Guide to Summer Winery Events in Sonoma County
Summertime in Sonoma County means lots outdoor fun at our many wineries. Basking in the sun, chilling in the shade, and sipping wine every which way, a winery day becomes an extra adventure with seasonal extras like festivals, vineyard dinners, and even tomato parties. Check out some of these top picks:
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens Farm To Table Dinner Series
Aug. 11, Sept. 8 & Oct. 13, 2018
It’s quintessential Sonoma County, dining right in the middle of the vineyards, under the stars, surrounded by flowers and organic vegetables in the winery garden. Be an indulgent locavore with the Russian River Valley AVA dinners, where you can see the grapes in full ripening mode, ask the winemaker his secrets of the trade, and visit with farm manager Tucker Taylor for how the goodies were grown and raised for the six-course family style wine paired suppers. The menus are seasonal, and for an example, September’s feast includes sumptuous dishes like roast beef with shishito peppers and Bleating Heart Moolicious Blue; and slow cooked romano beans and pancetta in roasted tomato sauce. Tickets are $175, purchase at https://www.kj.com/events
Sept. 1, 2018
Taste of Sonoma sells out each year, as thousands of guests join hundreds of chefs, wineries and artisan food purveyors, all gathering for a full day of nibbling and sipping at Sonoma State University's prestigious Green Center. Besides sampling so much terrific food and wine, Taste of Sonoma is educational, too. Wine Talks are popular seminars, lively panel discussions and focused tastings with renowned winemakers, while several VIP lounges offer special reserve wines and chef tastings. Tickets are $150-$255; purchase at https://tasteofsonoma.com
Sept. 22, 2018
The excitement builds throughout the day, as lucky bidders claim extravagant packages ranging from resort stays to winery tours, and of course, lots of wine. Held at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, the live auction features a lavish meal with dozens of wines to share, and a post-auction party. Make it a three-day festival, by adding the old-fashioned Revival kickoff party under the stars at Paradise Ridge Winery on Sept. 20, and various vintner dinners on Sept. 21. Proceeds raised benefit local Sonoma County charitable organizations, and since its inception, the Sonoma County Wine Auction has raised over $29 million to help fund charitable organizations focusing on education, arts and culture, environment and health and human services. Details and tickets: https://sonomacountywineauction.com/
Sept. 30, 2018
Tomatoes hang heavy on the vine usually at the same time as grapes. So we celebrate both fruits, with wonderful harvests. Plan to spend the entire day at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center for an extravaganza featuring samples of more than 175 heirloom tomato varieties in a flurry of exotic names like Blue Fruit and Peace Vine. Other fun includes live cooking demonstrations from renowned chefs, delicious bites from local purveyors, and educational seminars and demonstrations featuring topics from wine blending to truffle hunting, barrel making and mozzarella stretching. There will also be outdoor painting sessions and live music, plus wine samples of all kinds, drawing from Kendall-Jackson’s expansive collections including Vintner’s Reserve, Avant, Stature, Jackson Estate, and Grand Reserve. Tickets are $150.
Black Piglet at Davis Family Vineyards
June 15-Oct., 2018
This saucy, sassy food truck comes from John Stewart and Duskie Estes, the talent behind Zazu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastopol plus Black Pig Meat Co. of Forestville. Saturdays and Sundays, they park at this Healdsburg winery right on the Russian River, serving up superb Black Pig bacon BLTs, Sebastopol strawberry + Davis Family Rosé sorbet, pork belly poutine, maple + bacon donuts and more. You can play bocce by the river, sip Davis Family wines by the glass, and, when the tomatoes are ripe, u-pick for your own BLT. Details: http://www.davisfamilyvineyards.com/visit_us.php
More summer fun at wineries and other venues: Great Outdoor Music Festivals and Summer Concerts.
Find more info about wineries in Sonoma County.