Make Unforgettable Memories at Our California Wine Country Events
The best bonding takes place over shared experiences, and a trip to California Wine Country during one of its annual special events promises plenty of opportunity for connecting. From winter and spring’s White Wine and Pinot Noir festivals to fall’s brand-new Harvest Tidrick Festival, Anderson Valley’s annual lineup of pilgrimage-worthy special events leaves a lasting impression on all who attend.
While Anderson Valley wineries provide a welcome backdrop for a getaway at any time of year, make more unforgettable memories by visiting Wine Country during one of the following themed festivals.
The Harvest Tidrick Festival, which celebrates the deep agricultural roots and rich history of the region, kicks off Friday, Oct. 21 with a Boucherie Pig Roast, Anderson Valley’s first nighttime festival event. Hosted outdoors and under the stars, this intimate harvest party features chef-curated food (think Hock & Head Pate, Whole-Roasted Hog and vegetarian dishes), wines from local purveyors, craft beer and spirits, raffle prizes, and dancing. Attendees will also overhear plenty of Boontling, a mostly dormant regional dialect early settlers in the area used to communicate under the noses of outsiders.
Harvest Tidrick festivities continue throughout the weekend, with 27 local wineries signed on to participate. Historic Navarro Vineyards will offer vineyard tours and give visitors a glimpse of its cellar, which is rarely open to the public. Meyer Family Cellars, meanwhile, will debut its new barreled chardonnay and offer a taste comparison highlighting the difference in flavor created by French and American oak barrels.
Festival attendees interested in learning more about wine-making techniques historically used in this part of California might stop at Yorkville’s SEAWOLF, while Saturday evening’s Cinema at the Vineyard will take over Boonville’s Pennyroyal Farm and play a short film inspired by Boontling. A Tidrick Tea Party in South Boonville promises fine teas and finger foods served alfresco in the garden, with many other wineries hosting special club member events and experiences throughout the weekend.
Saturday, Feb. 18 – Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023 – White Wine Festival Weekend
Fans of white and sparkling wines won’t want to miss winter’s White Wine Festival Weekend, an end-of-season affair now in its 15th year. Featuring dozens of local wineries showcasing their finest white, sparkling and rosé wines, the festival also entices guests with fine foods (some of last year’s favorites included Dungeness Crab, Smoked Trout Salad and Cheese Fondue), exclusive vertical flights, special giveaways and VIP experiences at participating wineries.
In some areas, the end of winter means snow, slush and up-and-down temperature swings. Yet, in Anderson Valley, it means daffodils are abloom and the hills are a bright, verdant green – creating an ideal destination for a late winter escape.
Friday, May 19 – Sunday, May 21 – The Pinot Noir Festival
Now entering its 24th year, the Pinot Noir Festival is one of California Wine Country’s most beloved and best-attended annual events. It also welcomes a sell-out crowd each year. So, it’s wise to plan ahead and reserve lodging for this festival featuring more than 50 local wine producers, all of whom plan to bring their best Pinot Noir to the table.
Last year’s three-day festival featured a variety of educational, culinary and VIP special events and experiences. Wineries up and down Highway 128 opened their doors for exclusive tastings, light bites and giveaways throughout the weekend, a trend that will continue at future festival installments. It’s been said that “Nobody does Pinot Noir like Anderson Valley,” and there’s no place like the Pinot Noir Festival to get a taste of the region’s best.
Anderson Valley Wineries Offer Special Events, Intimate Experiences Year-Round
Anderson Valley’s signature annual events take place on the third weekends of February, May and October each year. Yet, many local wineries offer more intimate experiences year-round. Check out Philo’s Handley Cellars during July and October for its outdoor dining series, or plan ahead to score a ticket to Bastille Day at Roederer Estate, which sells out year after year.
Maggy Hawk Vineyards and Meyer Family Cellars, in Philo and Yorkville, respectively, host a series of popular brick-oven pizza-themed special events each year. Phillips Hill Winery’s dining experiences have developed their own cult following, with many selling out within hours of tickets hitting the market. Wine Club members can also enjoy exclusive opportunities and experiences at the likes of Navarro Vineyards & Winery, Husch Vineyards & Foursight Wines, among others. This is just a small taste of the special events and experiences Anderson Valley wineries have in store for locals and travelers alike this year, so make a plan now to explore 15 miles of vineyards, sample a seemingly endless array of fine food and drink, and leave with countless new memories made.