A la carte: Enjoy Easter brunch, pink wines and other spring treats

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Taste of Olivet

Eight wineries in the heart of the Russian River Valley will open their doors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday for the 9th annual Taste of Olivet.

Participating wineries of the Olivet District include Battaglini, DeLoach, Harvest Moon, Hook & Ladder, Inspiration, Lauterbach, Pellegrini and Tara Bella.

Cost is $45, free to designated drivers. To reserve: eventbrite.com


Down to Earth Day

Rodney Strong Vineyards will celebrate Earth Day at 11 a.m. April 20 with a tour of the vineyards led by Winegrowing Technician Alli Dericco.

After the tour, guests will enjoy cheese and charcuterie plus wine by the glass on the Rodney Strong Terrace. Cost is $35, including tour, cheese, charcuterie and one glass of wine.

To reserve: 707-433-0980. 11455 Old Redwood Highway.


Easter brunch

Hop on over to B. R. Cohn Winery at 10 a.m. April 21 for an Easter brunch catered by the Girl & the Fig and paired with wine.

There will be live music and Easter egg hunts for all ages. Cost is $55 adults, $20 kids.

To reserve: brcohn.com. 15000 Sonoma Highway.


Easter egg hunt

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch will celebrate Easter at 10:15 a.m. April 14 with an egg hunt, face painting and an appearance by the Easter Bunny.

Adults can stop by the cafe for a bloody mary or mimosa, a cup of coffee or a pastry. Tickets are $15 adults, including one bloody mary or mimosa. Kids are free.

After the hunt, Farmstead will serve a brunch buffet of fried chicken, pancakes and more.

Hunt+buffet: $50 adults, including one cocktail; $15 children; kids under 2 are free. To reserve: longmeadowranch.com. 738 Main St.


Think pink at Barndiva

Barndiva will host the annual Pink Party, a seasonal celebration of rosé wine, from noon to 3 p.m. April 14 at Studio Barndiva.

There will be rosé wines from more than 35 local wineries and hors d’oeuvres served throughout the Barndiva gardens.

Tickets are $55. To reserve: shop.barndiva.com. 237 Center St.


Garagiste festival

The Garagiste Wine Festival: Northern Exposure will be held on April 13 at the Sonoma Veterans Hall.

Focussing on micro-wineries that make handcrafted, small-lot wines, the festival begins with a VIP tasting seminar and winemaker panel at 11:30 a.m. that explores the proposed “West Sonoma Coast” appellation. The panel includes Andy Peay from Peay Vineyards and Carroll Kemp from Alma Fria.

A grand tasting showcasing 40 small-lot wineries along with small bites will be held from 2 to 5 p.m.

Early access tickets to the grand tasting are $85; general admission to grand tasting is $65; designated driver entry to tasting is $10. VIP seminar and tasting is $115, including boxed lunch and early access to grand tasting at 1 p.m.

To reserve: eventbrite.com. 126 First Street West.


Great wines of world

The Cloverdale Arts Alliance will host a series of wine appreciation workshops from 6 to 8 p.m. April 11 and 29, May 9 and 23 at the gallery located at 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd.

Hosts will be wine geeks Christopher O’Gorman of Rodney Strong Vineyards and Mark Tharrington of Cloverdale Arts Alliance.

Each tasting will feature a selection of world-class wine from the famous to the obscure, a small cheese or charcuterie plate paired with that week’s wines and a mock wine “competition.”

The series cost is $220. To reserve: cloverdaleartsalliance.org


Polenta & Stew

The Penngrove Park and Clubhouse will hold a benefit dinner featuring polenta and stew on April 13 at the clubhouse at 385 Woodward Ave.

The meal will also include green salad, French bread and dessert. Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $20 adults, $10 kids 12 and under. To reserve: call Kim at 707-794-1516.


Pigs & Pinot recap

Chef Charlie Palmer’s sold-out Pigs & Pinot Weekend held in mid-March at Hotel Healdsburg and the Dry Creek Kitchen has raised a total of $1.3 million since the event debuted 13 years ago.

Winner of the coveted Pinot Cup — a blind-tasting competition between 60 local pinot noirs — was the 2016 Balletto 18 Barrel, Sonoma Coast. The runner-up was the 2016 Papapietro Perry Winery Peters Vineyard, Russian River Valley.

The Tournament of the Pig — where two teams of chefs were given a 150-pound pig and a basket of secret ingredients — resulted in a double winner. Chefs Nancy Oakes and Joe Youkhan won both the Judges’ Choice for their Confit Pork and the Peoples’ Choice for their Pork “Schnitzel.”

In the Ultimate Sommelier Smackdown — four sommeliers entering their selection of four pinots from around the world, then “pitching” them — the winner was the 2016 Croix Estate South Block Six, Platt Vineyard, Russian River Valley represented by sommelier Keith Goldston. Runner-up was the 2016 Siduri Garys’ Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands, represented by sommelier Michael Jordan.

All net proceeds benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and Sonoma County scholarships and charities. pigsandpinot.com


North of Gate results

The 2019 North of the Gate Wine Competition, held March 29 at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, has announced the contest’s top winning wines.

Carol Shelton Wines 2016 Oat Valley Carignane won Best of Show as well as the Red Sweepstakes. Imagery Estate Winery 2018 Albarino won the White Sweepstakes.

The competition accepts wines from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. The public can taste the award-winning wines June 19 to 23 at the Sonoma-Marin Fair’s Wine Garden. Complete list of winners: sonoma-marinfair.org/wine/


Beard award nominees

The James Beard Award Foundation has nominated two Napa winemakers for the 2019 James Beard Awards.

Cathy Corison of Corison Winery in St. Helena and Steve Matthiasson of Matthiasson Wines in Napa were nominated in the category of Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer. For more information, go to jamesbeard.org

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @dianepete56.

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