Archive for the ‘Sonoma’ Category

Labor Day Weekend is Sonoma’s Finest Food and Wine Weekend

A Very Special, Personal Weekend

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend (SWCW) is a special event for me, and Simple Hedonisms. Four years ago….hmm I thought it was five, have I REALLY only been here just over four years? People think I have lived here forever.  Anyway, I digress.

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

Moving here on a complete whim in July 2009 in a whirl of tumult, I followed my passion and knowing almost no-one, and having no social media presence, I descended upon Sonoma County. I wasn’t new to the county wine scene however. I have shared regularly, I was in love in the Sonoma, especially Russian River Valley, and visiting so regularly, it just made sense to move, and immediately it ‘fit.’ I immediately planted a tiny vineyard, assisted with harvest, and started Simple Hedonisms.

I am a huge fan and regular attendee of the Wine Road events, but the Saturday Taste of Sonoma was my first walk around tasting where on foot, you could experience dozens and dozens of wineries, sorted by AVA (region) and get a true taste of how diverse the county is.  Sprinkle in amazing food, gorgeous scenery, good weather, and Sonoma County hospitality, and if you don’t love it here, you should be in the next Grinch book.

Just prior to the event, I launched the blog after being urged by many for years to do so, and the Taste of Sonoma, was my first event covered.  The article probably had 100 readers then if I was lucky, a far cry of the peak of my most active writing of 5,000+ a month.  This 2013 event may also prove to be special and unique for me, but alas, that is for a future telling.

How passionate am I about this event? I am in the middle of one of the busiest weeks of my year, and I am taking the time to sit outside with my laptop, overlooking my vineyard project, glass in hand, and trying to ‘write’ as opposed to pasting the press release. We can sleep when we are dead.

Experience The Magic in Sonoma’s Unique Event

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is an annual event every Labor Day weekend and is Sonoma County’s largest charity event and premier wine and food event, celebrating the region’s incredible bounty of food, wine, and fun while raising much needed funds for Sonoma's local charities.

The event is actually entire weekend full of a la carte options, from Friday night dinners to Sunday BBQ, each detailed below.

1. My Favorite: The Saturday Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

There are many wonderful tasting events in the county, and Bacchus be willing (and I also win the lottery) I’d attend them all.

However there are very few ‘walk around’ tastings, most involve going to each winery with a bracelet and a glass. These are wonderful because they provide the experience of the winery itself.

There is however a certain ‘efficiency’ (although I hesitate to use that word for such a relaxing, joyful environment.) of being able to walk around dozens of wineries gathered together from regions like Russian River, Dry Creek, Sonoma Valley etc and compare across the region, and then compare regions. There are 200 wineries in total pouring! I suggest you print the list and make a plan.

Come For The Food: If wine isn’t your thing, the event hold’s its own on the food and demonstrations alone. The who’s who of our many talented chefs are present, with over 60 chefs offering their creations.

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

The event is brilliantly orchestrated and comes off like clockwork. You simply enjoy a decadent day.

Tickets are $115 for Visa Signature holders (odds are you have one, flip your card over) or $165 for general admission. This Saturday event sells out! (All Grand Reserve already are.) You have been advised.

2. Friday Night Sonoma Starlight at Francis Ford Coppola, with Food Icon Sondra Bernstein

Kick off Sonoma Wine Country Weekend poolside at the iconic Francis Ford Coppola Winery for an unforgettable evening of world-class wines, delicious cuisine, live music, and dancing to Bay Area favorites Pride & Joy — all set against a backdrop of shimmering stars in the Alexander Valley.

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

Guests will enjoy a bountiful array of local, seasonal cuisine poolside created by Sonoma Wine Country Weekend’s 2013 Honorary Culinary Director, Sondra Bernstein and Chef John Toulze, proprietors of the girl & the fig. Over 20 local wineries will be on hand to share their Sonoma County wines, pairing wines with incredible local fare.  Info and Tickets here.

3. Friday Winemaker Lunches and Dinners

Prefer something more intimate? Enjoy a special afternoon or evening of wine and food.  Many of these are already sold out, as seating is limited to each. Remaining winemaker lunches include wonderful venues like Davis Family Vineyards, Lynmar Estate, Landmark, and others. See the full list, descriptions and tickets here.

Only a handful of the Winemaker dinners remain, in various parts of the county, including a few seats at places like Sonoma Cutrer, Longboard, Muscardini and a few others.  I attended one of these last year, and it was buy viagra free shipping a highly personable, memorable experience.  See the full list, descriptions and tickets here.

4. Sunday BBQ

Three wineries are offering a Sunday BBQ and wine, a perfect finish to the weekend. Since there are only three, these shouldn’t last long either. See the full list, descriptions, and tickets here.

5. Sunday Harvest Wine Auction

For you high rollers, this is an amazing, first class experience of food, wine, and entertainment, all casual but classy Sonoma style. I was fortunate enough to be invited to one of the limited seats once.

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction is Sonoma County’s largest and fun, fundraising event, bringing together the wine community and caring donors to raise essential funds that make our world-class wine region a better place by supporting our kids and our community. Not all lots are expensive, I 'bought' a lot that was simply a donation to a fund that assists our migrant grape pickers.

Immerse yourself in the intrigue of Brazil at the 21st Annual Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, Sonoma Samba, sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak.  The Grand Lawn of Chateau St. Jean will be transformed into a Pan-Latin Celebration. The winery skits, usually in theme, are quite comical. (I will forever carry the memories of the Benziger brothers in bikinis for a beach theme.)

Your ticket not only offers you passage into the Wine Spectator Auction Tent, but it also allows you to mingle with Sonoma's finest winemakers, as each table will be presided over by a local  Winemaker or Grower who will share not only their finest wines, but great stories, too! Over 70% of the tables are already sold out.

Follow The Fun On Twitter

Courtesy of SWCW

Courtesy of SWCW

This event is attended by people all over the country, all here to experience the magic of Sonoma. You can follow some of the fun on Twitter via hashtag #SWCW as well as their Facebook Page. However, I suggest you come experience it in person. I will be.


Related Articles

The Annual Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch

Spotlight on Sonoma – Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sept 3-5: Visa Signature Event Highlights

Sonoma County's Finest Wine Weekend Gets Even Better: New Starlight Dinner Kickoff


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