This piece originally ran in the Ukiah Daily Journal newspaper on Thursday, June 18, 2015
The 2012 vintage of Coro Mendocino wines will be first tasted at a 2012 Coro Release Dinner on tonight, June 18th from 6:00-8:00pm at SIP Mendocino in Hopland. A catered light dinner will be served at the event. Tickets are only $10 each. Stop reading this column, pull out your cell phone, and call (707) 744-8375 right now to secure your tickets before they are sold out.
For those who just stumbled upon my column anew, Coro Mendocino is a wonderful wine program that allows any Mendocino County winery to make a Zinfandel blend, supported largely by historic heritage field blend varieties, in a cooperative manner, with a who’s who of the best local winemakers working together to help make each individual winery’s Coro blend the best wine it can be, through multiple blind tastings of barrel samples and a pass/fail blind quality assurance tasting.
The wineries that produced 2012 vintage Coro blends are Barra, Brutocao, Clos du Bois, Golden, McFadden, Parducci, Ray’s Station, and Testa.
With each of the Coro wines priced at about $40, this is an opportunity to be among the first to taste effectively $320 in wine, and enjoy a light dinner, all for just $10. Why are you still reading and not calling?
June 19-21 is the time to visit the wineries and (oh yes!) distilleries of Redwood Valley.
The 24th annual Father’s Day weekend A Taste of Redwood Valley event kicks off with the Winemaker Dinner at Barra of Mendocino on Friday, June 19 from 6:00-9:00pm. Start off with reception tastes from Barra/Girasole, Brown Family, Frey, Graziano, Giuseppe/Neese, Silversmith, and Testa, then move on to a dinner featuring and antipasto buffet of Italian meats, cheeses, olives, and fresh baguettes; salad with grilled eggplant and roasted red peppers; Italian style roulade served with a red wine gravy and fresh crusty bread for dipping, and a creamy three cheese tortellini; grilled fresh summer garden vegetables; and for dessert a cannoli served on a chocolate drizzle with a dollop of whipped cream accompanied by late harvest wines, ports, and liqueurs and spirits from Germain-Robin and Craft Distillers. Dinner tickets are $65.
On Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21, from 11:00am-5:00pm each day, a $35 ticket includes wine tasting, gourmet foods, logo glass, gift drawings, musical entertainment, and more at Barra/Girasole, Brown Family, Craft Distillers, Frey, Germain-Robin, Graziano, Giuseppe/Neese, Silversmith, and Testa. New this year: local restaurants and caterers will be at each winery location, serving up delicious Italian food, and vying for your votes in a pasta cook-off, as part of the included ticket price event experience.
Save $10 on the three day package, and attend the dinner and two days of tasting fun for just $90.
Wine, food, and spirits. For more information, visit http://www.atasteofredwoodvalley.com or call (707) 485-0322.
On Friday, June 26, the Funky Dozen will be in concert at Nelson Family Vineyards between Ukiah and Hopland. The Funky Dozen blends fun and funk to keep people on the dance floor all night long. Doors open at 5:30 and the music starts at 6:00pm. Tickets are $13 in advance and $20 at the door.
The site is casual so please bring blankets and chairs. Enjoy delicious, handcrafted wines and local beers, along with a tasty dinner prepared by Ingram Eatz Barbeque. Of course, pleased do not bring outside alcoholic beverages.
On Saturday, June 27, make your way to Lakeport’s Library Park for The Winefest, a celebration of Lake County’s amateur wine & beer makers running from 1-5pm. There will also be premium Lake County wineries, music, food, raffles, an auction, and art & craft vendors; and the event benefits the Lake County Symphony and Youth Orchestra.
Tickets are just $20 in advance, or $25 at the event. For vendor information and advance ticket outlet info, call (707) 277-8172 or (707) 277-7076.
I will definitely be attending, as I get to serve a wine judge for the event’s wine competition. If you are a home winemaker, and you make a wine from Lake County grapes, call the numbers above and get your wine entered into the competition.
My favorite wine event of the year is less than one month away, and tickets are already selling well. Now is the time to sign up for the Annual McFadden Farm Party, set for Saturday, July 11, from 5:00pm-late.
I run the McFadden Farm Stand & Tasting Room for Guinness McFadden, but I would buy a ticket to this event every year even if I didn’t work for McFadden.
Held the second Saturday of July every year, which makes planning for our wine club members from around the country easy, this is not your ordinary wine club dinner event.
First, it is open to the public, not just wine club members, and second, this is not a mere winery or vineyard, but a gorgeous, secluded, 500 acre bio diverse farm and there is so much more to do than just eat and drink…although I do love to eat and drink.
Folks show up early in the day and set up tents or park campers and RVs, then play in the Russian River beneath the spill way of Guinness’ hydroelectric plant, wander the farm taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of a real working organic family farm, from our grass fed beef to fresh herb gardens and grape vineyards to fruit orchards. Guests check in at around 5:00pm and enjoy a wine & appetizer reception, and some choose to tour the farm with Guinness. There is a sit down BBQ feast, featuring Magruder pork and lamb and farm to table vegetable, salad, and dessert dishes plus more McFadden wine and bubbly throughout. The Kelly McFarling Band will perform, and dancing goes late into the night. Most years, someone jacks an iPod into the sound system, so music and revelry can continue into the early morning hours. Overnight camping is encouraged and a fun time is had by all.
Tickets are all inclusive and priced at $85 for the general public, $70 for McFadden Wine Club members (limit two per membership), and $20 for children 12 and under.
Visit or call the McFadden Farm Stand & Tasting Room in Hopland at (707) 744-8463 to get your ticket before they are gone.