If you want to taste outstanding wine and do a good deed all at the same time, there are three events coming to San Francisco you should know about because they offer ways to help with wine country recovery. The recent North Bay wildfires have made significant impacts on the people and property of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties and you can help with the areas’ recoveries. The Atlas Fire burned 51,624 acres and the Redwood Valley Fire burned 36,523 acres, but fortunately now both of those are 100% contained. Other major fires in the region are all the way up to 98% contained: Tubbs Fire (36,807 acres), Pocket Fire (17,357 acres) and the Nuns/Adobe/Norrbom/Pressley/Partrick Fire (56,556 acres).
What’s needed now is for visitors to travel to wine country and invest in the local economy. Help can be provided by spending money at local wineries, restaurants, shops and hotels. Alternatively, several charities are accepting financial contributions. If you’d like to plan a trip to Napa, Sonoma and/or Mendocino Counties, you can just click on the navigation bar above at “Favorites By Wine Region” and follow the drop-down menus to see our personal recommendations.
But, what if you can’t come to wine country right now? Well, we’re pleased to share that wine country recovery opportunities are coming directly to the residents of and visitors to the City of San Francisco. During the second week of November, three different wine tasting events take place in the City and your attendance (and possible wine purchases) will support individuals and businesses in these North Bay wine regions. Please review the information below, go have a wonderful time and maybe even start on your holiday shopping.
Wednesday, November 8 – Appellation St. Helena (Napa Valley)
On November 8, the Appellation St. Helena (ASH) organization is hosting a Holiday Wine Experience at the Golden Gate Club (135 Fisher Loop, The Presidio, San Francisco) showcasing ultra-luxury wines from over two dozen wineries between 5:30 pm and 8 pm. You can compare wines from pioneering vineyards dating back to the 1860s including Charles Krug, Pellet Estate, and Varozza Vineyards, to more contemporary producers such as Spottswoode Winery, Corison Winery and Alpha Omega.
Taste wines, nibble on cheese and charcuterie, and enjoy the backdrop of the San Francisco Bay all while you support wine country recovery. Tickets for the event are $75 in advance, or $95 at the door, and only 250 tickets will be sold. ASH will contribute $25 from every ticket sale to the Napa Valley Community Foundation. Please go here to see complete details and to purchase tickets.
Aside from the ones mentioned above, participating wineries at Appellation St. Helena’s Holiday Wine Experience include Ballentine Vineyards, Benessere Vineyards, Calafia Cellars, Monticello Vineyards, Parry Cellars, Prager Winery & Port Works, Raymond Vineyards, Saint Helena Winery, Titus Vineyards and Trinchero Family Estates. If you find something you like that evening, you can also make some on-site wine purchases.
Established in 1875 as the St. Helena Viticulture Club, the non-profit organization Appellation St. Helena is dedicated to promoting the quality of grapes grown in the St. Helena AVA, and the wines produced from the appellation. Comprised of roughly 12,000 acres with more than 400 different vineyards, the association’s members produce world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Thursday, November 9 – Russian River Valley Winegrowers (Sonoma County)
Join Russian River Valley Winegrowers for an amazing tasting experience at their signature wine event, Single Vineyards Night. Over 30 wineries will be pouring small-lot, single vineyard wines from the Russian River Valley, including premier Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.
All of the proceeds from Single Vineyard Night will be dedicated to raising funds for fire relief and rebuilding efforts in Sonoma County. In addition, there are a limited number of VIP tickets guaranteeing entrance one hour earlier along with access to rare, limited release, and “tasting room only” wines. You may already be familiar with Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Gary Farrell Winery, La Crema, and Ramey Wine Cellars. But how about Char Vale Winery, Domaine Della, Friedeman Wines and Square Peg Winery?
The event takes place at the General’s Residence (1 Fort Mason, San Francisco) and attendees can dine on delicious small bites, passed hors d’oeuvres and tasty street tacos between sips. There will also be music and a Silent Auction for even more fun.
Tickets are $85 per person for General Admission between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm, while VIP tickets are $100 each and provide for entrance at 5:30 pm. Other participating wineries include ACORN Winery, Balletto Vineyards, Benovia Winery, Gamba Vineyards and Winery, Kanzler Family Vineyards, MacMurray Estate Vineyards, Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery, Paradise Ridge Winery and Parmeson Wines. Please go here to see complete details and to purchase tickets.
Thursday, November 9 – Anderson Valley Winegrowers (Mendocino County)
Also on November 9th, the Anderson Valley Winegrowers and Taste West Wine Events combine for Taste of Anderson Valley. You can meet the winemakers and make connections with the winegrowers between 6 pm and 8:30 pm at the Golden Gate Club (135 Fisher Loop, The Presidio, San Francisco). You shouldn’t miss this chance for a wine-tasting tour of one of California’s best regions known for standout Pinot Noirs, Sparkling Wines, Chardonnays, Alsatian-style Aromatic White Wines and more.
Pinot Noir fans should know that participating wineries include Baxter Winery, Copain Wines, Drew Family Wines, Foursight Wines, Goldeneye Winery, LIOCO Wines, Littorai Wines, Phillips Hill Winery, Williams Selyem Winery and The Withers.
Tickets for the event are $75 in advance, offering a fun evening of premium wines and small bites. Activities also include a Silent Auction featuring large format hand-signed bottles from participating wine producers. 50% of the auction proceeds will be donated to community agencies supporting wine country recovery efforts such as Community Foundation of Mendocino County, Sonoma County Resilience Fund and Napa Valley Community Foundation.
Anderson Valley Winegrowers is a not-for-profit trade group created to promote the grapes and wines of the Anderson Valley winegrowing appellation. Other members of the association who will be pouring at Taste of Anderson Valley include Angel Camp Vineyard, Balo Vineyards, Handley Cellars, MacPhail Wines, Navarro Vineyards, Pennyroyal Farm, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Roederer Estate and Waits-Mast Family Cellars. Please go here to see complete details and to purchase tickets.
If you are looking for more ways to help with the wildfire recovery efforts, please also check out #CAWineStrong. Wine industry leaders from California’s major winegrowing regions have formed a support network to provide both immediate assistance and long-term aid to victims of the fires. Wine country recovery support efforts include joint fundraising activities and the creation of an online resource database where vintners can find and offer resources such as generators, trailers, lodging and manpower. The website also has information about commitments wineries, breweries, restaurants and others have made regarding discounts and/or sales proceeds in support of fire relief efforts.
Members of the Trade: Appellation St. Helena’s event has a separate tasting experience for you from 3:30 to 5:30 pm on November 8, and Anderson Valley Winegrowers’ Trade Tasting is from 1 pm to 3:30 pm on November 9. Please contact the organizations for more details.