Perlis Picks: 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

While I am not typically a holiday-weekend traveler, I jumped at the opportunity to attend Sonoma Wine County Weekend, an annual event held over Labor Day Weekend.  Produced by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and the Sonoma County Vintners, the events of the most recent festival raised more than $1.6 million for Sonoma County non-profit organizations.

Festivities started on Friday, with various winemaker lunches at wineries all around Sonoma County, and continued into that evening with winemaker dinners at several other wineries. The main event that night was the “Sonoma Starlight Supper Club” extravaganza held at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, but you couldn’t go wrong with any of the other venues. I already wrote about our memorable evening at Idell Family Vineyards.

Saturday was devoted to the 33rd annual Taste Of Sonoma. Held at the beautiful MacMurray Ranch, the festival showcased more than 170 wineries and over 60 local chefs.  Conveniently divided into four tasting areas for the major growing areas of the Sonoma County, the set-up of the venue and the layout of the facilities contributed to one of the best run events I have attended.  And while the organizers can’t claim credit for the great weather, that couldn’t have been more perfect as well. The festival also includes food and wine demonstrations and seminars, all contributing to an amazing day.

There was so much great wine and food to taste, it was difficult to keep track. And impossible to make much of a dent into the bounty being offered.  Below are some of the wines and food samples we found to be most memorable:

Alexander Valley Tent:
Stryker Sonoma – 2010 Estate Zinfandel, Patty’s Patch Vineyard.
Trentadue Winery – 2010 La Storia Reserve Zinfandel Alexander Valley.
John Ash & Co. – Housemade Lamb Pastrami on Rye Rolls with Housemade Sauerkraut and Dijon.

Dry Creek Tent:
Del Carlo Winery – 2008 Old Vine Zinfandel, Teldeschi Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley.
Sizzling Tandoor – Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan.

Russian River Valley Tent:
Acorn Winery/Alegria Vineyards – 2009 Acorn Estate Syrah, Acorn Vineyards, Russian River Valley.
Limerick Lane Cellars – 2010 Trellis Block Estate Syrah, Russian River Valley.
Wind Gap – 2009 Syrah, Griffin’s Lair Vineyard, Sonoma Coast.
Trecini Winery – 2009 Rockpile Zinfandel, Rockpile.
Rendez Vous Bistro – “Vous” Chu Pork.

Sonoma Valley Tent:
Anaba Wines – 2010 Viognier, Landa Vineyards, Sonoma Valley.
Annadel Estate Winery – 2009 Estate Winery Monte Rosso Zinfandel, Monte Rosso Vineyard, Sonoma Valley.
B Wise Vinyards – 2009 Estate Syrah, Sonoma Valley.
Enkidu Wine – 2008 Humbaba Rhone Blend, Sonoma County.
Hoffman Family Cellars — 2010 Headbanger Zinfandel, One Oak Vineyard, Sonoma County.
Keating Wines – 2010 Zinfandel, Montecillio Vineyard, Sonoma Valley.
Little Vineyards Family Winery – 2010 Syrah, Little Vineyards, Sonoma Valley.
Spann Vineyards – 2009 Mo Zin Red Blend, Sonoma County.
Westerhold Family Vineyards – 2009 Estate Syrah, Bennett Valley.
El Dorado Kitchen – Chilled Corn Soup with Dungeness Crab, Chili Oil and Almonds.

Some of the tents received more comments from me than others, but that was only because I did not keep as careful notes I as I should have. One could have spent the entire festival in any one of the tents and been more than satisfied.

The weekend officially ended on Sunday, with winery barbecues and the main event that day at Chateau St. Jean winery in Kenwood: the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction. Alas, we could not stay for Sunday’s festivities, but made a vow that next time we attend Sonoma Wine Country Weekend we would arrive earlier and stay later!

Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at or

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