Summer Winery Events and Parties in Sonoma
Sonoma County has the perfect summertime weather, with warm, sunny days followed by cool, breezy nights. It’s why our wineries thrive here, since our grapevines love the wonderful climate as much as our people do, too.
So bring you and wineries together, and bask in the beauty at these great outdoor events.
James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner at Lambert Bridge Winery (August 5, 2017)
The James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour brings a rare peek inside a James Beard House New York City dinner, as it travels to more than 20 cities across the country each year. Lambert Bridge is one of only a few stops the Tour makes in Northern California, and the only stop in Sonoma County. Preparing the multi-course, al fresco wine-paired dinner are a group of top Sonoma County James Beard caliber chefs including Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastopol, Erik Johnson of The Trading Post Restaurant in Cloverdale, Shane McAnelly of Chalkboard Restaurant in Healdsburg), Scott Romano of Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, and Dustin Valette of Valette Restaurant in Healdsburg. The evening starts at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception in the garden, and ends with an interactive chef Q&A session with the chefs.
Details: 4085 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-9600. Tickets are $250 per person, purchased via [email protected].
Fascinating Rhythm with Broadway Under the Stars (August 4-20, 2017)
The non-profit Jack London State Park is breathtakingly beautiful year-round, and turns even more mystical in the summer, with the sounds of Broadway musical theater acts serenading under the stars at the spectacular Kohler & Frohling winery ruins in the park. One of this season’s headliners, Fascinating Rhythm, performs through August in a sensational blend of movement and song. Festive pre-show picnicking and warm-up band music begins at the Beauty Ranch at 5 p.m., so bring your own feast or purchase food and beverages including signature wines from local wineries at the park. Then, prepare to dance and sing, when the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Details: Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, Transcendence Theatre, ticket prices vary depending on VIP, Premium, Select, general admission or youth levels; proceeds benefit the park preservation.
Paradise Ridge Wine & Sunsets (May-October 2017)
Paradise Ridge's hilltop winery is famous for its dramatic veranda and terrace views across Santa Rosa and Valley of the Moon. Through summer, the property stays open until dark, offering wines by the glass or bottle, festive live music, and food from local gourmet vendors. The party starts at 5:30 p.m., and bring-your-own picnics are encouraged, too. Check the winery’s website for music acts and food vendors, such as August 2nd’s lineup with The Incognito Band of Sonoma, Falafel Fix of Geyserville, and Recherche du Plasir desserts of Santa Rosa.
Details: 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa, 707-528-9463. Tickets are $10 for guests 6 and older.
Rodney Strong Vineyards Summer Concert Series (August 27 and September 9, 2017)
Every year for the past 27 years, fans of Rodney Strong Vineyards' lavish celebrations have looked forward to seeing such intimate performances by world-class musicians in a stunning vineyard setting topped off by sweeping views of the Russian River Valley. Big names are a given; this year welcomes Chris Botti on Aug. 27 and Kool & The Gang on Sept. 9. Take a picnic meal to enjoy on The Green, or purchase an assortment of delectables from local purveyors who will be onsite. You can also stock up on Rodney Strong wines, to sip while you sing along. See everything you need to know about the concert series here.
Details: Rodney Strong, 11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, 800-514-3849. Tickets are $89-$129.
Picnic at Ledson Winery, all summer long
The fully stocked gourmet market is a very popular fixture at this 16,000 square foot French Normandy winery known as "The Castle." Start by tasting and selecting favorite wines at the hosted bars, then tour the manicured grounds with picnic areas shadowed by majestic, 100-year old oak trees. After you’ve found the perfect spot at Ledson Winery, enjoy a feast of salads, sandwiches, cheeses, and cookies from the winery deli. One favorite bite is the Hwy 12 sandwich, with cucumber, avocado, sun-dried tomato, goat cheese, spring mix, red onions, pepperoncini, and balsamic vinaigrette on whole wheat, sourdough, or as a lettuce wrap.
Details: Ledson Winery, 7335 Sonoma Highway (Highway 12), Kenwood, 707-833-2330.
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend (September 1 to 3, 2017)
The venue for Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has been changed this year, to the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. But the winery element remains that same, as more than 200 local wineries show off their finest bottlings at the fabulous Taste of Sonoma highlight event. Tasting tents are grouped by appellation, and include table after table of superb bites from local chefs. Also new this year: Taste of Sonoma spans two days (Sept. 2 and 3). Start on Sept. 1, though, with exclusive lunches, dinners and barbecues at wineries all around Sonoma County, then wrap it up on Sept. 3 with even more parties at area wineries.
Sonoma County Wine Auction (September 16, 2017)
Held at at the beautiful new La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard in Russian River Valley, the fundraising gala features fine foods from chef Thomas Schmidt of John Ash & Co., and executive chef Justin Wangler of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens. And it’s for a great cause: the Sonoma County Wine Auction has raised $24 million for local Sonoma County charitable partners over the years. Mark your calendars for Sept. 15, too, as the auction kicks off with vintner dinners at top wineries across Sonoma County.