Olive and Olive Oil fans, rejoice! Sonoma Valley is celebrating Olive Season and January 2013 is “Taste of the Olive Month.” Events this month include Olive Oil Tastings, a Martini competition, and an Olive-focused multi-course dinner put on by a team of nineteen local chefs. Keep reading, and we’ll share some of the highlights.
During the entire month of January you can enjoy olive oil tastings at any or all of these locations:
- B.R. Cohn Winery, 15000 Highway 12, Glen Ellen (707-938-4064, x124)
- Figone’s of California, 9580 Highway 12, Kenwood (707-282-9092)
- The Olive Press, 27424 Arnold Drive, Sonoma (707-939-8900)
Ready for a cocktail? Martini Madness takes place on January 11 at Ramekins Culinary School and Event Center, 450 West Spain Street, Sonoma (707-933-0450). Bartenders from Sonoma Valley restaurants, bars, and pubs will compete to create the best new martini. Event attendees can sample each libation and then vote for their favorites. The event runs between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and admission is $40. Go here to purchase tickets. Or, you can purchase VIP admission for $55 per person, which includes early admission and a demonstration cocktail class on all things Martini.
After Martini Madness, celebrants can keep the party going at a 3-course meal next door at The General’s Daughter, 400 West Spain Street, Sonoma (707-933-0450). The After the Madness Dinner menu includes: Red Wine Poached Pear and Chicory Salad with Candied Pecans and Point Reyes Blue Cheese; Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Polenta, Swiss Chard, and Caramelized Onions; and Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Spiced Caramel and Whipped Crème Fraiche.
Combination Martini Madness and After the Madness Dinner tickets are $92 per person. If you add the VIP Martini Madness option, then tickets are $105 each. Once again, please go here to purchase tickets.
Fans of olives and great food incorporating olives should know that they can eat, drink, and honor Sonoma’s famed green fruit on January 26 at the 2013 Feast of the Olive Dinner. Nineteen of the best local chefs and winemakers join forces to prepare unique menus for each candlelit table of guests, also at Ramekins, 450 West Spain Street, Sonoma (707-996-1090, x108). Tickets are $150 per person which includes a five-course dinner with wine pairings, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The chefs participating in this year’s Feast of the Olive Dinner are:
- Dana Jaffe, Saddles Steakhouse
- Manuel Azevedo, LaSalette
- Andrew Cain and Bruno Tison, Santé Restaurant
- Antonio Ghilarducci, Depot Hotel Restaurant
- Sheana Davis, The Epicurean Connection
- Gary Edwards, Carneros Caves
- Catherine Venturini, Olive & Vine
- Carlo Cavallo, Sonoma-Meritâge
- Moaya Scheiman and Andrea Koweek, Crisp Bake Shop
- Peter Smith, Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar
- Andrew Wilson, The Lodge at Sonoma
To learn more about the Feast of the Olive Dinner, or to purchase tickets, please go here.
For Sonoma Valley lodging or shopping specials, recipes, and a full list of events taking place during Olive Season please go to the Olive Festival website here. Olive-centric recipes available include:
- Kalamata Olive Bruschetta with Tomatoes and White Beans
- Tuna and Olive Pasta
- Wilted Brussel Sprouts with Cherry-Balsamic Dressing
- Roasted Chicken, Roasted Peppers, and Olive and Thyme Sauce
- Chocolate Budino with Sea Salt and Olive Oil
If you haven’t been to Sonoma Valley lately and are looking for suggestions aside from Olive Season events, please go here to see our recommendations for wineries and food destinations in the area.
The Sonoma Valley Olive Season is managed by the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau (866-996-1090). In addition to a professional staff, more than 40 community volunteers help welcome visitors to Sonoma Valley at two separate Visitor and Retail centers, including one at the downtown Sonoma Plaza.