Mendocino Wine Region – My Growing Love Affair & Weekend Tour; Taste of Mendocino June 13th, A Fresh Unique Format
Mendocino County – so close for Bay area wine aficionados but so often overlooked. In the past this may have been in part to the quiet, laid back marketing efforts, consistent with the personality of the region. Over the last few months, I have observed many subtle but growing changes in that approach, and some new players helping put the county on people's radar. People in Mendocino are fiercely proud of what they do and stand for, and there is a growing level of noise and desire to share that with the rest of the world.
Personally as a wine lover, writer, and consumer, there is much to love. I am not a fan of Disneyland like wine culture, and the laid back, hard working, passionate atmosphere, deeply connected to the earth and environment, appeals to me. It's a region full of hard working, family wineries, very much like what I love in my own Sonoma County. It also offers a wide array of interesting wine varieties and wine making styles. This is not a region that has typically chased Parker palate, scores, or embraced New World styles, but rather has held true to their individual philosophies and beliefs.
The region is home to a wide range of grape varieties, Rhone (Grenache, Marsanne), Alsatian (,Burgundy (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay) and more, with many vineyards with very old vines, producing some incredible high quality fruit. Vintners know this and many North Coast winemakers explore the many off the beaten track nooks and crannies for the gems there.
Mendocino Comes to You June 13th
This years Taste of Mendocino is in a very innovative, exciting format. Formerly a Industry/Trade focused event, it has now moved to Ft Mason (San Francisco), and added a consumer portion, with several key highlights. Wine of course will be showcased, but attendees will also experience many of the other artisan food, art, and entertainment experiences the county has to offer.
This vibrant and fun event will offer an array of opportunities to meet new people, stimulate your senses, explore the region and buy wine, produce, grass-fed beef, beer, and artisan products. sip, sample, taste and buy it all at this exclusive marketplace meets showcase. The Mendo vibe will be kicking at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center. The marketp
lace will include over 60 wineries, organic beer, artisan olive oil, preserves, eggs, cheese and grassfed beef and lamb producers as well as favorite dishes from local restaurants. A large contingency of local artists, including the popular Flynn Flying Circus and other diversions and attractions will be there to remind you that Mendocino County is an amazing destination only 1.5 hours from the Bay.
What I really like about this event is they are hopping on the emerging trend, which I strongly support, of selling wine at the event, similar to the SF Vintners Markets. Mobile POS systems and onsite sales at tastings, is the future of wine events. Why shouldn't it be…how frustrating to find a wine you love at a tasting and not be able to buy it. Many of these wineries are very small, limited distribution. Instead of dealing with shipping costs etc, just grab, pay, and go. Brilliant. Ticket sales information is here. At $35 this is a ridiculous steal.
Join wineries, organic breweries (Ukiah Brewing Company), craft distillers (Germain-Robin), artisan producers (like Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese and Oliveto del Vecchio), famous grassfed beef ranchers (McGruder Ranch’s biggest client is Chez Panisse) and many creative artists and entrepreneurs. You'd be crazy to miss. My only regret is that its only 3 hours long.
(Trade & Media can register here.)
As soon as I hit the 'Publish' button, I am literally out the door to visit Ukiah and Redwood Valley for the next 3 days, to taste, visit, and hang out with some of the community. This by no means is a slight on Anderson Valley, I love the area, but have visited multiple times, and just came back from the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir festival. Which is an AMAZING event, I will be camped at for all 3 days next year. I will be publishing my highlights shortly. I will also share the highlights of this tour and discoveries in several articles. Stay tuned!
Enjoy Your 'Simple Hedonisms' This Long Weekend
This site embraces life's simple pleasures – quality of life from good food, good wine, friends, family and artisans. The Bay area and Wine Country has these in abundance. I hope you will take the time to slow down, relax, and enjoy some of them this holiday weekend.
Cheers, and thanks to all you for reading and supporting.