Wine Country Weekend

While grape vines lie dormant and rest up for the growth spurt ahead, it’s a great time to visit, taste and explore wine country before the large summer crowds are upon us.

The winter pace is slower. The roads are less crowded with tour buses and winery personnel have more time to spend with visitors. It’s also a time of great expectation, with the 2009 vintage resting in barrel and the 2010 vintage waiting to be born.

Here are some suggestions for the days ahead:

Napa Valley vineyard interspersed with wild mustard

Vineyard and Mustard, courtesy Napa Valley Mustard Festival

The Napa Valley Mustard Festival is a natural choice. The festival actually began in late January and runs through March 27 with a wide range of activities across the valley involving food, wine and art, including a Grand Dinner tonight (Feb. 19) at Brix in Yountville.

Sip and Stretch

Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena is taking a more body-centric approach to enticing visitors by sponsoring a “sip and stretch” event that combines wine, yoga and chocolate.

From 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 21), instructor Suzi Potts will lead enthusiasts through a tasting session that explores five different wines, Hatha yoga poses and gourmet chocolates. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at Beringer, the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley.

Yoga, Take Two

For a different take on yoga and wine, check out Ubuntu, a vegetarian restaurant and wine bar in downtown Napa. Downstairs, you’ve got top-rate food and wine. Upstairs, it’s a yoga studio with a series of daily classes.

It’s quite an unusual concept, but it works! The combination of great regional wines and exquisitely prepared and locally-sourced food  has earned Ubuntu one Michelin star.

Crab Season at Seghesio

Seghesio Family Winery will be serving up crab cioppino for guests in Healdsburg on Saturday (Feb. 20). The dinner tab is $60 and includes generous servings of the winery’s newest releases (pinot noir and zinfandel) plus some of Seghesio’s port-style wine with dessert and cigars. The 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. dinner slots are sold out, but there may still be some seats left for the 4 p.m. seating. Salud!

Napa vs. Sonoma, Again

They’re holding a “sibling rivalry” tasting at the Rutherford Grange in Napa on Sunday (Feb. 21). The theme of the tasting is Napa vs. Sonoma cabernet sauvignon and there will be 10 wines from each area in the competition. Everyone gets a vote for their favorite bottle. Tickets are only $10 for what should be a interesting event sponsored by Small Lots Big Wines.

Sipping Away by SF Bay

If you can’t get out of the city for a wine country adventure, don’t worry. Check out the second annual “Around the World in 80 Sips” event at Crushpad, the urban winemaking commune in San Francisco.

Walking past the commercial and industrial buildings that line Third Street, you’d never know that inside the warehouse at 2573 Third Street was a wine wonderland waiting to be explored.

On a normal day, the property is humming with activity from amateur and semi-professional winemakers who share the space and equipment in their bid to build a brand or just make a personal creative statement. To learn more, check out my recent blog about Crushpad, which has plans to move its SF operations to another custom-crush facility in Napa.

On Feb. 25, there were be 80 wines  from around the world open for tasting at Crushpad from 6-9 p.m., courtesy of Bottlenotes, an online wine retailer. Tickets are $60 in advance and $75 at the door.

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One Response to “Wine Country Weekend”

  1. sagehope Says:

    Hello, I found you by the “yoga” tag I am connecting with people who are on some level like minded. So, Hi, and hope to speak to you in the near future. also I have a poll on my site, once you get familiar with my site, I was wondering if you would take the one question poll. (note: you can only vote once)

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