel Tasting in Sonoma Wine Country

Grand food and wine events are just one of the many pleasures of a Sonoma County lifestyle. Year-round, we have culinary celebrations, wine tasting parties, and so much dining and sipping to enjoy.

Mark your calendars for these 4 Sonoma wine, food and cheese events not to miss in spring 2017:

11th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival

March 24-26, 2017

Sonoma County is home to dozens of artisanal creameries, from the famous Vella Cheese Company founded in 1931 in Sonoma, to the new Chevoo that began goat cheese production in 2015 in Sonoma, then debuted an impressive new facility in Healdsburg just this past fall.

This gala gathering is your opportunity to taste many of our local cheeses – plus cheeses from across the country – as grand tastings, educational seminars and gala dinners celebrate the glory of the boutique dairy products. The festival’s Sunday marketplace alone showcases more than 90 top producers of local cheese, plus wine, beer, ciders and other specialty foods.

If you want to see the cheese magic up close and personal, you’ll want to snatch up tickets for the Artisan Tours & Lunch series, bringing visits to Wine Country dairy farms, creameries and purveyors, including meet-and-greets with the happy animals themselves.

In addition to the long-time staple events such as the Saturday Seminars, and Sunday’s Bubble & Brunch, there are two brand new events being introduced this year, both on Saturday night, March 25, 2017. Choose between two Wine and Dine Cheesemaker Dinners at Park 121 and Suite D restaurants in Sonoma, or a Cheese & Cocktail Celebration, taking place at the Sheraton Sonoma County in Petaluma.

Find more information about the Artisan Cheese Festival here.

Wine Road Barrel Tasting

March 3-5 and March 10-12, 2017

It takes two weekends to pack in all the tasting, as 100+ wineries across northern Sonoma County open their doors for this 40th annual extravaganza.

It’s a unique opportunity to sample wines straight from the barrel, talk to winemakers and explore the beauty that is the “Wine Road” region of Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys. Then, after you’ve found your favorite flavors, you can purchase the young wines, in a process called “futures,” sold at a discount on the pretty sure bet that once they mature they’ll be wonderful.

And oh, what you’ll taste. Each appellation has its stars: Russian River Valley’s are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; Dry Creek Valley is known for its Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc; and Alexander Valley is known for its Cabernet and Merlot.

But dozens of other international varietals are grown in all of these regions, including Barbera, Carignane, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Grenache, Reisling and Gewürztraminer, just to name a few.

Please note that this is not a food event, so pack a picnic. Kozlowski Farms in Forestville is a great option, as is the Jimtown Store in Alexander Valley/Healdsburg, Dry Creek General Store in Healdsburg, and Community Market in Sebastopol.

Find more details here.

Sonoma County Restaurant Week

March 6-12, 2017

Sonoma Wine Country cooking is global, ranging from California cuisine, to Japanese, French, classic American, Italian, German, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Kiwi, Latin American, Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Greek and Thai… all united by the best local ingredients and a commitment to farm-to-table cooking.

The best way to embrace it all is through the 8th Annual Sonoma County Restaurant Week, with delicious discounts offered by nearly 100 eateries. During these magical seven days, you can experience and indulge, with specially priced three-course dinners for $19, 29, or $39, plus two-course lunches for $10 or $15.

These are sumptuous spreads from top eateries, like The Bay View Restaurant in Bodega Bay offering a $29 dinner menu, or acclaimed French café K&L Bistro in Sebastopol with a $15 lunch and $29 dinner menu.

Check back often for more restaurants and full menus as they are posted on the Sonoma County Restaurant Week page. You can sort by cities and/or price, with each restaurant listing its special menu. As a new feature, you can even make your reservations with a simple mouse click.

Find more details here

Savor Sonoma Valley

March 18 & 19, 2017

Quick geography lesson: Sonoma Valley refers to the area between Santa Rosa and the town of Sonoma, primarily featuring Kenwood and Glen Ellen in what’s also known as the Valley of the Moon.

There’s no better way to familiarize yourself with the area than with the annual Savor Sonoma Valley, when 17 wineries invite guests to a premium wine experience. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, wineries will showcase wines straight from the barrels, and sample new releases.

Much of the reason this event sells out each year is the opportunity to meet the winemakers, including cellar stars from Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Ty Caton Vineyards, VJB Vineyards & Cellars, and many more.

Do note: this year, the focus is on the wines, instead of food pairings of the past. So pack a picnic, perhaps from the Glen Ellen Village Market, Café Citti, or the La Cucina Italian deli at VJB Vineyards & Cellars.

Find more details here.

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