Taste (and Eat Your Way Through) Alexander Valley

White Oak Vineyards and Winery Lawn Art
White Oak Vineyards and Winery Lawn Art

In just two weeks, Taste Alexander Valley (celebrating its 15th year) will be held May 18-20, 2012 in Sonoma County’s majestic Alexander Valley.

On Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, more than 30 wineries will open their vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms for guests to enjoy the latest releases of their world class wines alongside wine and food pairings, live entertainment, and special wine discounts.

The three-day wine and food extravaganza begins on Friday, May 18 with the Opening Celebration, an outdoor reception and gala at the exclusive Lancaster Estate Winery running from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m..  Adding to the festivities will be passed hors d’oeuvres and a variety of seasonally influenced small plates prepared by renowned chefs/restaurateurs Josh Silvers of Jackson’s Bar and Oven and Petite Syrah Bistro; Jeff Mall of Zin Restaurant and Wine Bar; and Carlo Cavallo of Sonoma-Meritage.  Opening Celebration attendees will be serenaded by live jump blues, swing and jazz music by Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums while they enjoy reserve and library wines from throughout Alexander Valley.

Full details for the weekend, a map of participating wineries, and tickets are available here.  Passes for both Saturday and Sunday are $65 in advance and $75 at the door.  Sunday-Only tickets are also available for $45 in advance and $55 at the door.  Tickets for the Opening Celebration on Friday are $105 in advance only, and may be purchased with a weekend pass for the best value price of $155, with limited availability.   There are also significantly reduced designated driver tickets available.  

Some of our favorite wineries participating in the 2012 Taste Alexander Valley are deLorimier Winery, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Hawkes Wine, Medlock Ames, Robert Young Estate Winery, Sausal Winery, Stonestreet Winery, Stryker Sonoma, Stuhlmuller Vineyards, Trione Vineyards and Winery, and White Oak Vineyards and Winery

The food offerings are plentiful and varied on May 19th and 20th.  Depending on the winery, you can find Grilled Oysters, Red Snapper Ceviche, Rock Crab Fritters, Smokey Cabernet Arancini, Pomegranate Glazed BBQ Ribs, and Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.  Or, if you prefer comfort food, there will also be Gourmet Hot Dogs, Macaroni and Cheese, Pulled Pork Sliders, Blue Cheese Beef Sliders, and Jambalaya.  Options for dessert lovers include Lemon Bars, Roasted Pineapple Financiers, Bread Pudding, Dark Cherry Brownies, and Cabernet Sauvignon Truffles.

The 15th annual Taste Alexander Valley is the major event produced each year by the Alexander Valley Winegrowers Association.  The Valley is best known for the world-famous Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that thrive here, but the gravelly loam soils straddling the river also encourage Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot to flourish.  Alexander Valley is also home to Zinfandel and Rhone varieties, including Syrah and Viognier.

After Taste Alexander Valley, if you are looking for other recommendations you can go here to see our Favorite Tasting Rooms and Food Stops in Alexander Valley.  Or, you can use the drop-down menus on the navigation bar near the top of this page to see some of our other wine country travel advice.


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