In-person Wine Country fundraisers and events returning

With an uptick of in-person wine events, it feels like we’re making our way out of the pandemic and organizers are convinced we’re ready to raise money for non-profits with wild abandon in 2022.|

With an uptick in wine events held in-person versus the last two years of the pandemic, many of Wine Country’s traditional events are returning. Here’s a look at a few coming up this spring, summer and fall.

Sonoma County Barrel Auction, May 6: After a 2-year hiatus, the a wine trade event will be held in person at MacMurray Estate Vineyards.

Taste of Sonoma, June 25: After cancelling in 2021, the Taste of Sonoma will return live and in-person, this year for the first time on the grounds of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens.

Sonoma County Wine Auction, Sept. 15-17: The event will be in person again, but location is to be determined.

Collective Napa Valley barrel tasting, June 3: The organization will host an in-person futures barrel tasting June 3 at Raymond Vineyards, hosted by Jean-Charles Boisset and Gina Gallo. It will replace the now-defunct live Auction Napa Valley.

Collective Napa Valley is launching its year-long fundraising program on Thursday, March 24, with a virtual 60-minute live broadcast show called “Welcome to Collective Napa Valley.”

Organizers across both counties are no doubt encouraged by the fundraising efforts of Premiere Napa Valley. The trade event was the first event out of the gate last month. It reeled in $2.7 million and while the numbers were flat from 2021, it was still impressive because it showcased the 2020 vintage, devastated by the Glass fire and hamstrung by the pandemic.

After closing the chapter on the Auction Napa Valley’s live auction, Collective Napa Valley organizers said they’re pleased with their progress. They’ve reeled in roughly 1,000 members from 38 states and 16 countries and the Thursday, March 24, event is intended to welcome them into the fold.

“Our entire goal with Collective Napa Valley was to reach a broader audience,” said Stacey Dolan Capitani, vice president of marketing. “We want anyone who enjoys Napa Valley wine to have a place at the table with Collective Napa Valley. We’re working with SommTV to produce the show and already have over 30 vintners involved. Tastings kits will be sent out in advance and there will also be a small studio audience in attendance.”

Dolan said organizers are treating Collective Napa Valley like a start-up.

“This new model is allowing us to be flexible and nimble,” she said. “We plan on changing and modifying as needed to ensure our goal of taking care of our community is met. I can promise Collective Napa Valley is not going away in a year or two. Our vintners want to see this model succeed and we have made the commitment to our community that we will continue to support.”

Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at or 707-521-5310.

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