Highlights of This Weekend’s Wine Road “Winter Wineland”

This weekend in Northern Sonoma is the 19th annual Winter Wineland on the Wine Road, Northern Sonoma County. As I wrote last month, this event has an extra special place in my heart, as it was the final trigger to convert me from monthly visitor  to avid resident of Sonoma County.

140 Wineries in the 30 miles radius of Russian River, Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, and Healdsburg will participate. Advance ticket sales ended yesterday, but at $55 for two days, its one of the best values in entertainment around. (There is also a Sunday only option for $45. DD are $5.)

Wine ~ Art ~ Education

Never content with status quo, the Wine Road crew has expanded the focus of the event; each winery will have a unique focus on something related to Art or Education as well, enhancing your weekend experience.

Tips to Maximize Your Weekend

Last year I wrote an in depth article on advice for getting the most out of your weekend. The premise remains; with SO much to do, take a few moments to make a plan.

You can download this years detailed program here. Take a few minutes, pick out things of interest, and combine them with wines you enjoy; pick a few of your favorites wineries as well as venture out new.

Interesting Picks

I got together with an industry friend to see what stood out in the guide. I will confess in advance the Wine Geek in me, dominates over the Art side. Some wineries will have more specifics of what they are offering, than maybe in the guide, but we had to base it on what information was provided.

Benovia Winery 3339 Hartman Road Santa Rosa – Learn all about barrels, how they are made from Sequin Moreau of France.

Camellia Cellars 57 Front Street Healdsburg – Featuring folk art by Kathy Joseph and Chris Lewand. Recycled broken china and pottery, called “Pique Assiette”, are made into both useful and whimsical items, many with a wine theme. the artists will be present, working & available to answer questions on technique.

Clos du Bois Wines 19410 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville – Live Music, plus  offering a video education demonstration on Barrel Production,Winemaking and Wine Cave excavation!!

David Coffaro Vineyard & Winery 7485 Dry Creek Rd, Geyserville -  Art Exhibit with Andrea Cleall. Andrea is known for her use of vibrant color and will show her lush Sonoma County landscapes.  Also a  Tasting Seminar with Matt Wilson. Can you taste the difference? Showcasing the 2009 Petite Sirah in two formats. Taste the version that was bottled in August of 2010 and then compare it to the same wine that remains in French oak barrels for additional aging.

Dutton-Goldfield Winery 3100 Gravenstein Hwy. N Sebastopol -  Local artist, Bonnie Soule Karlsen, will be showcasing her representational and abstract artwork inspired by Sonoma County. We offer a designated sensory area where wine tasters can broaden their scope of understanding aromatics, soils, and different aspects of grape growing and winemaking.

Frick Winery 23072 Walling Road, Geyserville – The warm campfire will be roasting hot dogs and smores. Inside the small tasting cottage view walls covered with art by Judith Gannon. Winter is Syrah time with six vintages of Frick Estate Syrah being featured 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008. Three new releases of Syrah. Learn about THE winter vineyard job of pruning with demonstrations of head pruning techniques.

Hauck Cellars 223 Center Street, Healdsburg – Sensory Experience: each aromatic component of their wines (cherry,chocolate, etc) will be isolated in a separate glass. After testing the aromas in isolation, you’ll be better able to identify the bouquet of each wine.

Inspiration Vineyards and Winery 3360 Coffey Lane, Suite E, Santa Rosa – Hosting long time glass artist Diana Jameson whose love for color and the Sonoma County landscape are the Inspiration for her fused glass creations; many of which are functional pieces. Also be offering an exercise in training your nose to some common wine components.

Inman Family Wines 3900 Piner Road, Santa Rosa – For Winter Wineland the Inmans will unveil a new display highlighting the history of the Olivet Grange Vineyard and the families who have farmed and made wine at the property.

Kendall-Jackson – Healdsburg 337 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg – Develop your wine vocabulary and ability to identify aromas in wine. Visit and learn more about the “aroma wheel” while discovering the subtle differences in wine aromas & bouquets. It’s an opportunity to smell wines to determine the primary characteristics found in a particular wine.

Kendall-Jackson Wine Center 5007 Fulton Road, Fulton  – Visit the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center and meet their Wine Educators, learn the difference between wine aged in new oak barrels and wine aged in neutral oak barrels.

Kokomo Winery 4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg – Turn your attention to Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. Join them for a unique tasting and cheese pairing highlighting just how different clones of Pinot Noir can be! Featuring two Pinot Noirs from the same vintage, vineyard and winemaker but from two unique clones – isolating the variable to the clone. The tasting starts with the lighter, more delicate 2A clone that shows the elegant Burgundian side of  the varietal, then moves to the Pommard clone which is more intense in flavor and highlights the richer side. Both wines are from Peters Vineyard in southwest Sebastopol and are grown by Kokomo partner Randy Peters. This eye opening experience will show you just how different clones of the same varietal can be!

Merriam Vineyards 11650 Los Amigos Road Healdsburg – The Wonderful World of Water! The clear choice: Learn about the importance of their environmentally sustainable water reclamation program, one of the few constructed wetlands in Sonoma County. Become mesmerized by a kinetic water sculpture, created by world famous Sonoma County artist Ned Kahn. Water scenes photographed by local artist Lance Keuhne will be on display and offered for sale. To warm you, a  cassoulet with duck confit will be paired with award winning Bordeaux varietals…

Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery 1401 Westside Road, Healdsburg – Can you REALLY read a wine label? Come learn the “code” and discover all the secrets a wine label holds.

Mounts Family Winery 3901 Wine Creek Road, Healdsburg -  Live  Music, and Snuggle up to a warm fire.  Winemaker David Mounts will be pouring  award-winning Petite Sirah, Zinfandel & Grenache to name a few! Learn about the unique & complex soils we have throughout our ranch from Richard Mounts, vineyard owner and 63 year old resistant of Dry Creek Valley.

Old World Winery 850 River Road, Fulton – New Wine Road member will be pouring all of  their current releases along with a couple of library selections of perfectly aged Zinfandel. They will be giving tours of the facility and discussing how wine was made 100 years ago,which is how they strive to make it today. See actual working demonstrations of a bottle corker that is ~100 years old!

Silver Oak Cellars 24625 Chianti Road, Geyserville – Meet Brad Petersen, our Alexander Valley Vineyard Manager to discuss the evolution of our farming practices since 1972, grapes sustainably grown for generations to come.

Thumbprint Cellars 102 Matheson Street, Healdsburg; – Ready, Set, Mac Off! Join Thumbprint for their Second Annual Mac Off on Saturday. Enjoy local chef creations of extreme Mac-N-Cheese and  wine.

Vintage Wine Estates 308 B Center Street, Healdsburg – Pairing local artisan cheeses with our Sparkling,  Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel wines.  Learn tips for creating great wine and cheese pairings on your own.

Free Ticket Contest!

Simple Hedonisms will be giving away 3 pairs of Tickets to this weekend’s event: The first two will be from (verified) email subscribers (secure, confidential) top right, and the 3rd pair  for a trivia contest I will announce tomorrow.

Come Back Thursday for Part 2 – Featured Winery Sales Incentives

While visiting your favorite wineries, and visiting new, remember these small artisans sell wine for a living, remember your visit with a bottle or 12 to enjoy later. This Thursday, Simple Hedonisms will publish some of the special sales some of the Winter Wineland participants are offering, but look around for specials and stock up on memories – wine is as much an experience as a beverage!

cheers!

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