Photo Credit: George Rose
Sonoma County is the place to be this Labor Day weekend. The county truly doesn’t get any better than during the annual Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, taking place Sept. 4-6 throughout the county. Sonoma County’s signature, and largest, charity event, brings together over 200 of Sonoma’s top winemakers and growers, along with a collection of the area’s best chefs. This year’s edition promises to be as exciting and rewarding as ever—and not just because the honorary chairs are the always entertaining Jean-Charles Boisset, the delightful duo of Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane, and the oh-so-popular Mark and Terri Stark.
Jointly produced by the Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation, all proceeds benefit local Sonoma charities. Since its inception, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, named one of America’s top three wine charity fundraisers, has raised over $16 million for charities that benefit students, children, farm workers and people in need in Sonoma County communities. Last April, a record-breaking total of $3,385,400 in contributions to 84 Sonoma County non-profit organizations was distributed from the wildly successful 2014 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. The record-breaking figure includes over $1,700,000 from the Fund the Future initiative to support children’s literacy programs, which was raised during the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction last August.
The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction is the highlight of the weekend but there’s a bevy of events that lead up to it. For three delicious, decadent days you’ll get up close and personal with Sonoma County’s full bounty of flavors. Rub shoulders with winegrowers, winemakers and chefs, from pioneers to up-and-comers. The festivities feature one main event a day.
- Friday: Sonoma Starlight, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, takes place poolside at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geysersville.
- Saturday: The five-hour Taste of Sonoma is at MacMurray Estate Vineyards in Healdsburg.
- Sunday is the flagship event, the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood.
In addition to the main events, there are also winemaker lunches on Friday, winemaker dinners on both Friday and Saturday and winery barbecues on Sunday.
High rollers, get your paddles ready for the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, the event you truly won’t want to miss. This haute ticket offers you not just passage into the Wine Spectator Auction Tent, but it also allows you to mingle with Sonoma’s finest winemakers, as each table will be presided over by a local vintner or grower who will share not only their finest wines, but great stories, too! This event offers the bidder a selection of rare world-class experiences and wines under the tent. As your afternoon of adventure and gracious giving winds down, retire in the Cigar Lounge for a refreshing respite from the auction’s hustle and bustle. After all this, you certainly have our permission to rest on Monday, Labor Day.
If your Labor Day plans already call for you to be elsewhere, don’t fret. You can still help Sonoma. You can bid high and bid often at the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Online Auction benefiting Sonoma non-profits. This is your chance to take home prized bottles from Sonoma County’s winemakers’ cellars, one-of-a-kind etched bottles and exclusive Sonoma trips and packages. The online auction ends Sept. 25, 2015. For more information, visit SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com.