22nd Annual Monterey Winegrower’s Celebration
Take note of these names: Bernardus, Blair Estate, Boekenoogen, Caraccioli Cellars, Carmel Road, Chalone, Cima Collina, Coastview, Dawn’s Dream, Hahn, Holman Ranch…shall we go on? These are but a few of the wineries set to participate in the 22nd annual Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association Winemakers’ Celebration.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is the setting this year. The event will close down Dolores Street between Ocean & 7th to auto traffic from 7am til 7pm on Saturday, May 3rd. The streets will be lined with tables laden with the wines from participating area wineries, and festive umbrellas will help create the ambiance of a street fair. Last year’s event was held at the Barnyard shopping center and drew a big crowd.
VIP Experience: 1:00pm – 2:00pm, $95
A limited number of tickets will be sold for The VIP Experience, which gets you into the event an hour early, so you can access exclusive vintages and verticals, and take part in special seminars and demonstrations.
Main Event: 2:00pm – 5:00pm, $65
A selection of gourmet small plates will be included in the ticket price, with samples from Basil, La Balena, Il Fornaio, Little Napoli, St. Tropez Carmel, Lula’s Chocolates and many more.
There will be cooking demonstrations, as well as mini-workshops on wine and food pairing essentials, expert tasting tips, and the impact of terroir on wine. You’ll be able to meet both winegrowers and winemakers from the region, and gain a better understanding of what makes each area unique. Those who wish to take home some of their favorite wines of the day, can purchase directly from those wineries participating. A holding area for purchased wine will be available for those who wish to check it, or wines can be shipped directly home with Grotto di Vino.
A backdrop of contemporary world music will be provided by DJ Oshen, who will also moderate, along with Andy Mitchell of Hahn, an interactive winemaker panel during the VIP portion of the program.
Cooking Up Some Fun
Executive Guest Chef, Dyon Foster of Hahn, will make a special appearance. And anytime he shows up in the house, it’s going to be a lip-smackingly good time.
Raised near Houston, Texas, Dyon joined Hahn in 2012 and brings over a decade of wine and hospitality experience to the Hahn Estate culinary program. He focuses on using high quality local ingredients that blend techniques and flavors from the Mediterranean, France, Germany, Mexico and the Pacific Rim.
Win A Stocked Wine Fridge
Purchase raffle tickets ($25 each) to win a fully stocked wine fridge with wine from each participating winery, valued at over $1,250. All proceeds go to the Monterey Winegrowers scholarship fund through the Winegrowers foundation.
Wineries participating include: Bernardus, Blair Estate, Boekenoogen, Caraccioli Cellars, Carmel Road, Chalone, Cima Collina, Coastview, Dawn’s Dream, DeTierra, Galante, Estancia, Hahn, Holman Ranch, J.Lohr, Le P’tit Paysan, Marin’s Vineyard, Manzoni, Mercy Cellars, Paraiso, Pierce Ranch, Puma Road, Scratch, Shale Canyon,Silvestri, Ventana, Wente, Windy Oaks and Wrath.
There are definitely changes to this roster from last year. Gone are some of the old familiar names like Scheid, McIntyre and Talbott, while new ones, like Coastview and Le P’tit Paysan, have taken their place. Welcome also to Windy Oaks, a Santa Cruz area star specializing in Burgundian style pinots from the Corralitos region. They’ve been buying an increasing amount of Arroyo Seco fruit for their white wine program, so make sure to include them on your “Must See List” for the day. And don’t miss the chance to try wines from Wrath winemaker, Sabrine Rodems, personal brand, Scratch.
Special hotel deals are available from local favorites, including Carmel Garden, Cypress Inn, Happy Landing Inn, Hofsas House, Inns-by-the-Sea and Pine Inn.
For more information on hotel specials and to purchase event tickets, visit www.montereywines.org or call (831) 375-9400.
BY: LAURA NESS, WINE JUDGE & WINE WRITER
Laura Ness, aka “Her VineNess,” is an accomplished wine journalist and wine critic whose passion for wine was ignited by a visit to France, where she had the unmatched pleasure of tasting Sancerre in the medieval town of Sancerre – splendid!— and then a Saumur, after visiting the Chateau de Saumur in Chinon. The concept of terroir came alive in those incandescent moments. She regularly judges wine competitions and serves on the tasting panels of the Pinot, Cabernet and Chardonnay Shootouts. She was instrumental in helping define the unique sub-regions of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in concert with Appellation America. You can usually find her sipping and smiling in Mendocino, Livermore, the Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Cruz Mountains and Paso Robles. Laura writes extensively for many industry and consumer publications, and has weekly wine columns in several Bay Area newspapers. She blogs, irreverently and sporadically, at myvinespace.com.