Originally published in the Ukiah Daily Journal on Thursday, May 29, 2014
A Taste of Redwood Valley
The 23rd annual A Taste of Redwood Valley wine weekend is coming up Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Tickets are $30 online at http://www.ATasteOfRedwoodValley.com and include wine tasting at seven wineries as well as my favorite distillery location — all in the Redwood Valley just north of Ukiah — gourmet food tastes to pair with the wines, a collectible event logo glass, gift drawings at each spot, music, and more over Father’s Day weekend. You can also show up at any participating winery or distiller and pick up a ticket during the event for $35.
Barra of Mendocino/Girasole Vineyards, Brown Family Wines, Frey Vineyards, Germain-Robin/Crispin’s Concoctions, Giusepe Wines/Neese Vineyards, Graziano Family of wines, Silversmith Vineyards, and Testa Vineyards will all be pouring their best wines, pairing them with yummy treats, running sales, and making visitors happy to be spending a weekend in Mendocino County.
There will also be a Winemaker Dinner on Friday, June 13 at 6 p.m., with Brown Family Wines playing host to dinner attendees. If you attended last year’s Friday night Winemaker Dinner at Testa Vineyards, then you remember how delicious the dinner was. With Tia Satterwhite returning to cater the event again this year, folks that attend will be sure to have an enjoyable evening. Tickets are $60 each, also available online. Buying a ticket for both the weekend wine tasting and the dinner saves you a little, with an $85 price for all three days of fun, wine, and dinner.
Coro Release Party
On Saturday, June 28 at 6 p.m., a lucky few will gather at the Little River Inn on the Mendocino Coast for the 2011 Vintage Coro Release Party.
Seating is limited, and reservations are required for this $500 per couple experience.
The evening kicks off with a welcome reception cocktail hour and a pouring of each participating winery’s white and sparkling wine selections paired with passed appetizers. Moving inside, Chef Marc Dym’s multi course gourmet dinner is served and features dishes created to highlight the wines, which are the stars of the evening.
The 2011 vintage saw eight wineries create Coro Wines to the exacting quality standards which set this program apart in the wine industry; they are Barra, Brutocao, Clos du Bois, Fetzer, Golden, McFadden, Parducci, and Testa.
Each couple will take home a full set of the 2011 Coro Mendocino collection, and one lucky couple will have their collection upgraded to a set of Magnums.
There are only 20 or so couple tickets left; call the Little River Inn directly to secure your seats at (707) 937-5942.
Annual Party at McFadden Farm
This was originally a Wine Club BBQ, but has grown over the years and is more inclusive with many attendees who aren’t wine club members coming up to McFadden Farm in Potter Valley for a spectacularly enjoyable party.
Always held on the second Saturday of July — July 12, 2014 this year — tickets are limited to the first 225 who grab them, and with a 500 acre farm as the setting for the party that number seems intimate.
Tickets are $60 each, McFadden wine club members get two tickets at $50 each, and children 12 and under are welcome at $20 each. Tickets are available online at http://www.McFaddenFarm.com or by calling the tasting room in Hopland at (707) 744-8463.
Guests show up at 5: p.m. (or earlier if they want to set up a tent and camp overnight, after the festivities), park and take a hay ride to the event location on the bank of the Russian River where it begins, quickly checked in, then enjoy a welcome glass or two of McFadden wine. Guinness gathers folks who are interested and gives them a walking tour of the farm. The Kelly McFarling Band will play folks into a delicious Mendo simple dinner of grilled Magruder pork and Guntley lamb, with farm to table vegetable, salad, and dessert dishes prepared by CCA graduated chef Anne Fontaine McFadden and her team of chef friends from San Francisco.
Dinner will be served with a collection of award winning, highly rated wines, and the first ever McFadden Brut Rosé will be released for the evening, from the highly acclaimed 2012 vintage.
Raffle prizes are given away, and special sale prices are extended the evening’s guests so everyone can feel like a winner whether they take a raffle prize or not.
D.J. extraordinaire Hal Wagenet also candidate for Mendocino County 3rd District Supervisor – takes over with the music, and the music continues late into the evening.
Wine and bubbly inspired dancing goes on until 11 p.m., or so. I am usually gone before then, but I have heard that some campers have pulled out a boom box and dancing continued into the early morning hours.