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Harvest Fair Celebrates the Bounty of Sonoma County, September 30 – October

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Harvest Fair Celebrates the Bounty of Sonoma County, 
September 30 – October 2

Award-winning wines, culinary delights, World Wrapped Cooking Competition and a good old-fashioned grape stomp

The 42nd annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair, September 30 – October 2, will draw Bay Area locals and visitors from across the globe to the Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. This loved community event celebrates our harvest season with over 300 gold medal winning wines from more than 100 Sonoma County wineries, plus craft beer, ciders and culinary delights from the region’s finest food artisans.

Attending the Harvest Fair provides an exclusive opportunity for wine lovers to taste and shop for ALL of the gold medal winning wines in one location. Always held with the arrival of autumn during the first weekend in October, the Harvest Fair celebrates Sonoma County’s abundant season of growing and the delectable outcomes inspired by the area’s hard working ranchers and farmers, acclaimed vintners and noted chefs.

This year’s event highlights include:

Grand Tasting Pavilion

Guests can enjoy the epicurean pleasures of a grand tasting paired with award winning wines, small bites and craft beers and ciders. More than 100 wineries will be pouring winning varietals from this year’s Professional Wine Competition alongside award-winning tastes from the Professional Restaurant and Food Competitions. New this year, the Pro Foods Competition is adding a coffee roasting category. Participants will serve their finest local roasts in the Grand Tasting Pavilion. Each day will offer a slightly new food pairing opportunity - so you may find yourself coming back for more. Tickets are $55 each or 2 for $100 if purchased by September 29. Also available are 3-Day Season Passes for $140 ($125 until September 29). Tickets are available at HarvestFair.org, or at the Harvest Fair Box Office located at 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the event. Please note that the Tasting Pavilion is open to adults 21 and over. Infants and children not admitted.

Wine Country Marketplace

The Harvest Fair offers many special attractions that are free with gate admission and have been added to enhance the tasting experience, starting with the beautiful Wine Country Marketplace. The Hall of Flowers building is transformed into the premier artisanal shopping experience. The Marketplace is the ONLY place that offers all of the gold medal-winning wines under one roof. Take advantage of clearance priced discounts, as well as special vintages that may not be readily available at the local grocer. Shoppers will also find a host of artisan vendors with unique wares to inspire some early holiday gift ideas. The Marketplace will remain open after Fair closing on Sunday and for a limited time on Monday for a Wine Clearance Blow-Out Sale. All wines in the store will be marked down 20%. Fair patrons that purchased wine during the three day event will be given a customer appreciation coupon to save an additional 10% off any clearance sale purchases.

The Marketplace building is also home to free Wine Tasting Seminars throughout the weekend, allowing visitors to learn the basics of tasting wine from local experts. Tasting is included! Seminars are free with gate admission and only open to guests 21 and over.

The highly celebrated Chef Demonstrations are also prime attractions in the Marketplace. Attendees can learn about cooking wine country cuisine and pick up culinary techniques from local celebrity chefs Chef Sheana Davis, Owner of Epicurean Connection in Sonoma; Christine Piccin, Chef/Instructor at the Santa Rosa Junior College; Mark Kowalkowski, Executive Chef, Oliver’s Markets of Santa Rosa; Thomas Schmidt, Executive Chef, John Ash Restaurant of Santa Rosa; and Doug Cavaliere, Pastry Chef, Costeaux French Bakery of Healdsburg. Chef Demos include food and wine tasting, free with gate admission.

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 the Golds – a selection of 20 gold medal award winning wines. Choose which 4 you would like to taste for $20.  

Harvest Workshops

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 beekeeping with the Sonoma County Beekeepers Association and a crash course in sustainable wine growing in Sonoma County presented by the Sonoma County Winegrowers.

Expanded Seminars

For a more in-depth experience, join one of the Farm-to-Table Seminars offering wine and food 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. This year’s seminar line-up brings back the popular Cheesy Beer School. Learn how to pair award winning beers from Lagunitas Brewing Company with delectable Sonoma County cheeses during this fun and educational course. You can also join Cynthia Newcomb, chef at Dutton Estate Winey and Nicole Bacigalupi, of Bacigalupi Vineyards and Giovanni Balistreri, of Russian River Vineyards, for an intimate wine and food exploration. New this year, is food and beer pairing, sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company. (Advanced registration is required for all Farm-to-Table Seminars. Additional ticket purchase required for Wine and Food or Beer and Food pairings.)

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 and an Art Show & Sale featuring beautiful pieces from some of Sonoma County’s most talented artists. Don’t miss the many interactive activities such as making your own an EasyBake Pumpkin Pie, Grain Mosaics, Succulent Planting and more.

On Sunday, October 2, we welcome the return of the popular World Wrapped Cooking Competition, sponsored by La Tortilla Factory, Oliver’s Market and Clover Stornetta. This competition challenges creative chefs to a tortilla throw down. Similar to the Food Network show Chopped, contestants will be provided a mystery basket of fresh, local ingredients and a time limit to create a delicious recipe using La Tortilla wraps. The live audience can root for their favorite team and a panel of celebrity judges will be on-hand to taste and critique the creations.

World Championship Grape Stomp

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.

Admission to the Sonoma County Harvest Fair is $5 and includes entrance into the Marketplace, Chef Demonstrations, Harvest Workshops, Wine Tasting Seminars, Grape Stomp Grandstands, World Wrapped Cooking Competition and other grounds activities. Gates open Friday, September 30, at 4:00 pm, with the Tasting Pavilion open from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Gates open Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2 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.