Looking for an easy way to wind down? Just imagine yourself relaxing outdoors, listening to live music and savoring a glass of wine.
It’s hardly an idle daydream. Come summertime in Wine Country, it’s not hard at all to make that modest dream a reality.
From cutting-edge bands on at Gundlach Bundschu’s Huichica Festival to the long-established summer concert series at the Rodney Strong and Robert Mondavi wineries — featuring major names like Lyle Lovett, Randy Newman, Melissa Etheridge and more — there’s a lot of good music to be heard amid vine-filled scenery this season.
The winery concert season gets rolling this weekend with the sixth annual Huichica Festival at Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma, featuring a dozen-and-a-half regional and national indie and folk acts.
The festival opens at 3 p.m. Friday, June 12, with live music starting at 4:20 p.m., and continues Saturday, June 13, with bands playing on three stages from noon on. The festival’s headliner, Los Angeles rock quartet Allah Las, plays twice, at 9:45 Friday and 9:15 p.m. Saturday. $85-$120 for both days; $40 Friday only; $55 Saturday only. 2000 Denmark St. 938-5277, gunbun.com.
The Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg opens the winery’s long-popular outdoor summer concert series at 5 p.m. June 20 with the jazz trio BWB, featuring Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. $60-$90. 11455 Old Redwood Highway. 869-1595, rodneystrong.com, omegaevents.com. The rest of the Rodney Strong series includes: smooth jazz star Kenny G, June 28, $75-$110; singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins, July 25, $80-$120; singer-songwriter Randy Newman, Aug. 15, $75-$100; jazz guitarist George Benson, Sept. 5, $75-$110.
Another high-profile concert series launches at St. Helena’s Robert Mondavi Winery on July 4 with The Wallflowers, fronted by Jakob Dylan, plus the unusually named Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, with tickets priced at $85 to $215.
Mondavi’s outdoor series continues with singer-songwriter and 2012 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips, July 11, $85-$215; iconic, eclectic singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, July 18, $85-$215; folk-rocker Melissa Etheridge, July 25, $85-$215; funk band Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Aug. 1, $70-$200. 7801 St Helena Highway. 888-766-6328, robertmondaviwinery.com.
Other wineries also present their own series of concerts, often featuring local and regional performers.
The “Live Music at the Pool Cafe” series at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville continues tonight with Taylor Brown performing from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 12, and runs on Fridays through August. Free for cafe patrons. 300 Via Archimedes Way. 857-1485, francisfordcoppolawinery.com
The B.R. Cohn winery in Glen Ellen continues it current series with guitarist Don Trotta at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 14, and will present weekly concerts through September. $10. 15000 Sonoma Highway. 800-330-4064, brcohn.com.
“The Wines and Sunsets” series Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa features the Blues Burners from 5:30 to 8:30 p,m. Wednesday, June 17, and continues on Wednesdays through September. $8 in advance; $10 at the door. 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive. 528-9463, prwinery.com.
Longmeadow Ranch in St. Helena opens its concert series June 28 with the Fruition alternative country music quintet, and continues on Sundays until Oct. 4. $45-$45; $50 for the closing show in October. 738 Main St. 963-4555, longmeadowranch.com.
You can reach staff writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or email@example.com. On Twitter @danarts.
If You Go
What: Santa Rosa Toy & Comic Con, with guests Levar Burton, Adam Baldwin and Lou Diamond Phillips
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, with a special early bird start at 9 a.m.
Where: Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa
Admission: $15; $25 for early bird entry; free for age 5 and younger