5 Things to Do in Wine Country This Month

At the height of summer, day trips turn into weekend getaways for the high season of festivals. Escape to wine country for these signature wine events from Mendocino to Monterey.

Head south to beautiful Carmel for a grand tasting of Monterey wines
Over 40 vintners will pour 150 wines at the 20th annual Winemakers Celebration tasting on August 11 in Carmel between 1 pm – 4 pm. Monterey’s signature wines are cool climate chardonnay and pinot noir, influenced climatically by one of the world’s deepest and coldest submarine canyons. $35 pp/$45 at the door. The Barnyard, Carmel.

Discover the best of Napa Valley’s past and future in a single day at the Next Generation Winemakers seminar

Culinary Institute of America

A dozen young winemakers representing 2nd, 3rd and 5th generation Napa Valley vintners share their challenges and hopes for the future at the “Toast to the Future: the Next Generations” seminar and wine tasting on August 18 from 9 am – 2 pm in the historic 19th century stone building that is home to the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

The seminar is followed by an al fresco lunch in the lush Victorian gardens of another historic Napa Valley property at Spottswoode Estate, with an optional tour of the the vineyards and winery. The event is part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Napa Valley Wine Library Association which supports one of the most comprehensive wine libraries in the country at the St. Helena Public Library. $95 pp. 2555 Main Street, St. Helena.

Make a pilgrimage to the cradle of Anderson Valley winemaking at Edmeades’ new tasting room

Though Italian-American loggers made zinfandel wines at home in coastal Mendocino in the 19th century, the commercial wine industry really began when Donald Edmeades planted grapes in Anderson Valley in 1963. Edmeades inspired regional leaders like Ted Bennett of Navarro Vineyards – who worked harvest at Edmeades in October 1972 – to begin their own quality wine estates and a classic wine region was born. After being closed to the public for a decade, Edmeades opens its doors again, featuring a traditional wine of the region, zinfandel. 5500 Highway 128, Philo.

If you decide to stay in Anderson Valley, The Madrones just added two additional luxury guest quarters to their Mediterranean-style retreat which also features local vintner tasting rooms and periodic workshops in handcrafted foods. 9000 Highway 128, Philo. 

Unwind on the Napa Riverfront during Blues, Brews & BBQ

Head to Downtown Napa on August 25 for an afternoon of Blues, Brews & BBQ, where three music venues, 20 microbrews from the Backyard Beer Garden and dozens of BBQ offerings will keep you grooving in high spirits. 1 – 6 pm. Admission free, food and beverage available for purchase. 1st and Main Streets, Downtown Napa.

The best all-Sonoma wine-tasting of the year during Sonoma Wine Weekend

Image courtesy of E & J. Gallo

The 33rd annual Taste of Sonoma, taking place on September 1 from 11 am – 4 pm, is the wine tasting event everyone waits for all year long. During the event, more than 170 wineries will pour over a thousand wines alongside 60 local chefs who will be serving up creative and filling bites. Held in a beautiful part of Russian River Valley that few people see, the tasting at MacMurray Ranch helps consumers navigate vast Sonoma wine country with separate tasting tents for each regional appellation. If you can tear yourself away form the tasting, check out the food and wine seminars and cooking demos too. $150 pp. 9015 Westside Road, Healdsburg.

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