Road Trip!

We live in an area where so many great things are within easy reach, including world-class wine-tasting destinations both famous and not-so-famous.

Summer is ripe with possibilities.

Familiar & Famous

If you’ve got a pocketful of disposable income, and nothing special on tap this weekend, you might try to snag a paddle at the Auction Napa live auction at Meadowood on Saturday (June 4).

Bidders in Action at Auction Napa 2010

The ne plus ultra charity fund-raiser is always a sellout.

The draw for globe-trotting tasters is  the valley’s most hard-to-get wines alongside world-class food. Auction lots range from cases of rare and expensive wine to personalized wine travel, dining and adventure packages.

Auction proceeds are funneled back to local charities, which have received more than $97 million in contributions over the years. Check the Napa Valley Vintners website for more information or call 707.963.3388. Good luck!

Two Events, One Parking Lot

Next weekend, there’s a pair of wine-tasting events in Santa Rosa featuring a range of tastes, styles and winemakers.

Vinify, a custom-crush facility, will host 18 small producers pouring more than 40 wines next Saturday (June 11) . The event runs from 1-4 p.m . Tickets are $25.

Don’t expect a lush landscape with picturesque vineyards and a veranda. Vinify is located in the Pinecreek Business Park, an industrial/warehouse setting a few miles off Highway 101. This is a fun event, which I attended last year and really enjoyed. Here’s a link.

Just across the parking lot from Vinify, Inspiration Vineyards is  hosting its own open house. Jon Phillips, winemaker, and his wife Barbara will be pouring from a lineup of at least eight Sonoma County wines, , including zinfandel, cabernet, pinot noir, and chardonnay.

Bottle Your Own

Get your hands (and tongue) wet on Saturday, June 11, at La Nebbia Winery near Half Moon Bay where they will be having a “bottle your own wine” event. For $4.95/bottle, you can fill up your own bottle with vintage 2010 sangiovese wine from Paso Robles. Add $1.50 to the tab if you need to buy a 750-ml bottle from the winery.

Pinot Days

The 7th annual Pinot Days celebration culminates with a mass tasting of 100s of wines at Fort Mason on Sunday, June 18.

There’s a heavy emphasis on California pinot at this event, but there will also be offerings from Oregon and France in the mix with more than 200 wineries participating.

Tickets for the main event are $50.

Several additional tastings, including a spotlight on California pinot noir specialist Williams-Selyem and a Best of Oregon retrospective, are also being held prior to the main event. Check out last year’s coverage for more background.

Mendocino in Motion

You won’t have to make the drive up to Mendocino to sample some of the North Coast’s best wines later this month. They’re coming to you!

More than 60 Mendocino wineries will pour current releases in San Francisco at Fort Mason on Monday, June 30 from 5-8 p.m. Regional foods and craft beers will also be available at the Taste of Mendocino event. Tickets are $35 in advance.

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