Silver Oak Cellars to hold Oakville release party, marking the return of winery events

Silver Oak Cellars will hold a release party for its 2017 Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon on Aug. 7, marking one of the first sizable winery events that will take place in the aftermath of California’s reopening from restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event will take place at its Oakville winery in Napa Valley and feature a morning and an afternoon session. The winery, owned by the Duncan family, typically holds a release party twice each year on the first Saturday in February and the first Saturday in August.

Tickets are $125 each and will be available for purchase on June 24. There is a maximum of four tickets per purchase.

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Two local students earn ag scholarships

Two local high school graduates have received scholarships from the California Association of Winegrape Growers to help with their college expenses.

Dafne Cruz Rodriguez of Santa Rosa, who attended Windsor High School, will receive an $8,000 award. The group said Rodriguez plans to attend either UC Berkeley or UC Irvine and major in political science or sociology. Rebecca Hernandez of Windsor, who attended Windsor High School, will receive a $5,000 award. Hernandez plans to attend UC Irvine and major in global cultures and with the goal to become a teacher.

The trade group annually provides such aid to students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a wine grape grower within California.

The students are chosen based on criteria such as scholastic ability, financial need, community involvement, leadership as well as a personal essay.

Wine & Weed Symposium to be held in August

The annual Wine & Weed Symposium will be held Aug. 5 at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa.

The event, in its fifth year, was held virtually last year because of COVID-19. This year’s event will feature a keynote speech by Terry Wheatley, president of Vintage Wine Estates of Santa, which recently became a publicly traded company to grow its portfolio.

Breakout session topics include the rise of cannabis beverages and its implications for wine; and the status of the local cannabis tourism industry.

Early-bird registration is $250 per person. More information at

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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