4 Sonoma Wine, Food and Cheese Events Not to Miss
Grand food and wine gatherings are just one of the many pleasures of a Sonoma County lifestyle. Year-round, we have culinary celebrations, wine tasting events, and so much dining and sipping to enjoy.
Mark your calendars for these four Sonoma wine, food and cheese events not to miss in spring 2018:
March 23-25, 2018
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 last year.
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 Bubbles & Brunch, this year a Best Bites hors d’oeuvre competition Friday night celebrates Sonoma County’s First Responders.
Find more information about the Artisan Cheese Festival here.
March 2-4 and March 9-11, 2018
It takes two weekends to pack in all the tasting, as 100+ wineries across northern Sonoma County open their doors for this 41st 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, Community Market in Sebastopol, and Bohemian Market in Occidental..
Find more details here.
March 2-11, 2018
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 9th 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.
Just to whet your appetite, Barndiva tempts this year with this mouthwatering dinner menu:
First Course (choose one):
French Onion Soup with garlic crouton and Swiss gratin, or
Bibb ‘n' Blue: Bibb lettuce, Hobbs bacon, Pt. Reyes blue cheese, croutons
Second Course (choose one):
Sonoma Duck Leg Confit: frisee lardon, Angerer Farms hen egg, or
Salmon Grenobloise: sautéed spinach, lemon, caper, parsley butter
Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta: Florentine cookie, huckleberry
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. You can even make your reservations with a simple mouse click.
Find more details here.
March 17 & 18, 2018
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 a dozen 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, St. Anne’s Crossing Winery, and many more.
Do note: 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. Some wineries will also offer food truck fare for purchase.
Find more details here.
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