Petaluma is hot right now. This once-sleepy town best known for chickens, eggs, and homegrown star Winona Ryder, has become a hip foodie extension of Sonoma Wine Country, with gourmet restaurants, charming boutiques, and ever escalating real-estate prices. In truth, this gentrification has been going on for a while, but starting in 2018, Petaluma began appearing on the front of Sonoma County wine labels for the first time after the approval of the Petaluma Gap AVA.
A choice slice of southern Sonoma County and northern Marin County, the Petaluma Gap AVA is named after a notch in the coastal hills that funnels in wind and fog to moderate temperatures across roughly 200,000 acres that stretch from the coast all the way inland to the top of San Pablo Bay.
There are some excellent wines grown in the this part of California wine country, but the region lacks a strong concentration of tasting rooms like elsewhere in Sonoma County, so it remains often overlooked by consumers.
If you’re among those for whom the region is a bit of a mystery, there’s an easy way to fix that. On August 5th, more than 25 of the wineries that produce wine from the region are gathering for their annual Wind to Wine Festival. This afternoon public tasting offers a change to get a handle on the region, while snacking on gourmet cheese and listening to live music.
The list of producers pouring at the event includes: Adobe Road, Bevan Cellars, Blue Farm Wines, Brick & Mortar, Brooks Note, Bruliam Wines, Calstar Cellars, Cline Cellars, Daniel Wines, DeLoach Vineyards, Guarachi Family Wines, Gust Wines, Keller Estate, Kendall-Jackson, Kendric, Leghorn, Lombardi Wines, MacRostie Winery, McEvoy Ranch, Merryvale, Montagne Russe, Panther Ridge, Parum Leo, Ron Noble Wines, Sangiacomo Family Wines, Schug Winery, Sojourn Cellars, Thirty-Seven Wines, and Trombetta Family.
It should be a fun and delicious afternoon.
2023 Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance Wind to Wine Festival
Saturday August 5th
12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
1100 Valley House Drive
Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (map)
Tickets for the event start at $85 and should be purchased online in advance. For $125 you can have VIP status and get into the tasting two hours early as well as get tasting access to barrel samples, library wines and large format bottles. I recommend spitting so you can learn something in addition to enjoying yourself, but if you choose to swallow, please have a designated driver.