For those of us who missed out on the fun of Crush last fall, there are plenty of wine related events coming up in the next several weeks. Including drivetime, each event can be done in an afternoon.
Next Saturday (January 19th) is the first “Passport” event of the year for the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association. The Passport program occurs every third Saturday in January, April, July and November. Participants purchase a “passport” for $30.00 to taste wines from a multitude of Santa Cruz Mountain area wineries. At each stop, the passport is given a commemorative stamp. This is a great opportunity to taste wines at wineries that aren’t open at any other time of the year.
The following week (January 23-26) is ZAP’s Zinfest, an unbelievable showcase of Zinfandel wines. The program lasts four days, but the public tasting will be held on Saturday the 26th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. in the Herbst and Festival Pavilions at Fort Mason. Its $49.00 for ZAP members and $59.00 for non-members. The price includes a logo tasting glass and small loaf of bread. The 2006 vintage will be showcased, including barrel samples and new releases. The Tasting Program provided at this event is the most comprehensive listing of Zinfandel wineries anywhere. There are more wines than anyone could possibly taste in 3 hours. Be careful because there is so much good wine that if you don’t pace yourself, you’ll get blotto’d quickly.
On Saturday February 2nd, several Napa Valley wineries will be having their release parties. Historically, the largest crowds can be found at the Silver Oak Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet release party. Silver Oak will be releasing its 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet. Note: the retail price for a 750ml bottle is $100. Tickets are $20 per person, which includes a complimentary Silver Oak logo wineglass.
Hartwell Estate will be hosting a wine, cheese and chocolate open house. The hours are 11:00 am – 3:00 pm and is free to Select Club Members and $15. for the general public. This is a relative bargain because their tours/tastings are normally $45.00. and are limited (Weds – Sat at 11:00 am or 2:00 pm). Note: the retail price for the 2004 Estate Reserve Cabernet (750 ml) is $115.00.
Flora Springs Winery will be holding its open house from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. This is the 30th year for Flora Springs Winery and they’ll be pouring the 2005 Trilogy wine The cost is $50.00 per couple ($25.00 each) for wine club members and $60.00 per couple ($30.00 each) for the general public and includes a complimentary logo glass.