Award-winning wines, culinary delights and a good old-fashioned grape stomp
Bay Area locals and visitors from across the globe gather at the Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa for a celebration of Sonoma County’s ample bounty. Over 300 award-winning wines from more than 100 Sonoma County wineries, plus craft beer, ciders and culinary delights from the region’s finest food artisans, offer ticket-holders unlimited tastings and unique pairings all under one roof.
In the Grand Tasting Pavilion, guests can enjoy winning varietals from this year’s Professional Wine Competition alongside award-winning tastes from the Professional Food Competition. Each day offers a slightly new food pairing opportunity – so you may find yourself coming back for more. Tickets are $65 each (gate admission included). Also available are 3-Day Season Passes for $140. Tickets are available at HarvestFair.org, or at the Harvest Fair Box Office located at 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. Please note that the Tasting Pavilion is open to adults 21 and over. Infants and children not admitted.
The Harvest Fair offers many special attractions around the grounds that are included with $5 gate admission (kids 12 & under get in free). You might start with a bit of shopping in the Wine Country Marketplace. The Hall of Flowers building transforms into a premier artisanal shopping experience and is the ONLY place to go for one-stop shopping of ALL the gold medal-winning wines. Take advantage of special discount pricing, as well as special vintages that may not be readily available at the local grocer. Shoppers will also find a host of artisan vendors as well as an Art Show & Sale to inspire some early holiday gift ideas. Patrons who purchase wine during the Fair should keep their receipt for an additional 10% off to be used during the Wine Clearance Blow-Out Sale which takes place from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Sunday and from 9:00 am to Noon on Monday when all wines will be marked down 20%.
The Marketplace building is also home to twice daily Wine Tasting Seminars throughout the weekend, allowing visitors to learn the basics of tasting wine from local experts. Tasting is included! Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine tasting, and even some things you didn’t think to ask.
Each day before the Wine Tasting Pavilion opens, Chef Demonstrations are held in the Marketplace, featuring renowned Sonoma County chefs. Attendees have the opportunity to taste a sample of the food being prepared, along with the appropriate wine pairing. Presenters include John Franchetti (Franchettis’ Wood Fire Kitchen, Catering & Events), Executive Chef Tom Schmidt (John Ash & Co.), Mark Kowalkowski Executive Chef (Oliver’s Markets of Santa Rosa), Award-winning Chef Christine Piccin, and Pastry Chef Doug Cavaliere (Costeaux French Bakery of Healdsburg).
Out on the Wine Patio, Guests will enjoy café seating, live music and Port and Chocolate Pairing – $5 tastes of award winning dessert wines from this year’s professional wine competition paired with decadent chocolate delights. Don’t miss the Taste of Gold Experience – Choose 4 tastes from a selection of 20 gold medal award winning wines for $20.
Don’t miss one of our Harvest Workshops, where you can learn a few tricks of the trade. These mini workshops are designed to teach you the basics of harvesting at home. Examples of these short courses include making olives edible without Lye, an introduction to home brewing, and coffee education. For a more in-depth experience, join one of the Farm-to-Table Seminars offering food pairing enthusiasts the chance to take their knowledge to the next level. These fun and educational seminars are the perfect start to a day of tasting.
Around the grounds you’ll find a Classic Car Show brought to you by the Redwood Empire Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, a Pumpkin Patch, Spooky Corner and Live Music by The Pulsators and Royal Jelly Jive. Don’t miss the many interactive activities such as making your own an EasyBake Pumpkin Pie or Plant Your Own Succulent Garden ($20.00 for a small garden, $30.00 for large). On Friday night, a special Fire Juggling act will be performed from 6:30 – 8:30 pm between the Tasting Pavilion and the Hall of Flowers
Rounding out the weekend is the ever popular, hilarious and action-packed World Championship Grape Stomp competition, which can only be experienced at the Harvest Fair. Teams will compete for three days (Friday-Sunday) trying to garner a coveted spot in the championship stomp, Sunday at 4:30 pm. In addition to bragging rights and purple-stained extremities, winning teams vie for a grand prize of $1,500. If you feel up to the challenge, find out more and enter today at HarvestFair.org/grape-stomp.
Gates open Friday, October 6, at 4:00 pm, with the Tasting Pavilion open from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Gates open Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 8 at 10:30 am with tasting from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. For more information, visit HarvestFair.org or call (707) 545-4200.