Wine Road Readies for 35th Annual Barrel Tasting

Barrel tasting

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Wine Road Readies for 35th Annual Barrel Tasting

Imagine being given the opportunity to sample some of the best wines from Northern Sonoma County a year or more in advance of their release and then being allowed to order your favorites right now. Well, if that idea strike's your fancy, I've got a bit of good news for you — you don't have to just imagine it, you can actually do it!

Northern Sonoma County's Wine Road and its more than 100 winery strong membership have announced the dates of the 35th Annual Barrel Tasting which is scheduled to take place over two weekends in March — March 1-3 and March 8-10. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, attendees are invited to sample wines from the barrel and talk to winemakers while exploring the stunning Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of these two very special weekends is that many wineries offer "futures" on their barrel samples. Essentially "futures" simply amount to the opportunity to purchase wine now, often at a discount, that you can generally return to pick up from the winery approximately 12 to 18 months later once the wine is bottled. Adding to the allure of the event, many of the wines have such limited production that buying futures is your only chance to purchase them at all.

Because most wineries will not have food for this event, attendees are encouraged to pack a picnic. So why not make a weekend of it? Spend the afternoons sampling wine and then book in at your favorite Russian River Valley getaway for a little R&R. 

Be romantic and book in at the Applewood Inn or Dawn Creek Lodge. Or better yet, be indulgent and book in for a spa treatment at Boon to relax after a long day of grueling wine tasting. Do whatever fits your mood, but whatever you do, be sure to leave the weekend with the knowledge that you've purchased a few world-class wines that will make your dinner parties the envy of everyone you know back at home. How brilliant does that sound?

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here. (Ticket prices are between $30-$50 depending upon how far in advance you purchase them, and each ticket includes access to the tasting for one full weekend along with the opportunity to sample wine from the barrel and in most cases also trying a limited number of current release wines.)


Duane Wells