Could 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.
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.
West of West Wine Festival – August 1
The West of West Wine Festival kicks off on Friday evening with a collection of intimate Winemaker Dinners. Each dinner will feature a selection of wines thoughtfully paired with cuisine prepared by talented chefs. Seats at the table are available at dinners hosted by:
- Ceritas (dinner at the Porter Bass Vineyard in Guerneville)
- Failla Wines (dinner at the Lerner Vineyard in Santa Rosa)
- Joseph Phelps Vineyards (dinner at the Freestone Vineyards Guest Center in Freestone)
- LIOCO and Banshee Wines (dinner at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg)
- Martinelli Winery (dinner at the winery in Windsor)
- Red Car Wine and Ramey Wine Cellars (dinner at SHED in Healdsburg)
Starting at either 6:00 or 6:30 pm, the Winemaker Dinners range from $125 to $175 per person. For times, details, and to purchase tickets, please go here.
West of West Wine Festival – August 2
Saturday’s action-packed day for the West of West Wine Festival takes place at The Barlow Event Center (6770 McKinley Avenue, Sebastopol). The former Barlow Apple Factory has been reinvented, creating a place for the community to conduct business, share food, and enjoy art, wine and time together. Bringing together the best local artisans, The Barlow has wineries, breweries, restaurants, specialty retailers, a distillery, a coffee roaster, and also a natural food grocery store.
Day 2 of the West of West Festival begins with a Seminar Series (and lunch):
- From 10:00 am to 11:30 am, the first seminar is “The Evolutions of California Cuisine & Wine” where chefs Stuart Brioza (State Bird Provisions) and Evan Rich (Rich Table) present a food and wine pairing with West Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs and discuss why certain wines work better with certain ingredients and how sourcing and farming philosophies can translate terroir into a dish.
- From 11:30 am to 12:45 pm, lunch is prepared by Rocker Oysterfeller’s and Firefly Fine Catering.
- From 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm, the second seminar is “Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay” which focuses on this vineyard just outside Occidental whose fruit is purchased by some of the best producers in the West Sonoma Coast: Banshee, Ceritas, DuMOL, Flowers, Freeman, Kesner, Littorai, Radio-Coteau, Williams Selyem and Zepaltas. This seminar will explore the vineyard through the lenses of terroir, winemaking technique and regional identity.
After the second seminar, the first 2014 West of West Grand Tasting takes place between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm and offers a rare opportunity to collectively taste the wines of over 40 producers and growers from western Sonoma County. Winery participants include 32 Winds Wine, Banshee Wines, Ceritas, CrossBarn, Flowers Vineyard & Winery, Freeman Vineyard & Winery, Gros Ventre Cellars, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Lattanzio Wines, LIOCO, Littorai, Lynmar Estate, Peay Vineyards, Ramey Wine Cellars, Siduri, Sojourn Cellars and Wayfarer. For a full list of participating wineries, please go here.
Complementing the wines at the Grand Tasting will be a selection of foods from top local purveyors. Tickets for both the August 2nd Seminar Series and the August 2nd Grand Tasting are $200, and tickets for the Grand Tasting alone are $125 per person and either can be purchased by going here.
Wrapping up the day on August 2nd is the West of West Grand Dinner from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm featuring the talent behind three of San Francisco’s hottest restaurants; Nick Balla and Cortney Burns (Bar Tartine), Evan Rich and Sarah Rich (Rich Table), and Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions). Your evening begins with a pre-dinner reception (from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm) featuring local oysters from Hog Island Oyster Company alongside white and rosé wines. Afterwards, the dinner courses will be accompanied by Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs supplied by members of the West Sonoma Coast Vintners. Grand Dinner attendees are also encouraged to bring something from their own cellar to share if they wish.
Tickets for the West of West Grand Dinner are $300 per person, but a Grand Dinner ticket purchase is part of a package deal that also includes admission to the Saturday Grand Tasting earlier that day. If you would rather attend the Grand Tasting on Sunday (instead of Saturday) then just add a note explaining that when you purchase your Grand Dinner Tickets here.
West of West Wine Festival – August 3
Marking the end of this year’s West of West Wine Festival is a second Grand Tasting, but from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm this time. The same wineries and food purveyors will be available as during Saturday’s Grand Tasting but tickets for the Sunday Grand Tasting are only $100 per person.
If you feel like completely indulging in the West Sonoma County wine experience, then please consider purchasing an “All Weekend Pass” for $475 which will gain you entrance into the Saturday Seminars, the Grand Dinner, and both of the Grand Tastings that weekend. Once again, for complete details on the Festival and/or to purchase tickets, please go here.
The West of West Wine Festival is brought to you by the West Sonoma Coast Vintners (WSCV), an association of wineries and growers who are dedicated to preserving and protecting the history, landscape and culture of the West Sonoma Coast, and to promoting its wines.