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Road tripping for wine tastings

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If you can get away this month to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, do so. Many wineries are offering special holiday tastings and special pricings, and the vineyards are absolutely beautiful in their fall colors.

Cabernet Blending Seminar at the friendly St. Supery Winery on Saturday, Nov. 3.A tutored tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon components (Bordeaux varieties) with one of St. Superys wine educators. Learn about the grape varieties used in Bordeaux blends, and what they contribute to a Meritage blend. Try your hand at creating your own blend to take home. Reservations required. St. Supery is located at 8440 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford. $75 per person; from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (800) 942.0809 ext. 58 to make required reservations.There will be a week-long Women in Wine celebration at Copia, which is located at 500 First St. in Napa. There will be wine-maker dinners, wine tasting, guest speakers, all celebrating womens contributions to wine making. Various fees, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. (888) 51.COPIA for info.The following weekend offers a great opportunity for Petite Sirah lovers at Markham Vineyards. There will be a sampling of vintage Petite Sirahs, followed by a dinner with producers of this variety. Markham is located at 2812 St. Helena Highway North, St. Helena. The tasting and sit down dinner will cost $150, starting at 6 p.m. Call (707) 620-0788 for reservations.The tasting room, Back Room Wines in Napa, will be conducting a tasting on wines for Thanksgiving. Youll be able to taste six or seven affordable wines to pair with all the courses of your Thanksgiving dinner. All wines poured will be on sale at a special 10 percent off this night only. Back Room Wines, 974 Franklin St., Downtown Napa. The fee is $19, it starts at 5 p.m. No reservations are required. Call (707) 226-1378 for further information. On Nov. 10 there will be a benefit auction held at the Clos Pegase winery, featuring wineries including Rubicon, Harlan, Shafer, Lokoya, and Darioush and Grace Family.For $85, there will be dinner, wine sampling and a chance to bid on vacations, unforgettable dinners, and rare wines in big bottles from the participating wineries. The auction begins at 6 p.m. Call (415) 987-0083 for reservations. Clos Pegase is located at 1060 Dunweal Lane in Calistoga.In Yountville, at the Yountville Community Hall, 6516 Yountville Drive, there will be another auction. This one features the artwork of Johnny Clay, and the world of wine with featured wineries like Calistoga Cellars and Mumm Napa Valley. A traditional dinner of cedar planked salmon will be served. There will be a silent auction for locally donated items. $45 per person in advance, $55 at door, 5 to 9 p.m. (707) 256-3561 Also on Nov. 10, at Wineries of Napa Valley, a tasting room located at 1285 Napa Town Center, you will be able to sample caviar appetizers paired with boutique Napa Valley wines. This tasting will be held between 4 and 6 p.m., and costs $10. Call (707) 253-9450 for more.This is also the annual Silverado Trail Pass weekend. For a $30 fee you will be given a pass that offers tastings of wines at the 12 participating wineries located along the Silverado Trail. The sampling will be of current releases and barrel tastings as well, with food pairings, and special wine discounts being offered.Wine Education Benefit: Pass Holders will enjoy current release tastings at each of the 12 participating wineries along with barrel samples, food pairing, special discounts, library wines, and more! A portion of all Silver Pass sales will go to the Napa County Unified School District to benefit the Books for Preschoolers program. Each winerys actual offering will vary. $30 for a Full Weekend Pass, $20 Sunday only. Call (866) 844-9463 to learn more. On Nov. 15, at Copia, there will be a Beaujolais Nouveau celebration. All over France on the third Thursday in November, the arrival of this year Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrated. Copia is offering sampling of the delicious 2007 Beaujolais Nouveaux and small food plates. Located at 500 First St., Napa. Free admission; wine and food costs vary. From 6 to 8 p.m. (888) 51.COPIAThe weekend of Nov. 17 and 18, there will be the Carnerous Holiday celebration when fifteen Carneros wineries will hold an open house weekend. Sample and purchase great wines, enjoy tasty treats, browse interesting arts and crafts, listen to lively music, meet the winemakers and winery owners. Admission includes a Holiday in Carneros logo glass, wine tasting and unique offerings planned by the individual wineries. The fee is $25. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Call (800) 909-4352 for more.

On Nov.10 at Nicholson Ranch Winery, they will be hosting a lobster boil with wines. Starting at 6 p.m. there will be wine and cheese offered on the patio as you watch the lobster pots boil. Dinner is at 7 p.m., followed by dessert and tastes of their 05 estate Merlot in the tasting room. This event will cost $95 to attend. The winery is located at 4200 Napa Road in Sonoma. Call (707) 938-8822 to make reservations.On Thursday, Nov. 15, there will be an exceptional tasting of high-end wines held at Healdsburg Inn at the Plaza in Healdsburg. For $50, you will have the chance to sample Opus One, Silver Oak, Napa, Beringer Private Reserve, and nine more wines of this caliber. This tasting will be guided by wine expert Tom Simoneau , and begins at 6:30 p.m. Call (877) 759-1004 to make the required reservation.On Saturday, Nov. 17 at Seghesio Winery, 14730 Grove St., Healdsburg, they will be hosting a release party and pasta tasting. You will be able to sample the newly released 05 Sangiovese andamp; the 05 Rockpile Zin, while sampling Italian pastas. The cost is $25, and will run from 5 to 8 p.m. Call (707) 433-7764.Thanksgiving weekend in the valley offers many fun events to choose from.Blackstone Winery, along with 20 other Sonoma Valley wineries, will be hosting special tastings and holiday treat samplings. The cost of this event is $30 per person, and runs from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. For tickets and information, call (707) 431-1131 On Nov. 23 and 24 Kunde Estate will be hosting a holiday open house. Complimentary samples of their newest releases will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, at 9825 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. Call (707) 833-5501, ext. 331 for further information.Pedroncelli Winery., 1220 Canyon Road, Geyserville, will be offering samples of their current release wines, including their award winning 02 Port paired with Berts Desserts chocolate Port truffles. This free event will start at 11 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. both Nov. 23 and 24. (800) 836.3894Nov. 24 and 25, take a trip to the 24th Annual Holiday Heart of Sonoma Valley Open House Celebration: The 24th Annual Holiday Open House will feature17 wineries throughout Sonoma Valley. Purchasing a ticket for $20 will allow you to enjoy wine tastings, meet winemakers, tour caves and cellars of the participating wineries. The time: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., both days. For more, call (866) 794-9463.Tonight the Pour House in Truckee will have wine-maker Jeffrey Popick, pouring and talking about Chameleon Cellars of Napa wines, which he makes. This local event is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Jibboom Street in beautiful downtown Truckee.Janice Jones is a Truckee resident and wine consultant. Reach her at sierrafinewines@yahoo.com.


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