Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Part I 2 min read

There is a rather magical affair that takes place during August 30th – September 1st, Labor Day weekend, called the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. It’s the most comprehensive, and arguably the most enjoyable, wine and food celebration in Sonoma County. Established in 2008, it’s an annual event which raises funds for a variety of charitable causes. The charity’s grants support vintners and growers foundations and children’s programs, such as various Boys and Girls Clubs of Sonoma County.


The centerpiece of the event is a walk-around tasting at MacMurray Ranch. It features a staggering 200 wineries pouring some of their most highly sought after wines. In addition, over sixty chefs work their magic to please your palates with every imaginable food pairing.


It culminates in the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction which is held on a sprawling lawn at Chateau St Jean Winery.  Here guests can contribute to a great assortment of charities as well as take home coveted offerings such as lifestyle packages and fabulous, one-of a-kind, wine lots.  Quite amazing is the “Denim and Diamonds Party” hosted by the Gallo family and Kate McMurray; catered by their neighbor, Bruce Aidells. Yep, the famed Bruce Aidells, whose sausages are sold in every supermarket nationwide. Alternatively, you can test your winemaking chops under the tutelage of the great Bob Cabral of William Selyem, and make ten cases of your very own cult wine. Perhaps you are a sports and wine fan? Go ahead and bid on a trip to 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. (Did I mention that you will be traveling and consuming tasty beverages with famed vintners, Dan Kosta and Michael Browne?)


There are countless events that take place during this Labor Day Weekend bacchanalia. The notable hosts include Chateau St Jean Winery and Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Enjoy educational seminars, interactive cooking demos, and intimate vintner-hosted lunches and dinners prepared for your enjoyment by the county’s top chefs.


This wine-celebrity studded affair features honorary chairs from the legendary Gallo Family; whose impressive winery portfolio in Sonoma County includes Laguna, Frei and McMurray Ranch.  Phil Coturri, local grower extraordinaire, and Sonoma’s leading biodynamic viticulturalist, is another important event contributor. The esteemed Honorary Chair list is rounded off by none other than a culinary superstar, Sondra Bernstein, the proprietor of The Girl and The Fig.


This will be an extraordinary and thoroughly indulgent affair for all the senses. Undoubtedly a weekend of gourmet food, fantastic wines and the camaraderie that comes from sharing hedonistic experiences among old, and new, friends. Indulge yourself while supporting a very worthy cause for the local community!


Sonoma County has a piece of my heart and I know it will become a part of yours; all you have to do is show up and take it in.

Ilona Thompson

Ilona Thompson is Editor-in-Chief at PalateXposure, a destination site for oenophiles, gourmands and luxury travelers. She also recently launched #Wine, a site dedicated to wines and spirits reviews, and #Photography, a site devoted to high-quality wine, food, and travel related photography.

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