We were fortunate enough to attend 2016 Passport to Dry Creek Valley this weekend. The event was amazing. Each of the participating 48 wineries in the Dry Creek AVA had their own theme, entertainment, food and of course wine. Overall this event is a must attend. Below are the place that stood out to us! (We were able to make 30 of 48, so this list is based on the ones we saw.)
- A Rafanelli – THE BEST BY FAR. Food, Wine and Entertainment A+
- Malm Cellars – BBQ, Games and Great Wine.
- Mounts – Surprise of the event, great wine, music and farm feel.
- Selby – Belly dancers, magician, fortune teller and New Orleans food.
- Roadhouse – Disco party with a DJ and great staff!
- Mauritson – Charlie Palmer food!
- Papapietro Perry – Premier Pinot and great music.
- Armida – Great party atmosphere with a great band.
- Michel-Schlumberger – Red Carpet and Fine Wine.
- Blanchard Family Wines – Can’t go wrong with a Beatles Tribute Band
In less than a year the eyes of the world will be on the Bay Area. On February 7th, 2016, Super Bowl 50 will be held at the home of the San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The event is expected to generate millions of visitors to our region with all of the Bay Area benefiting from the increased tourism in a traditional off season. Sonoma County will greatly benefit after being named the official wine supplier and official destination partner for Super Bowl 50.
It may be a little surprising that Sonoma County was picked over Napa Valley to be the official wine and destination partner but locally we know how both counties are amazing in their own way. If you spend a day wine tasting locally you are bound to hear a conversation about the differences between Napa and Sonoma County Wine. Just in case you were curious or are asked by a Super Bowl tourist here are a few tips:
- Sonoma County was the first wine region in California and is 3 times the size of Napa County
- Napa County achieved worldwide recognition winning a prestigious wine award in Paris in 1976
- Sonoma County wineries have a wider selection of wines with growers not as focused on a specific grape varietal as seen in Napa
- Napa County has more Disneyland style wineries that are great for picture taking tourists while Sonoma County has smaller facilities more focused on production
- The Sonoma County wine road is much easier to drive on with better backroads and less traffic
- Napa County is the place to go for fine dining and has countless world renowned restaurants. Sonoma County has amazing places to dine as well, but Napa is unparalleled
- Sonoma County is less expensive – wine tasting and bottles
The key thing to remember is that we are blessed to have Napa and Sonoma County in our backyard. Both wine regions are amazing and should be appreciated. Napa County may be known for its Cab’s and if you are Cab lover it will be your dream destination. Sonoma County has variety and allows you to taste such a vast range of grape varietals you feel like your palate is on a trip around the world. If I am ask which location to pick… I’ll recommend that they take an extra few days and visit both!