In just a few weeks, the 18th annual Taste Alexander Valley unfolds from May 15-17, 2015, so it might be a good time for you to visit (or revisit) this majestic valley. The festivities begin Friday night with a Magnum Dinner and Barn Dance at a private equestrian ranch. Then, over 25 wineries open their vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms on Saturday and Sunday for an Open House between 11 am and 4 pm where guests can enjoy world class wines, food pairings, live entertainment, vineyard walks and special wine offers.
2015 Taste Alexander Valley is a three-day wine and food event showcasing the wine country lifestyle of this northern Sonoma County of breathtaking mountain views and beautiful vineyard back roads. During the Winery Open Houses on May 16 and 17, these are just some of the wine and food pairings you could enjoy:
- Trione Vineyards and Winery is providing their Sauvignon Blanc paired with Shrimp and Grits
- Arbios/Praxis Cellars is offering both Viognier and Gewürztraminer to combine with Spring Pea and Mint Soup
- Medlock Ames is sharing their Russian River Valley Chardonnay to go along with Truffle Macaroni and Cheese
- deLorimier Winery is pouring a River Lane Primitivo to compliment a Slow Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork Slider
- Robert Young Estate Winery is matching their Merlot with Portabella “Fries” with Parmesan, Chili Flakes and Balsamic Glaze
- Rodney Strong Vineyards is pairing their Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with Charred Beef Shortrib with Argentine Chimichurri & Gold Potato Purée
- White Oak Vineyards & Winery is sharing their Syrah with Blue Cheese Sliders and Caramelized Onions.
Participating wineries on Saturday and Sunday also include Breathless Wines, Field Stone Winery & Vineyard, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Soda Rock Winery, Stonestreet Winery, Stryker Sonoma Winery and Stuhlmuller Vineyards.
Complete details for activities at all of the Winery Open Houses and a map of participating wineries can be found by going here but online tickets are only available until May 12. Passes for both Saturday and Sunday are $70 in advance ($80 at the door) or you can buy a ticket for Sunday only for $50 ($60 at the door). You can also obtain Designated Driver passes for either $45 (both days) or $30 (Sunday only) in advance.
For the first time, the Alexander Valley Winegrowers will kick off the 2015 Taste Alexander Valley weekend with a Magnum Dinner & Barn Dance on May 15 from 6 pm to 9:30 pm at an Equestrian Ranch (1649 Geysers Road, Geyserville). If you attend Friday’s event you will enjoy an evening under the stars featuring a walk-around wine tasting, live music by the band Supermule, hand-selected magnums served by local vintners and a seated gourmet dinner featuring the cuisine of Healdsburg restaurant Valette.
Chef Dustin Valette will join forces with Chef Tim Vallery of Peloton Catering to create a four course family-style dinner at 16 vintner-hosted dinner tables. Some of the table hosts will be representatives from Hawkes Winery, Kelley & Young Wines, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Simi Winery, Stonestreet Winery and Stuhlmuller Vineyards. Tickets for the Magnum Dinner and Barn Dance are $150 per person, but you should go here quickly because they are almost sold out.
Taste Alexander Valley (celebrating its 18th year) is the major event produced each year by the Alexander Valley Winegrowers. Located at the northern end of Sonoma County, the Alexander Valley is 22 miles long and varies in width from two to seven miles. It may be best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, but the gravelly loam soils straddling the river here encourage Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Zinfandel grapes to flourish. Alexander Valley is also a great source of quality Rhone varietals (including Syrah and Viognier).