The Sonoma County Harvest Fair, October 4-6, 2013, will offer guests the best of traditional favorites with many new, exciting features, for an enhanced, and tastier, wine country harvest festival. With the addition of unique and educational demonstrations, a renewed focus on local and artisanal products, a new cooking competition and interactive tastings, this year’s event is shaping up to be an exceptional celebration of Sonoma County’s finest and best-known products. For those wondering, the World Championship Grape Stomp and other favorites from the past are returning, with no charge to attend!
“The Harvest Fair board is excited to bring this renewed approach to the event, to promote the local flavor and to celebrate all of the skilled craftsman who grow and produce Sonoma County artisan wines, beers and foods,” said Nick Frey, Sonoma County Harvest Fair President.
The epicenter of the Harvest Fair is the Tasting Pavilion, featuring award-winning varietals from this year’s Professional Wine Competition. With over 150 Sonoma County wineries participating, even the most experienced connoisseur is sure to find a new favorite. Similar to the Grand Tasting format from past years, the new all-inclusive tasting ticket offers guests a chance to savor innovative cuisine from this year’s Professional Food Competition, paired with some of the area’s best wines. Expanded categories in the culinary competition have enticed Sonoma County’s most famed restaurants to participate this year.
Along with medal-winning wine and food, new to the Tasting Pavilion this year will be craft beer and cider producers, who will pour their best tastes alongside wineries and food purveyors. Sonoma County has developed into a hot spot for artisan breweries and their hand crafted ales are earning their own spotlight. This highly anticipated addition to the already exclusive tasting experience, will offer guests a complete feast for the senses. The all-inclusive tastings will take place Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, ensuring that all guests can experience this full Sonoma County food and beverage exploration.
For over 38 years, attending the Harvest Fair has been a tradition for both local and out of town guests. Wine and food lovers from as far abroad as South America, India and even Australia, plan their visit to Santa Rosa each October, to sample the county’s bounty and participate in the wildly popular World Championship Grape Stomp. This hilarious, action-packed competition can only be experienced at the Harvest Fair. Teams compete throughout the weekend and the final stomp is on Sunday at 4:00 pm. In addition to bragging rights and purple-stained extremities, winning teams vie for a grand prize of round-trip airline tickets.
The Wine Country Marketplace is free for everyone to explore and open all three days. Collectors can stock up on gold medal winning wines from the professional competition, plus local beer and cider. The marketplace offers an opportunity to purchase special vintages that may not be available in your neighborhood grocery store. Shoppers will find local products and unique wares hand-crafted in Sonoma County like jewelry, clothing, lavender soap and olive oil.
The Marketplace is also home to a variety of tasting seminars and chef demonstrations during the three-day celebration. Guests who are inspired by the Do It Yourself (DIY) trend can take part in a new, interactive area where they can learn about brewing beer, curing olives or even farming wine grapes.
On Sunday, October 6, join Brent Farris from KZST Radio as he hosts The World Wrapped Competition, sponsored by La Tortilla Factory. This new 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 of one hour to create a delicious recipe using La Tortilla wraps. The live audience can cheer for their favorite team and a panel of celebrity judges will be on-hand to taste and critique the creations.
Admission to the Sonoma County Harvest Fair is FREE and includes entrance into the Marketplace, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting seminars, DIY educational presentations and the World Championship Grape Stomp. Entrance to the Tasting Pavilion is $50 per person; or $90 for two (pre-sale only). This all-inclusive tasting experience includes medal winning wine and food from this year’s professional competition, as well as local beer and ciders. Gates open Friday, October 4 at 4:30 pm, with the Tasting Pavilion open from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Gates open Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6 at 12 noon with tasting from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.