Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Special Events in Wine Country

Nary a week goes by without individual wineries or groups of wineries having special events to entice folks to visit.  It's hard to keep track of all of the festivals, special tastings, and food pairings being offered.  Some of the more fun events are offered by the associations that represent wineries in particular regions.

The Wine Road Northern Sonoma County represents the wineries in the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys of Sonoma County.  Its website has a good listing of events in this part of wine country.  The Wine Road offers three major events each year, Winter Wineland (1/16 & 17), Barrel Tasting (3/6, 7, 13, & 14), and A Wine and Food Affair (11/6 & 7).  In addition, Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley offers Passport to Dry Creek Valley on April 24 and 25.  Russian River Valley Winegrowers has its annual Grape to Glass on August 20 - 22.  Finally, the Alexander Valley Winegrowers has an annual Taste of the Alexander Valley, usually during the first weekend in June.  (2010 dates have yet to be announced.)

The Anderson Valley Winegrowers has two annual events.  The first is the International Alsace Varietals Festival on February 20 and 21.  Later in the year, they celebrate Pinot Noir at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival from May 14 to 16.

The Lodi Wine and Visitor Center sponsors a Wine and Chocolate Weekend on February 13 and 14 and celebrates Zinfandel at the ZinFest from May 14 to 16.

The 20th annual Savor Sonoma Valley is being held on March 20 and 21 by the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance.  The Alliance also sponsors Passport to Sonoma Valley on May 15 and 16, 2010.

Hospitality de Los Carneros offers two events each year:  April in Carneros on April 17 and 18 and Holidays in Carneros on November 20 and 21.

The wineries along the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley have their own association, the Silverado Trail Wineries Association, which sponsors an annual Silver Pass Weekend.  The 2010 date has yet to be announced.

This is just a small sample of wine-related events in Northern California.  Monterey wineries sponsor events, as do those in Paso Robles and the Sierra Foothills.  It's tough to keep track of all the fun things to do in wine country.  The best resource I have found is Local Wine Events.  Visit the website for listings of wine events throughout the country.  You can also subscribe to the free, weekly newsletter of events in the regions of your choice.

If you would like to have a private tour of wine country during one of these events, please contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 or Rick@BlueHeronTours.com.

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