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Napa/Sonoma, CA Wine Tastings & Events

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April 26-27
2014 marks the 25th anniversary of one of California's pioneering and longest-running wine events - Passport to Dry Creek Valley (April 26-27). Established in 1990, the very first Passport to Dry Creek Valley saw just a few hundred attendees and just a handful of wineries participating; this year 5,000 guests will attend and 50 wineries will open their doors. Each of the wineries adopt a unique theme that transports guests to another place or time; gourmet food, barrel samples and rare vintages are served alongside live entertainment all set against the idyllic backdrop of Dry Creek Valley. For more information, visit www.wdcv.com/events/passport-to-dry-creek-valley.php
 
April 27
Where better to celebrate Earth Day than Green Valley? On Sunday  April 27, from noon to 3 p.m. at Iron Horse Vineyards, join in a toast to Mother Nature with keynote speaker Sandra Day O'Connor. Tickets are $300 for a one hour VIP reception with Justice O'Connor, bubbles and California Caviar at the home of Iron Horse founders Andrey and Barry Sterling - limited to 100 guests, who will then join the Main Event in progress. Tickets are $65 for the Main Event - an outdoor ”eat, drink and be green” festival featuring Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from De Loach Vineyards, Dutton Goldfield Winery, Freeman Winery, Hartford Family Winery, Lynmar, Marinara Estate, MacPhail Family Wines, Ron Rubin Winery and Iron Horse Vineyards. Enjoy a locators's feast by Bravo Top Chef Master Douglas Keane, an all-female Mariachi band, large scale environmental sculptures, a robot demonstration and a short, informal talk by Sandra Day O'Connor. For tickets, visit www.cellarpass.com/tickets_select.aspx?eid=207

 
May 3
Spend time at a beautiful venue in world renowned Yountville, have one-on-one conversations with the marquis names of Napa Valley vintners, enjoy tasting savory bites at the whim of the chef and end your day taking home amazing bottles of small production wines at special event prices. Sound like a good day? You may accomplish all of the above and more at the 6th Annual Sense Yountville, Saturday May 3 at V Marketplace-Vintage Estate. Along with enjoying some of the best the Napa Valley has to offer, you may feel good knowing that your purchases will benefit veterans of current wars. Participating wineries include: Balius, Casa Piena, Mark Herold Wines, Paradigm, Pneu, Realm, Maze Wines, Oakville East, Farella Vineyards, Circadia, Poe, Vineyard House, Red Mare, Sciandri Family Vineyards, Trinchero Estates, Dominus, Ghost Block, Lobo Wines, Marston Family Vineyards & more. The event is limited to 350 guests to maintain quality of both food and wine on offer. Tickets are available online at www.senseyountville.com or call 707-944-5625.
 
May 4
V. Sattui Winery is inviting dogs and their two-legged friends to enjoy a day of fun and sun at the inaugural V. Sattui “Pamper Your Pooch Day” from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., May 4. A portion of all sales from the day will be donated to Napa Humane. Guests are welcome to participate in the “Cutest Dog Contest” and Doggie Vineyard Stroll; enjoy special gourmet canine snacks compliments of Fideaux Outfitters for Dogs and Cats; and pick up a “S’wag Bag” with goodies and special offerings. The first 100 guests to check-in to the event through Yelp! will receive a special doggie bandana, and a new line of V. Sattui-branded doggie wear will be available for purchase in the winery's Marketplace. Guests at “Pamper Your Pooch Day” may also purchase a copy of the just-released National Geographic guidebook, “The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel,” and have it signed by the author, Kelly E. Carter, who will be enjoying the day’s offerings with her own dog, Lucy. There will also be professional portraits taken by esteemed local pet photographer, Diane Costello of Fog Dog Studios, who will be donating all of the day’s photo proceeds to Napa Humane. Throughout the day, dog-lovers will also be welcome to picnic and play catch and Frisbee on the private vineyard-view lawn, which is normally reserved for private events. In honor of the warm spring weather, freshly barbequed tri-tip, prawns, ribs, and made-to-order wood-fired pizzas are available; and, as always, guests are invited to savor V. Sattui’s 60+ highly-rated wine offerings, deli salads and 200+ cheeses.
 
May 10-11
The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa invites everyone to celebrate the "Taste of Summer" during its second annual First Blush event this Mother's Day Weekend (May 10-11, 2014). The weekend starts off on Saturday with a light wine (rosé, Sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, Rieslings and sparkling wines from the Napa Valley and throughout California) and beer tasting (including beers from Napa Smith Brewery, located just 2 minutes from the resort), plus special creations from the Meritage's award winning culinary team. On Sunday, it is followed up with Mother's Day Brunch fit for moms and families of all ages. Tickets for the Taste the Lighter Side of Summer event are available for $30, a portion of each ticket sale will benefit Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa to support Breast Cancer awareness. Mother’s Day Brunch is $54.95 per person, children 12 and under are $15. A discount is available for guests who purchase tickets to both events in advance online through www.TheMeritageResort.com ($25 for First Blush and $49 per person for brunch). Special room rates are available for event attendees the night of May 10 at The Meritage Resort and Spa. Room Reservations can be made by calling 707-251-1900.  The Meritage Resort and Spa, 875 Bordeaux Wy., Napa, CA 94558, 707-251-1900.
 
May 16-18
This year’s Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, to be held May 16-18, will not only showcase Anderson Valley Pinot Noir as we know it, but celebrate the versatility of the grape. More than 45 producers will pour everything from Pinot Noir Blanc to Blanc de Noirs, Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, and more at this 17th annual event. The Festival, put on by the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, kicks off on Friday, May 16 with a day-long technical conference aimed at members of the trade and avid Pinot consumers. Conference topics include: viticulture and winemaking in a drought; the multiple personalities of Pinot Noir (from Pinot Noir Blanc to rosé and more); a tasting of Angel Camp Vineyard Pinot Noirs; a presentation by Clark Smith on his book, “Postmodern Winemaking,” and how it applies to Pinot Noir; and more. The technical conference will be followed by a casual, outdoor barbecue at Foursight Wines, featuring grilled lamb and other delicacies from Bones Roadhouse in Gualala, Calif., plus live music from locals Dean Titus & The Coyote Cowboys. Pinot Noirs from a variety of producers will be on offer to pair with the meal. After a press tasting on Saturday morning, the grand tasting will again take place in the vineyards at Goldeneye Winery in Philo. The many styles of Pinot Noir on offer will be paired with Karina’s Paella (including a live cooking demonstration), local smoked salmon and sausages from Roundman’s Smoke House, Pennyroyal Farmstead cheeses, wood-fired pizzas from Piacci Pizza, cookies from The Mendocino Cookie Company and other delicious bites. There will also be live music and a silent auction to benefit the valley’s only medical facility, the Anderson Valley Health Center in Boonville. On Saturday evening, May 17, local wineries will host three winemaker dinners in Anderson Valley. This year’s dinners include: Navarro, Lichen and Goldeneye at the Boonville Hotel; Roederer, Harmonique and Husch at Roederer Estate; and Handley, Bink and Greenwood Ridge at Handley. The weekend will conclude on Sunday, May 18 with open houses at Anderson Valley wineries, featuring special tastings, educational talks, music and food. Tickets for the 17th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival go on sale March 15 at www.avwines.com.
 
June 21
Participate in a very special and limited tasting featuring wines produced exclusively from Bacigalupi Vineyards at the 3nd Annual Bacigalupi Vineyard Designate Tasting on June 21, 2013 from 1 p.m. to p.m. The goal of the tasting is to show the cohesiveness of wines made from a specific vineyard. Each winery the family selected excels in maintaining the presence of the vineyard but expresses individual winemaking styles. Enjoy a varietal food pairing and live music. Complimentary logo glass included. All proceeds to benefit The Guardsmen. Tickets cost $90 per person / $75 for Wine Club members. For tickets, visit http://johntylerwines.com/bacigalupi-vineyard-designate-tasting
 

Ongoing
Rubicon Estate has three wine tasting options ranging from $15-50. The $25 and $50 options include a half- hour walking tour. While at the estate, guests can also view Francis Ford Coppola's extensive collection of pre-cinematic devices including Magic Lanterns and Zoetropes. The child-friendly winery provides wooden sailboats for kids to play with in the courtyard fountain. For more information, visit www.rubiconestate.com.
 
Ongoing
Wine country visitors can benefit from a collaboration among 152 vintners and 50 lodgings in Sonoma County, together known as the Wine Road. For $25 for a day's exploration, or $50 for three days in the area, Sonoma travelers can obtain the new Ticket to the Wine Road, allowing for discounts, complimentary tastings, private tours, and other amenities at all participating locales. Benefits vary. For a list of wineries and lodging, or to purchase tickets, visit www.wineroad.com.
 
Ongoing
The Signature Bar at J Vineyards and Winery presents daily wine-only tastings, featuring wines such as Cuvée 20, Russian River Valley Chardonnay; Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and Russian River Valley Pinotage. Tastings run all day, and cost $20 for five pours of wine. For more information, call 707-431-3646 or visit www.jwine.com. The Signature Bar, J Vineyards and Winery, 11447 Old Redwood Hwy., Healdsburg, CA 95448, 707-431-3646.
 


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RECOMMENDED WINE SHOP
For additional information on wine events, please contact:

Dean & DeLuca
607 South St. Helena Highway
St. Helena, CA 94574
707-967-9980



Celebrate the arrival of spring with the season's finest special releases, including a grapefruit DIPA, a smoked beer and a sour saison ale.

Enjoy the recent rye Renaissance by downing these fine whiskeys straight or hearken back to their heyday and mix them in an Old-Fashioned.