Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sonoma’s Wine Country Weekend

Say yes to vino at a delicious upcoming fete



 



Sonoma County, California, has more soil types than the entire country of France. With 17 AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), you’ll find an amazing variety of tastes and terroirs. On one hand, no place could be more sophisticated and upscale. On the other, no place could be warmer, friendlier or more down-to-earth. Somehow, the area has managed to balance both sides into a beautiful blend. A lot like their wines – a perfect marriage of varietals into myriad bottles of viticultural magic. And no time is better to experience this piece of paradise than during Sonoma Wine Country Weekend 2016, coming up Sept. 2-4.
 

The three major events during the weekend couldn’t illustrate the range of experiences more clearly. On Friday night, Sept. 2, the spotlight’s on Sonoma Starlight at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Inspired by Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, the winery’s buildings and grounds set the mood for enjoyment. Grand steps lead up the hillside to the entry patio and the winery tasting room. To the right is a view of a vast public space and a magnificent swimming pool. Of course, on the night of Sonoma Starlight, the view is somewhat obstructed by all the guests, but they make an interesting sight, too.

The evening will be all about wine tasting. Around the huge outdoor deck, areas are set aside for different varietals and styles of wine – last year from 34 different wineries. Another dozen wineries were pouring in the Reserve Wine Room.

Sonoma is as noted for cuisine as for wine. Combine the local growing climate, the burgeoning locavore movement and a plethora of fine chefs and, voila, you are ready for an edible experience. Last year, a variety of vendors at Sonoma Starlight offered treats from Sonoma cheeses and charcuterie through house-cured ham, 14-hour smoked beef brisket, chili-butter roasted corn, blackberry port sorbet and so, so much more.

Guests chatted, danced, tasted, sipped, played bocce and still found time to tour the Coppola Movie Gallery in the tasting building. Golden Oscars stood on a shelf near Don Corleone’s desk from The Godfather movies. A red Tucker auto from Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) rotates slowly on the floor below. Other cases hold memorabilia including elaborate costumes from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Sonoma Starlight tickets are $125 or $175 for reserve privileges.

For visitors to the winery during regular hours, the pool with its European changing-rooms is available to the public, and the restaurant serves lunch and dinner. It was Coppola’s intention to create a place for families, not just for adults.



(clockwise from left)  Pinot Noir grapes at MacMurray vineyards are ready for harvest. |  Different areas of the MacMurray vineyards give unique characteristics to different labels of Pinot Noir. | This view of part of the MacMurray property gives a hint at the variety in the landscape.
 


 

The huge, outdoor party known as Taste of Sonoma is held on the grounds of the MacMurray Estate Vineyards. (Those of a more mature vintage will remember actor Fred MacMurray, and his daughter Kate still has a close association with the vineyards.)

The event features approximately 200 Sonoma wineries and dozens of local chefs. Different tents representing particular AVAs feature wines and food pairings. In the marketplace, stock up on local coffees, sauces, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. Pop-up vendors feature items from duck tacos to paella.

When you purchase your tickets, you’ll have the opportunity to buy tickets to special sessions from cooking sessions to wine talks. At Pair with the Pros last year, Kendall-Jackson Winemaster Randy Ullom and Executive Chef Justin Wangler and their teams presented three dishes and appropriate wines, like a garden crudité with Green Goddess dressing paired with a 2013 Kendall-Jackson Winery Jackson Estate Chardonnay. The other two offerings were equally impressive. These carefully chosen combinations reveal subtle nuances in both wine and food.

This is a casual event calling for cool clothing and sun hats. Booking a shuttle is advised – the traffic’s fierce, and after all the tasting, drivers are hot targets for local police. Event tickets are $165 and $195. Taste of Sonoma sells out quickly – tickets went on sale in mid-May – so if you’re interested, order immediately.

 

The coda to the weekend is the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean. The chateau grounds become a colorful fair with booths and tables of more wineries, vintners, sommeliers and chefs. The highlight of the afternoon, held in a huge, air-conditioned tent, is an elegant luncheon and auction that benefits local charities.

You will find wines among the auction lots, but items range from private dinners to European trips. This is a deep-pocket event, so unless you have thousands – maybe hundreds of thousands – of dollars to throw around, sit on your hands! Last year’s event raised $3.4 million in just a couple of hours. Tickets for this party are $500.



(clockwise from left)  Lively bidding helped raise $3.4 billion for local charities at the Wine Auction. | The California Mission-style Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn was built in 1927. | Umbrellas and canopies shade pre-auction activities at the Wine Auction.
 


 

Even if you attend all the events, you’re going to have a lot of time in the area. Take time to enjoy the wide variety of wineries and tasting rooms. At many of the boutique wineries, the owners are closely involved in the whole growing/winemaking process and will take time to discuss oenology philosophy with you.

The concierge at my host hotel, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, suggested three ways to visit the wineries: chauffeur service to the wineries of your choice; a wine host for a more exclusive private tour; or a group tour. The concierge can arrange all these services.

Although I recommend taking a shuttle to the big events, if you have your own car, you can see a lot easily. And try a number of the interesting restaurants in the area, too.

By the end of the weekend last year, I had been royally wined and dined. I’d sampled dozens of wines and tasted tidbits both beautiful and delicious. Best of all, I’d met people devoted to the land and to producing wines that could compete anywhere in the world. For wine-lovers, who could ask for anything more?

► Photo-Credits: Wine Auction by George Rose Photography; Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn by Elaine Warner

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

The Festival of the Arts’ Legacy

Arts Council OKC director Peter Dolese retraces the origins and expansion of the week-long celebration of creativity that is the Festival of the Arts.

The Natural Touch for Self-Care

Natural products from lotions to fragrances in conscientious self-care that are perfect for a season of renewal.

An Oklahoma Story in Stone

Nearly 150 years after Sophia Pitchlynn died in what was then Indian Territory, her gravestone still stands silent vigil in Garland Cemetery.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

April 2019

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Celebrate Easter with a trip to Andy Alligator’s Fun Park! On Saturday and Sunday, get $5 off an All-Day Pass with our Eggcellent Easter Special. All-Day Passes include Go-Karts,...

Cost: $23.95

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The OSU Symphony Orchestra will conclude the 2018-19 season with Schubert's monumental and majestic Symphony No. 9 in C ("The Great"). The concert opens with The European Anthem,...

Cost: General Admission: $10; Students & Seniors: $7

Where:
Oklahoma State University Department of Music
132 Seretean Ctr
Stillwater, OK  74078
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma State University Department of Music
Telephone: 405.744.6133
Contact Name: Dr. Thomas Dickey
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is giving back to the local neighborhood with Feed Your Smile, a fundraiser supporting Concordia Life Care Community.  Show this flyer on your smartphone or...

Cost: Free

Where:
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
8500 N Rockwell Ave
OKC, OK  73132
View map »


Sponsor: Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Telephone: 405-792-5112
Contact Name: Katy Fabrie
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

"Deliberately silencing the internal chatter and not overthinking. Conscious, but not over-trying. With this approach, things just seem to happen—it’s where all the substance is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Individual Artists of Oklahoma
706 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Individual Artists of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.412.2541
Contact Name: David Smith

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A Sporting Chance will host the 25th annual Track and Field Meet at Branson Junior High in Branson, Missouri. A Sporting Chance provides year-round sports and recreation programs designed for those...

Where:
Branson Junior High
263 Buccaneer Boulevard
Branson, MO  65616
View map »


Sponsor: A Sporting Chance
Telephone: 404-314-2188
Contact Name: Hannah Schachinger

More information

Shop over 200 vendors at this indoor event with everything from vintage furniture, retro and mid-century decor to handmade goods, antiques, industrial finds and architectural salvage!

Cost: $5 at the door, 13 and under free

Where:
Heritage Place
2829 S. MacArthur
Oklahoma City, OK  73128
View map »


Sponsor: Junk Hippy
Contact Name: Kristen Grandi
Website »

More information

This one-day festival is rooted in the printing of large-scale woodblocks carved by local Oklahoma artists. We bring in a 5-ton steamroller and print pre-carved blocks throughout the day on Tyvek...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Evan
Website »

More information

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Andy Alligator's is celebrating teachers! On Saturday and Sunday, teachers with a valid ID will receive a FREE All-Day Pass and $5 off for each family member! An All-Day Pass includes...

Cost: Teachers receive a FREE All-Day Pass; family members get $5 off

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

More information

Get a sample of the nightlife of Spain at Tulsa Botanic Garden's "Viva La Vida." The Garden is bringing star chef Jamie Bissonnette (Toro restaurants in Boston, NYC, Bangkok and...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

2nd annual gathering of "The Big Lebowksi" fans at The Dude Abides OKC All Oklahoma City Urban Achievers, Abiders and Coen Brothers fans are invited to join us at Fassler Hall OKC and...

Cost: Free, contests have entry fee

Where:
Fassler Hall
421 NW 10th
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Revolve Productions
Telephone: 405.810.6977
Contact Name: Tobi Coleman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags