Wine Lover’s Guide to Healdsburg’s First Wine and Food Experience

If you’re an oenophile and want to work your way through the inaugural Healdsburg Wine & Food experience, here’s a guide for wine lovers.

The three-day Friday-Sunday event features producers, winemakers and chefs while celebrating the region’s sustainability efforts.

“We are proud to have achieved 99% sustainable certifications in our (Sonoma County) vineyards,” said Karissa Kruse, President of Sonoma County Vintners. “It led us to envision the farm of the future right here in Sonoma County and support our growers with the resources they need to be leaders in climate management and agriculture now and in the future. .”

The event – with its series of tastings, dinners, wine tours and seminars – will channel the lion’s share of its fundraising dollars to organizations that support farmers and their families, such as the Sonoma County Grape. Growers Foundation.

“Our whole event is a celebration of Sonoma County’s agricultural roots, supporting growers and farm workers and these essential workers make all the abundance of great wine and food possible,” explained Founder Steve Dveris, CEO of SD Media Productions, which is considering fundraising. be an annual event. “These workers need our support.

Chalk Hill Estate of Healdsburg, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, is one of the sponsors, donating $25,000.

“We believe sustainability goes beyond the land and care for our farmers and the land equally,” said Courtney Foley, second-generation winemaker at Chalk Hill Winery. “It’s an enduring symbiotic relationship.”

For those with an eye for land stewardship, the Seminar on Climate Change and Sustainability in the Wine Industry may spark interest. It will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, and panelists include Kruse, Justin Seidenfeld of Rodney Strong Vineyards and Chris Carpenter of Jackson Family Wines. The discussion will focus on the region’s sustainability efforts and what consumers can do to make conscious choices in protecting the planet.

“There’s been a philosophical shift in the way we farm, and we’ve come light years away,” said Seidenfeld, senior vice president of winemaking and viticulture for Rodney Strong Vineyards of Healdsburg. “We realized what it means to be sustainable.”

Rodney Strong Vineyards, he said, is undergoing a 485-acre redevelopment, using technology like moisture sensors to irrigate.

“We only want to water as needed, based on what the technology tells us,” Seidenfeld explained. “With sensors, we can significantly reduce water consumption.”

Kruse said she hopes the outcomes of the seminar will be Sonoma County’s progress toward sustainability.

“In 2014, when Sonoma County was the first wine region in the world to boldly commit to sustainable agriculture, I don’t think we fully understood the positive impact this would have on our local winemakers and consumers. of wine,” Kruse said. “Back then, sustainability wasn’t part of the everyday conversation. Now it’s the main part of the conversation.

Another hot ticket with appeal to the palate is the Vintners Plaza Grand Tasting Experience. This first tasting will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday in the West Plaza parking lot behind the Healdsburg Hotel where the Farmer’s Market is held. The band Wobbly World will perform as more than 100 wineries pour bottlings from Sonoma, Napa and renowned wine regions around the world. Celebrity chefs will offer their creations to pair with wine.

The “Legends of Chardonnay” seminar on Saturday will undoubtedly appeal to lovers of the multiple styles of this grape variety. Located at the Healdsburg Hotel, the seminar will run from 11 a.m. to noon, moderated by wine writer and speaker Ray Isle. Its wine lineup will include Chardonnays from Chalone Estate, Rombauer and Stonestreet.

Exploring the 88-bottle wine wall at Matheson Restaurant will be another draw for wine lovers. As part of Saturday’s culinary chef demonstrations, sommeliers from across the country will guide guests with selections of 10-12 bottlings from the Wine Wall to pair with the dish they will learn to prepare and taste. Expected wines in the lineup include Cliff Lede, Kosta Browne, Rombauer and Vérité, among others.

Those who like to pair music with wine will be drawn to the outdoor concert at Rodney Strong Vineyards. The Grammy-winning Band Perry will perform on Saturday. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 6:30 p.m., with a lineup of wines to pair with food trucks.

Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at [email protected] or 707-521-5310.

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