Most people, when they come visit me in the San Francisco Bay Area and ask to be taken to wine country, assume that they’re going to Napa. But at least half the time, that’s definitely not where we end up.
My well meaning friends aren’t the only ones who seem to forget that Northern California has many different “wine countries.” Napa casts a long shadow, as it were.
I’ve got a bit of love for every piece of wine country we’ve got here in California, but there’s a special place in my heart for Sonoma County, both because it is the place of my birth, but also because I think sometimes it gets short shrift compared to its more famous neighbor.
Sonoma County is several different wine regions rolled up into one — from the chilly fog of the Sonoma Coast and Carneros, to the cool Green Valley and Russian River Valley, to the warmer climes of Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Mountain, Alexander Valley, and the Sonoma Valley — many different micro-climates and many different wines, from sparkling to Pinot Noir to Zinfandel to Cabernet.
The main problem, however, is that all these regions lay spread out over a wide area, much wider than the relatively (in comparison) compact Napa Valley. So experiencing the breadth of Sonoma can be time consuming, no matter how fulfilling it usually ends up being.
So while it’s a good idea for wine lovers to pay more attention to Sonoma in general, there is one event each year when any self-respecting wine lover should be thinking of nothing but Sonoma. It’s gone through many incarnations over the last 10 years, but is now named Taste of Sonoma.
It’s a single day chance to experience the breadth of Sonoma County’s wine AND food offerings in all their glory (and a damn fine way to spend a Labor Day Weekend).
Held at the Green Music Center on the campus of Sonoma State University, the event features seminars and a grand tasting of hundreds of Sonoma County wine producers and dozens of Sonoma County restaurants and food providers.
Find out everything you need to know on the event web site.
Taste of Sonoma 2018
Saturday September 1, 2018
Green Music Center
Sonoma State University
1801 E. Cotati Ave
Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (map)
Tickets for the grand tasting, which can be purchased online, range from $150 to $255 per person, with the higher end ticket including seminars and early admission to the tasting, as well as access to a VIP lounge experience with more exclusive wines and bits of food.