10 Great Wine, Food and Art Events in Sonoma this Spring
It's a springtime ritual, as 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 2 - May 26, 2018
This “jazzed up” 15th 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. 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 14. More info.
The Art of Dessert, April 7, 2018
Eat dessert and sip wine for a good cause? Yes, please. Since its inception in 2003, The Art of Dessert has generated more than $3.2 million and helped the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts provide the enrichment of the arts to almost 400,000 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.
Fire Relief Beer Event by Battle of the Brews, April 7, 2018
Since 1996, the Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds has come alive as hundreds of suds lovers converge to sample beers for the Craft Brew Cup Best of Show, and indulge in the food from local restaurants, while grooving to live jazz performances. This year, the event is bigger and better than ever, expanding past the Pavilion to take over more of the Fairgrounds, and all proceeds benefit groups and organizations that are helping Sonoma County fire survivors during the ongoing fire relief and recovery efforts. More details.
Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival, April 14 & 15, 2018
It’s the 45th anniversary of this event at Westside Park in Bodega Bay— it 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 “Real People, Real Food.” 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.
My Favorite Peanuts: Reflections of Family and Friends, through Sept. 16, 2018
What’s your favorite Peanuts character or storyline? In this curated exhibition of original comic strips and photographs, Charles Schulz’s wife Jean, their children, and some of their close friends reflect on their own favorites and the stories behind them. More info.
Flavors of Spring at Korbel Champagne Cellars, April 21, 2018
Put on your prettiest garden hat, and celebrate Earth Day by touring the historic gardens at this spectacular winery. The tram tour takes you all across the estate, then walk into the cellar while you enjoy nibbles and California Champagnes. More info.
Apple Blossom Festival, April 21 & 22, 2018
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 21, followed by another festival day and the Blues Music Explosion on April 22. More info.
Wine Country Chefs of Tomorrow, April 24, 2018
This entertaining, action-packed night at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Rohnert Park combines great food, terrific wines, and silent and live auctions to raise funds for local youth culinary arts programs. Now in it's 16h year, 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 28-29, 2018
This festival is one of the longest-running regional wine events in Sonoma County, and this year, it celebrates it 29th anniversary with 40-plus 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 Vintage Soiree on April 27, boasting a walk-around dinner at The DuChamp in Healdsburg. More info.
Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off, Salsa, and Beer Tasting, May 19, 2018
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 20 breweries served alongside. More info.
Find more things to do in Sonoma County here.