Last fall, Napa and Sonoma experienced some devastating wildfires. While it took time for the smoke to clear, the region has bounced back with the joie de vivre that has kept vino aficionados coming back year after year. Celebrate wine country’s spring renewal with this round-up of Northern California’s best seasonal festivities.
The Stags Leap District will host its 20th annual Vineyard to Vintner event from April 27 to 29. Ticket holders get a backstage pass to an array of exclusive events, including barrel tastings and private estate tours.
And don’t forget about the fantastic food — April 27 kicks off with your choice of scenic vintner dinners and there is a fabulous farm-to-table lunch on April 29. April 28 is all about those gorgeous grapes, with 17 wineries hosting open houses, tours and special events.
A few happenings that caught our eye include a get-together at Pine Ridge Vineyards, where there will be live music, a spread of snacks and an exclusive sneak peek of yet-to-be-released vintages. At Odette Estate Winery, winemaker Jeff Owens will provide tours of the vineyard’s new state-of-the-art facility. And at Cliff Lede Vineyards, wood-fired pizzas and an assortment of wine will complement an art exhibition at the Backstage Lounge.
Calling all oyster lovers: Landmark Vineyards will throw a Half Shells and Chardonnay party on May 5. The event takes place at the winery’s new Hop Kiln Estate in the Russian River Valley. Hog Island Oyster Co. will shuck fresh oysters to pair with Landmark’s superb chardonnay. A barbecue lunch — Cinco de Mayo-style — is also on the menu.
Alfresco Art Shows
With an extensive collection of iconic sculptures and sensational chardonnay and pinot, The Donum Estate is a winery unlike any other. On May 12, the private estate is opening its doors to the public for a special ticketed event, Discover Donum: A Place for Wine and Art.
Wine enthusiasts can sample the current releases and roam the stunning 200-acre property, eyeing its impressive sculpture garden. Sip on sensational pours while taking in masterpieces by internationally acclaimed artists such as Keith Haring, Ai Weiwei and Fernando Botero.
Famous for its seasonal farm-to-fork fun, Kendall-Jackson will kick off the season in style with the first feast of spring on May 12. Held in the estate’s scenic gardens, the festivities allow you to mingle with the winery’s friendly and knowledgeable vino experts, culinary staff and master gardener (who also happens to be an Instagram sensation) before sitting down to a multi-course family-style feast.
Local ingredients are always in the spotlight here, with this evening’s menu featuring lamb from Valera Brothers Custom Harvesting and cheese by Nicasio Valley.
When spring comes to a conclusion, celebrate the transition to summer by partaking in a rejuvenating sun salutation. Robert Mondavi Winery will hold a solstice yoga class on June 21 to help you welcome the warm weather with the best intentions.
Hone your practice in the famed To Kalon vineyard as the Mayacamas Mountains serve as a spectacular backdrop. After the 75-minute class, savor a glass of cool wine and healthy gourmet bites.
Another awesome event happening on May 12 is the Stewart Cellars Spring Soiree. The stylish tasting room in downtown Yountville will have a farmers-market-themed event that comes complete with culinary creations and plenty of picks from Stewart Cellars’ roster to enjoy.
Live music, a fresh farm cart of local produce for you to take home and a special rosé icee are just a few of the treats you can expect at this salute to springtime.