The summer’s best food and wine events
Food & Wine
May 31 to June 3 — Auction Napa Valley, St. Helena: A series of vintner-hosted dinners and parties lead up to the live auction celebration on June 2 at Meadowood Napa Valley, where bidders raise millions for charity. Dinner will be prepared by Nancy Oakes of Boulevard restaurant in San Francisco and feature recipes from the Mondavi sisters’ beloved Nonna. $500 to $20,000. 707-963-3388. auctionnapavalley.org.
June 9 — 2018 North Coast Wine & Food Festival, Rohnert Park: This food and wine extravaganza held at SOMO Village in Rohnert Park showcases the gold-medal wines from the Press Democrat’s North Coast Wine Challenge paired with food from 18 top chefs in the North Bay. Activities include a hands-on experience with celebrity chef John Ash and live entertainment. 1 to 4 p.m. $50-$135. 707-526-8604. northcoastwinenandfood.com.
June 9 — Beerfest, Santa Rosa: Sip craft brews plus ciders from 60-plus breweries on the lawn of the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 1 to 5 p.m. General admission is $50, to benefit Face to Face. 707-544-1581. beerfestthegoodone.com.
June 23 and 24 — Experience Alexander Valley, Healdsburg and Geyserville: During this two-day wine festival in the heart of Sonoma County cab country, wineries offer an array of intimate experiences that are educational, culinary or active. 10 a.m. June 23 to 4 p.m. June 24. Tickets: $200. Browse experiences and reserve at alexandervalley.org.
July 7 — Wine Country Big Q, Petaluma: Sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, this benefit barbecue and competition at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds serves up all kinds of “authentic” barbecued meats, beans and bacon desserts along with wines, beer and spirits. Entertainment includes a “Big Beef Challenge” and “Bold Bean Challenge” along with live rock and blues music. 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets: $20-$75. 707-837-1928. winecountrybigq.com.
July 20 to 22 — Gay Wine Weekend, Sonoma Valley: This three-day weekend for the LGBTQI crowd features an array of fun events around the Sonoma Valley, from winemaker dinners and cocktail parties to a winery dance and a pool party. This year’s host hotel is The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa. $20 to $495. 707-495-9732. outinthevineyard.com.
Aug. 4 — NorCal Brew Fest, Santa Rosa: The 2018 Sonoma County Fair brings back this popular beer competition and festival held next to the racetrack at the fairgrounds. Guests will enjoy unlimited tastes of more than 50 beers and ciders and an array of games and live music. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $45 in advance. norcalbrewfest.com.
Aug. 11 and 12 — Gravenstein Apple Fair, Sebastopol: The sweetest little fair in Sonoma County celebrates apples big and small under the oak trees at Ragle Ranch Park. Live music, contests, farm and children’s activities highlight the family fun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. $15 adults, $10 kids 6 to 12 at the door. gravensteinapplefair.com.
Sept. 1 — Taste of Sonoma, Rohnert Park: Returning to Sonoma State’s Green Music Center for the second year, this county-wide tasting event hosted by the Sonoma County Vintners features pours from 200 wineries paired with delicious food prepared by dozens of local chefs. Seminars, demonstrations and sommelier tours round out the afternoon. Noon to 4 p.m. $150-$225. tasteofsonoma.com.
Sept. 8 — Winesong Charity Auction, Fort Bragg: Set along the rugged coastline at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens, this benefit starts out with a walk-around wine and food tasting and silent auction and culiminates with the live auction under the tent. Tasting and silent auction are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Live auction is 2 to 5 p.m. $125-$250. winesong.org.
Sept. 11 to 13 — National Heirloom Expo, Santa Rosa: Old-fashioned farm fun, heirloom vegetables, farm-to-table food plus dozens of speakers on sustainability highlight this three-day ag extravaganza at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. $15 adults, free for kids. 417-924-8917. theheirloomexpo.com.
Sept. 22 — Sonoma County Wine Auction, Windsor: This premier charitable event, hosted by the Sonoma County Vintners and held at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, features a wide range of auction lots to bid on plus a smorgasbord of food and wine. sonomacountywineauction.com.