Taste of Sonoma is June 25

Taste of Sonoma, put on by the Sonoma County Vintners, features a walk-around tasting with more than 100 participating wineries.|

Taste of Sonoma, a summer ritual for food and wine lovers, is set for Saturday, in-person at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Garden in Santa Rosa. It’s the first in-person event since the 2019 Taste of Sonoma held at the Green Music Center, and it’s the first time it will be held at Kendall-Jackson. The event started in 2008.

The event, put on by the Sonoma County Vintners, will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with tastings available from more than 100 participating wineries, representing more than 60 wine varietals from 19 growing areas.

Attendees also can visit a series of tasting stations, including the Gloria Ferrer Bubble Lounge, the Rodney Strong Vineyard Destination Rosé Lounge and the Kendall-Jackson Garden Bar with whites paired with culinary gardener Tucker Taylor’s famous crudité garden cones.

For those who prefer brews to wine, the Beer Garden will have a range of brands, including from Russian River Brewing Co., Culver Brewing and Ace Cider.

The Nosh Food Truck Plaza will include an assortment of dishes. Among the producers are Dino’s Greek Food, Black Pig Meat Co. and Maria Machetes.

General admission is $195 per person in advance and $210 on the day of the event. For more information, visit

Collective Napa Valley raises $1.5 million

The Sonoma County Wine Auction, also coordinated by the Sonoma County Vintners, will be Sept. 15-17. Jean-Charles Boisset will be the Vintner Honoree, and Dustin Valette will be the Chef Honoree. Both are entrepreneurs and leaders in Sonoma County food and wine.

Boisset owns DeLoach Vineyards, Buena Vista Winery (California’s first premium winery) and Healdsburg’s Oakville Grocery. Valette owns his namesake restaurant, Valette, and The Matheson.

Funds raised at the auction will support organizations with a focus on literacy, education, health and human services, the environment, arts and culture, and emergency response.

As for Collective Napa Valley’s latest fundraising effort, its first barrel auction June 3 raised $1.5 million for children’s mental health.

With Napa Valley Vintners retiring its live auction after a 40-year run, this year the main event was the barrel auction at Raymond Vineyards. Guests tasted from 75 barrels and bid on their favorites.

The barrel auction is just one of the initiatives in Collective Napa Valley’s new year-round model to raise funds for pressing community issues.

“The fundraising campaign is just the first of more to come,” said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of Napa Valley Vintners. “In different seasons, we’ll raise funds for a specific cause. For the summer offering, we chose to focus on children’s mental health because of the intensified need the last few years.”

As Collective Napa Valley unfolds, the Napa Valley Vintners are continuing to fund local nonprofits. The trade organization comprising about 550 vintners has committed to funneling $15 million to local health care and childhood education nonprofits through 2023.

Auction Napa Valley raised $12 million from its live auction, barrel auction and online auction in 2019, its most recent event.

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

Peg Melnik

Wine, The Press Democrat

Northern California is cradled in vines; it’s Wine County at its best in America. My job is to help you make the most of this intriguing, agrarian patch of civilization by inviting you to partake in the wine culture – the events, the bottlings and the fun. This is a space to explore wine, what you care about or don’t know about yet.

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