The early morning 6.1 earthquake that jolted the Bay Area yesterday won’t put a damper on Sonoma Wine Country Weekend 2014, taking place Aug. 29-31. The annual Labor Day weekend event kicks off as planned on Friday with Sonoma Starlight, a haute evening full of world-class wines, scrumptious cuisine, live music, and dancing under the stars poolside at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Estate Vineyards snags the spotlight on Saturday with the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, the flagship event, holding court Sunday on the Great Lawn at Chateau St. Jean, which will be transformed into the plains of Africa. At the auction, which raises money for Sonoma County charities, not only can you meet and mingle with vintners, but bid on the most luxurious and exclusive experiences yet during Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. Some of our fave experiences are:
- Sparkling Spain with the Ferrer Family: Here’s your chance to hang with members of the Ferrer family in Barcelona, the heritage home of Gloria and José Ferrer. You’ll dine with the duo at their 12th century homestead farmhouse, plus tour the Freixenet winery, take a tapas class, visit a museum and trek to the top of Monserrat with your new family.
- The Safari of a Lifetime by the Gallo Family: Mix the thrill of wildlife adventure with luxury accommodations with this escape to Africa trip, designed by the Africa travel experts at Bushtracks. For the safari aficionado that is up for a helicopter tour of Victoria Falls, deluxe meals in luxury camps and wines personally selected by Matt Gallo, this is for you.
- Hamel Family Wines Presents: Six Cooks in the Kitchen: Too many cooks don’t spoil the soup when the chefs are Gary Danko, Craig Stoll of Delfina, Nancy Oakes of Boulevard, Tory Miller of L’Etoile, Barbara Lynch of No. 9 Park, and Belinda Leong of Manresa and b. patisserie. These six all-star chefs will collaborate to create a six-course feast that you will never forget, all paired with Hamel Family wines.
- Dream Kitchen & Experience with DeLoach: Those who desire to make more than reservations can bid on the chance to acquire the kitchen of their dreams with a trip to New York to select BOSCH Benchmark Kitchen appliances. While in the Big Apple, you’ll enjoy a private dinner in the showroom prepared by Jean-Charles Boisset and Chef Michel Cornu as well as tour the Food & Wine magazine test kitchen.
- Indy 500 Thrills with The Three Steves: Have a need for speed? Then you’ll have a blast at the 2015 Indianapolis 500 when you roar into town with the Three Steves: Steve Sangiacomo, Steve Dutton and Sonoma Raceway President Steve Page. You’ll not only get close to all the action, you’ll also have a private tour of the pits and garages, and meet Indy500 Racer Charlie Kimball.
You don’t have to worry about being outbid when you book a meal with a winemaker. Winemaker lunches, dinners and a barbecue are parts of the festivities on tap at Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.
“We are very fortunate that the quake was short lived and the damage was minimal here,” said Ken Fischang, president/CEO of Sonoma County Tourism. “Sonoma County is open to receiving visitors, from the rolling vineyards to the towering redwood forests and out to the Pacific Ocean beaches. We do ask for patience as the clean up progresses. Our thoughts and prayers are with our Napa neighbors. It will only be a matter of time before all of Northern California’s famed Wine Country is fully back in business.”
As of today all businesses in Napa County’s American Canyon, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga areas, as well as many in the town of Napa, are open per their regular schedules.
See you in wine country!