The Calistoga Winegrowers Association, the nonprofit trade group that represents wineries and growers, recently announced its event line-up for 2018, kicking off the season with the 5th Annual Calistoga Food and Wine event held at Solbar on Saturday, May 12.
The annual event at Solage has grown each year in popularity and includes a Grand Tasting at which about 40 Calistoga wineries will pour samples of their wines to be paired with small bites created by Solbar Executive Chef Massimo Falsini and other invited guest chefs. Other events of the Food and Wine weekend include wine dinners and other events in the planning stages, said Larry Arnoff, co-president of Calistoga Winegrowers (CWG), and co-proprietor of Jack Brooks Vineyards.
On Thursday, July 26, Calistoga wineries head to San Francisco for the second Calistoga Uncorked at the Golden Gate Club. The inaugural event in 2017 included an afternoon tasting for members of the trade followed by a public tasting in the early evening. Soaring windows with views of the Golden Gate Bridge provide a stunning backdrop as 30 member wineries pour their wines. Unique to this event is the opportunity for guests to purchase what they taste right in the Ventana Room at the club. Because the venue is located on federal land, alcohol sales are permitted. Trade hours this year are from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and open to the public from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Come September during Harvest Table weekend, Calistoga Wine Experience returns on Saturday, Sept. 8, the day before the 1,000-foot-long dining event. This year CWG plans to hold the tasting event in the early evening to take advantage of the cooling temperatures on what has traditionally been a very warm weekend. Plans again include 30 to 40 member wineries in Pioneer Park, nibbles of food, and music, this time under twinkling lights. Times are being finalized.
The Calistoga Winemakers Roundtable is again planned for the Friday before Harvest Table, on Sept. 7, and will take place at Bennett Lane from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The inaugural event last fall included TV celebrity Leslie Sbrocco as emcee leading a panel of five winemakers that included Brian Graham of Canard Vineyard, Bertus Van Zyl of T-Vine where the event was held, Tom Eddy of Tom Eddy Winery, Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena Winery, and Rob Hunter of Bennett Lane Winery. They discussed the Calistoga AVA (American Viticulture Area) and its history, the geography and geology of the region, and the wines that were poured for attendees. This year’s winemaker panel has not yet been announced.
The AVA was approved in 2009 and became official in 2010, though it has always been considered a unique wine grape growing location, with viticulture and winery census data dating to 1880 listing Calistoga as a distinct region separate from Napa.