Napa Valley Wine Library Weekend: From Vineyard to Label

Napa Valley Wine Library Association Wine TastingFor a classic Napa wine tasting event, it’s hard to beat the Napa Valley Wine Library Association Wine Tasting. This year’s event is coming up on Sunday August 10th between 5 and 7 pm at the Silverado Resort & Spa with a focus on single-vineyard designated wines. The “classic” part of the event stems from the 52nd annual occurrence of this tasting and the involvement of wineries such as Beringer Vineyards, Cakebread Cellars, Caymus Vineyards, Grgich Hills Estate, Heitz Wine CellarsLouis M. Martini Winery, Schramsberg Vineyards, and ZD Wines.

This refined event consists of 75 wineries sharing some of the best wine in the Valley on a lovely summer evening under the sheltering oaks of The Grove at Silverado (1600 Atlas Peak Road, Napa). At this year’s Wine Tasting, you will find white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Roussanne, and even Vermentino. On the red wine side you can expect to taste Charbono, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and Zinfandel (and of course, Cabernet Sauvignon). Or, you can enjoy Rosés from wineries such as Peju Province Winery, Swanson Vineyards, and Tres Sabores.

Annual Tasting of the Napa Valley Wine Library Association

Napa Valley Wine Library Association Wine Tasting

The wineries at the Napa Valley Wine Library Association Wine Tasting come from all over Napa Valley from Calistoga to Los Carneros.   The sides of the valley are represented as well, including Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain, and Mount Veeder. The NVWLA Wine Tasting is free, but for Napa Valley Wine Library Association members only. The good news is that membership is easy to purchase (online or at the event) so buying your way in is pretty easy (and your membership dollars help support a worthy local cause).

Keep reading and we’ll tell you more about the 2014 NVWLA Wine Tasting on August 10th and their Winemaker’s Seminar scheduled the day before which focuses on vineyard care and the role of a designated vineyard in winemaking.
–> please click here to continue reading –>

Urban Wineries and Xcellent Food: The Urban Wine Xperience

2014 Urban Wine ExperienceGrab your friends for an outdoor celebration of East Bay wineries and restaurants at the Urban Wine Xperience on August 2nd between 1 pm and 5 pm.  This is a rare opportunity to explore over 20 urban wineries and over 20 restaurants and food purveyors all together in one location, accompanied by the sounds of Phantom City, an acoustic Bay Area rock band.  The festivities will take place at the Jack London Square Ferry Lawn (98 Broadway Street, Oakland).

Dashe Cellars

Dashe Cellars

The East Bay Urban Wineries pouring that day will be pouring white, rosé, red and dessert wines, so there is bound to be something perfect for your personal tastes.  Participating wineries include Aubin Cellars, CampovidaCarica Wines, Cerruti Cellars, Chouinard Vineyard and Winery, Dashe Cellars, Eno WinesMead Kitchen, Periscope Cellars, R & B Cellars, Rock Wall Wine Company, Stage Left Cellars, Two Mile Wines and Urban Legend Cellars.

Tickets for the Urban Wine Xperience are $45.00 per person in advance (or $35 if you are a wine club member with an East Bay Vintners Association winery) and can be purchased here.  Designated Driver tickets (admission, food and music only) are only $15.  Tickets may also be purchased at the event, but you should just take care of that now because the at-the-door price will be $60 per person.
–> please click here to continue reading –>

Something’s Coming, Something Good: The West of West Wine Festival

West of West Wine Festival LogoCould it be time for the West of West Wine Festival again?  Yes it could, so don’t miss your chance to celebrate the finest wines of West Sonoma Coast on August 1-3, 2014, during a weekend of wine tasting, seminars, and award-winning cuisine.  Many of the West of West events will be held at The Barlow, so come around the corner to Sebastopol and enjoy some of the most acclaimed cool‐climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah wines produced today.

Freeman Vineyard and Winery

Freeman Vineyard & Winery

West of West activities this year include educational seminars (with one focusing on Chardonnays from the Charles Heintz Vineyard), Grand Tastings (including wineries such as Flowers, Freeman, Littorai, Peay and Sojourn) and a Grand Dinner featuring chefs from Bar Tartine, Rich Table, and State Bird Provisions.

To make things easier, the West of West Wine Festival includes two separate Grand Tasting events on Saturday August 2nd and Sunday August 3rd with participating wineries pouring both days.  These are exciting opportunities to taste the products from more than 40 producers and growers whose wines have been made from grapes grown in areas such as Annapolis, Fort Ross/Seaview, Occidental, Freestone, Green Valley and the Sebastopol Hills.

Keep reading and we’ll share highlights of the Festival and costs for what’s going on that weekend.  For complete details and to purchase tickets please go here but you should probably move quickly before tickets begin to sell out.
–> please click here to continue reading –>

A Decade of Adventures: The Lake County Wine Adventure

Lake County Wine AdventureIf you haven’t been wine tasting in Lake County recently, seize your chance at the 10th Annual Lake County Wine Adventure on July 26 and 27. Come enjoy wine, food, music, art and more between 11 am and 5 pm both days at wineries surrounding beautiful Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California.  This food and wine weekend is a great way to discover how well they make wines in this region of high elevations, rolling hillsides and valley floors next to a majestic (but happily dormant) volcano (Mt. Konocti).

The 2014 Wine Adventure is an optimal way to visit over two dozen wineries in Lake County, an appealing destination for those looking to enjoy fine wines in a relaxed, rural and breathtaking environment only two hours by car from either the San Francisco Bay Area or the Sacramento Valley.  If you come, you will have the chance to try wines from five distinct appellations within Lake County including the Clear Lake, Benmore Valley, Guenoc Valley, High Valley, and Red Hills AVAs.

Brassfield Estate Winery

Brassfield Estate Winery

Some of the wineries we are eager to taste samples (and do some buying) from this year include Brassfield Estate WineryBullion Creek Vineyards, Ceàgo Vinegarden, Chacewater WineryFore Family Vineyards, Gregory Graham WinesLangtry Estate and VineyardsMoore Family WineryRobledo Family Winery, Rosa d’Oro VineyardsSol RougeSix Sigma Ranch & Wineryand Wildhurst Vineyards.  To see the complete list of wineries participating in the Adventure and to order tickets please go here.  
–> please click here to continue reading –>

30 Years Above the Fog: Favorites from the 2014 Taste of Howell Mountain

Taste of Howell Mountain

Live Auction Table Setting at 2014 Taste of Howell Mountain

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Howell Mountain AVA in Napa County by attending the annual Taste of Howell Mountain Wine Tasting and Auction at Charles Krug Winery. We had a great time enjoying the wine and food, and looking around it seemed like we weren’t the only ones having a wonderful time.

Robert Craig Winery

Vintner Bob Craig and Winemaker Stephen Tebb from Robert Craig Winery

This is one of our favorite events in Napa County, and we encourage you to consider attending yourself next year (if that wasn’t already in your plans).   At the start of the afternoon 35 wineries offered us the chance to try their latest releases (with a few of them also sharing some library wines) as a silent auction tempted us with a variety of opportunities.  Later on, a fun and festive live auction provided more chances to try wines and help support the Howell Mountain Education Foundation (a non-profit organization receiving part of the day’s proceeds). 

If you are looking for wines that best represent the Howell Mountain AVA right now, please see our recommendations based on what we enjoyed the most at the 2014 Taste of Howell Mountain:
–> please click here to continue reading –>

Overture, Curtains, Lights: Broadway Under the Stars in Sonoma Valley

2014 Cast Poster Broadway Under the StarsDon’t miss out on a wonderful combination of live musical theater performances, historic park settings, and outstanding Sonoma County food and wine going on right now with “Broadway Under the Stars” at the Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen.  Brought to you by Transcendence Theatre Company, Broadway Under the Stars is an award-winning series of concerts that blend Broadway and popular songs together into spectacular experiences.

This series of performances offers options between now and September 6 for Broadway and music lovers of all types as well as events geared toward the whole family.  Each evening begins with pre-show musical entertainment and picnicking on the great lawn with food and wine available for purchasing. Opening night for the 2014 season was last Friday, June 27th and you can still purchase tickets for the first production and/or select seats for a later one.

MicrophoneNamed “Theater of the Year” by Broadway World San Francisco for their 2013 Season, Transcendence Theatre Company is a nonprofit arts organization whose performing artists have been previously featured in Broadway shows such as Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Gypsy, Hairspray, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia, Spring Awakening, and/or Wicked. In addition, Jack London State Historic Park was recently named one of the 10 best Outdoor Concert Venues in the US by USA Today so now you have even more reasons to attend.

Keep reading, and we’ll give you the highlights on the concerts, ticket prices, food and wine options, and parking and transportation options.
–> please click here to continue reading –>

Wine Country Big Q: BBQ Competition and Festival in Sonoma County

Wine Country Big Q LogoBBQ fans should head to Sonoma County in two weeks for the Wine Country Big Q on Saturday July 12.   Come savor outstanding ribs, tri-tip, chicken wings and more chased down with premium wine or beer.  Big Q, Sonoma County’s premiere BBQ fest, is a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) nationally sanctioned competition with over 50 of the best Pit Masters and other food purveyors happily offering up samples.

BBQ Tri-Tip on the GrillThere’s a Public Tasting between 1:00 and 5:00 pm that day at Sonoma Mountain Village (1300 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park) where you can enjoy samples and then cast your votes to help determine the People’s Choice Awards. Bring your friends and family to sample authentic barbecued meats, bean-based side dishes, desserts made with bacon, world class wines, thirst-quenching ciders, and award-winning brews. Whether your personal tastes run towards sweet, savory, or spicy BBQ, you’re sure to find your style here.

Entertainment at the 2014 Wine Country Big Q will be provided by Aquanett (a 1980’s Hair Metal Band) and Purple Haze (a Tribute to Jimi Hendrix). The temperature should be in the low 80s so even the weather is encouraging you to go and if you have kids, bring ‘em along.  Youth tickets (ages 12 and under) are also available at reduced prices.

Lagunitas Brewing Company LogoAdmission to the Wine Country Big Q Public Tasting is $45 for adults and $20 for youths.  Adult tickets provide samplings of over a pound of mouthwatering BBQ plus beans, bacon desserts, wine, beer, cider and more.  Youth tickets offer a smaller sampling of the food and non-alcoholic beverages.  Tickets can be purchased in advance by going here, up until noon on July 12.  Additional tasting tickets will also be sold at the event for $2 each if you’re still hungry (or thirsty).
–> please click here to continue reading –>