If you’re looking for a great way to introduce yourself to the inland Mendocino County wine region you should consider attending the Hopland Passport Weekend scheduled for Saturday, October 19th and Sunday, October 20th. From 11 am to 5 pm each day, Hopland area wineries will “roll out the barrel” showing their finest in Rhone, Italian, Burgundian, and Bordeaux varietals ranging from Arneis to Zinfandel. Readers who’ve been following our articles already know that we love Mendocino County and we wrote about this part of the county here earlier this week. If you enjoy food and wine events, this weekend sounds like a lot of fun.
The Hopland Passport Weekend comes with plenty of opportunities to experience tours, art and live music while you taste the wines and savor the dishes. In addition, thirty fabulous prizes will be given away through the Passport Prize Giveaway. Weekend passes are just $45 per person if purchased online by October 17th so please go here to get your tickets early at this discounted price (you can check in at any participating winery that weekend but please bring ID and your online receipt as no tickets are mailed). If you aren’t able to buy your tickets in advance, you can get them at any one of the Passport wineries that weekend but the price will be $55 each.
There are fifteen wineries participating in the Hopland Passport Weekend, pouring their best wines and offering food pairings. Your nibbling options that weekend include:
- Wild Rice and Artichoke Heart Salad at McFadden Farm Stand & Tasting Room
- Roasted Organic Vegetables in Frey Chardonnay Marinade at Frey Vineyards
- Gourmet Squash Tacos and Pulled Pork Tacos at Saracina
- Grilled Cheese with Gruyere, Caramelized Onions, and Tomato Jam at Ray’s Station
- Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya at Terra Sávia
- Wood Fired Pizzas at Nelson Family Vineyards
- Caribbean Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Pineapple and Apricot Chutney at McNab Ridge Winery
- Imported Sausages at Graziano Family of Wines
- Smoked, Marinated Tri-Tip at Milano Family Winery
- BBQ Tri-Tip and Sausage at Cesar Toxqui Cellars
Other wineries participating on October 19th and 20th include Brutocao Cellars, Campovida, Jaxon Keys Winery & Distillery, Jeriko Estate, and RIVINO. If you’re going to need dessert, rest assured that your sweet tooth can find Seasonal Fruit at Graziano, Seven Layer Bars at Ray’s Station, New Orleans Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce/Lemon Sauce at Terra Sávia, and Dark Chocolate Cake at Cesar Toxqui. For the complete list of participating wineries and their menus, please go here.
Hopland wineries strongly encourage responsible wine tasting. To keep your group safe during the Hopland Passport Weekend, there is a Designated Driver Program with complimentary entry for your Driver who is free to enjoy all winery events, food tastings, and the drawing but there will be no alcohol for him/her (Designated Driver wristbands can be picked up at any participating winery). Or, if you’re interested, you can follow this link for information on local Taxi, Shuttle, and Limousine Service providers.
Formed in January 2010, Destination Hopland is a non-profit organization with the mission of educating people about the unique agricultural and tourism attractions around the greater Hopland area. The Hopland wine community hosts a variety of events throughout the year including winemaker dinners, concerts, bocce ball tournaments, vineyards walks, olive harvest parties, and the bi-annual Hopland Passport wine tasting event.