October happenings in California’s wine country
Harvest is in full swing in all of Californias wine growing regions making this an ideal time to get away and be part of this years crush. The following are some events that you may want to participate in on your wine country getaway.NapaOn Sunday Oct. 5, starting at 1 p.m., famous chef and winery owner Michael Chiarello will be hosting a harvest party at Chiarello Vineyards in St. Helena. Entry to this food, music and special wine tasting is the purchase of one case of his wine. Call (707) 256-0750.On the following weekend, Oct. 11-12, sample some of my favorite California ports at Prager Port Works and toast the harvest season at 1281 Lewelling Lane in St. Helena. The fee is $10, and tastings begin at 10:30 a.m. Dont miss trying their house-made candied nuts along with the port. Call (707) 963-7678. Also on the 11th, Paraduxx Winery, 7257 Silverado Trail in Napa, will be presenting their 2006 vintage to sample. In addition, the winery will be conducting a hands-on blending seminar and offering great food from local restaurants, all for $55 per person. The tasting and seminars begin at 3 p.m. Call (888) 354-8885.St. Supery Winery, 8440 St. Helena Hwy. in Rutherford, continues the month with wonderful wine education experiences for the public. Oct. 18 they will offer a blending seminar, where you will make your own special blend and take it home. On the 25th, St. Supery will be conducting a behind-the-scenes tour explaining the winemaking process from crush to bottle, along with some nice barrel tastings. These are great opportunities to learn about how wines are made. Requires pre-registration, call (800) 942-0809 ext. 58 for times, fees and reservations.Renown wine expert Robert Parker will be conducting a tasting of the 2005 Bordeaux vintage, including Premier Grand Crus. The pricey event, at $2,000, begins at 1:30 p.m. Reservations are required (707) 967-2305.SonomaJ Vineyards will be hosting a weekend release party Oct. 4 to 5, 11447 Old Redwood Hwy. in Healdsburg. Sample their J Cuvee, J 200 vintage Brut and the 1998 Late-Disgorged Brut paired with sushi and other sparkling wine-friendly cuisine. The fee is $25 and they start pouring at 11 a.m. They will also be hosting a Saturday Caviar Seminar at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. for $65/$45 per person. Learn about sustainably-raised caviar, call (800) JWINECO.the Gallo Family will be hosting an annual harvest party from Oct. 12 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the beautiful MacMurray Ranch, of late actor Fred MacMurray. They will roast a whole pig, along with other artisanal foods, offering samples of their award-winning Sonoma wines, along with live music and the chance to visit with wine-maker Gina Gallo. The cost will be $75. The ranch is located at 3387 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. Call (707) 431-5625.For those of you who prefer some exercise with your imbibing take a bike tour Oct. 18 through the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys with vineyard rest stops and a gourmet lunch. The fee is $55, call (707) 894-7848 for more info. Also on Oct. 18 Kunde Winery, 10155 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood, will be conducting a dog-friendly three-mile hike through their 1,850 acre estate. There will be a water bar and treats for your canine pal, and wine tasting and a picnic lunch for you. The hike starts at 9 a.m. and will cost $45 per person. The proceeds benefit the exceptional organization Canine Companions. Call (707) 833-5501 for reservations.Christopher Creek Winery will be offering a free tasting of Dry Creek and Russian River zinfandels. This is a great time to discover the nuances each appellation gives to the wine. The winery is located at 641 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg. The tastings begin at 11 a.m. Call (707) 543-7713.The final weekend of the month, Oct. 24-26 is the annual Pinot On The River festival in Forestville. This is a wonderful chance to sample some of the regions famous and delicious pinots. The Grand Tasting will be on Sunday and the ticket cost is $65. Call (707) 922-1096.MontereyThe 32nd Annual Monterey Wine Festival will take place Oct. 16 at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Oct. 18 at the Monterey Fairgrounds. There will be over 120 wineries pouring 800 wines along with a chance of sampling great foods from area restaurants, along with experts in the food and wine industries conducting various seminars throughout the weekend. Times and fees vary, call (888) 814-9463 or visit http://www.montereywine.com.FoothillsThe always fun Nevada City Winery will be hosting their annual Harvest Party on Oct. 12 from noon to 6 p.m., 381 Spring St. in Nevada City. There will be free food, new release wines and down in the cellar barrel tastings.Over in the El Dorado wine region on Oct. 18 attend a hands-on wine making seminar at Crystal Basin Cellars in Camino at 3550 Carson Road. Call (530) 647-1767 for all the info.Last but not least… TahoeWith the high price for gas why travel when our area offers some outstanding wine events? On Oct. 2 the 4th Annual Passport to Dining will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the North Tahoe Conference Center. Passport to Dining features food and beverages from more than 30 restaurants, wineries and breweries. Also enjoy live music and a large silent and live auction. Tickets now available, discounted for NTBA members. Sponsored by the North Tahoe Business Association. http://www.ntbamainstreet.org .On Friday Oct. 3 The Pour House will be featuring Alfaro Family wines with Richard Alfaro, pouring and talking about his wines. This tasting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at 10075 Jibboom St.The following day is the fantastic Wine Walk andamp; Shop in downtown Truckee. This is one of the must attend events in our area, which offers a chance to sample outstanding wines and delicious foods prepared by the areas top restaurants. The proceeds from this well-attended annual event will benefit the Special Friends programs in local schools. Tickets cost $25 for a fun-filled afternoon with great wines, delicious foods, live music a goodie bag and logo glass. Call 550-2252 for ticket locations.As a very special bonus and a Truckee style kick-off to Breast Cancer Awareness month, the wines from Cleavage Creek vineyards will be available to sample. This winery donates a portion of their profits to benefit breast cancer research, offers positive support via their web site for breast cancer fighters, they also feature a different survivors photo on the bottle of each of their varietals. Visit http://www.cleavagecreek.com.Hope you will be able to enjoy some of these wine events this coming month. Ill see you at the Wine Walk. Janice Jones is a Truckee resident and wine consultant. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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