Archives: Wine Country Events
What started out as a fun way to get folks together for some wine and friendly competition in the summer of 2017 looks to be turning into a yearly occurrence. As we prep for the third annual Carneros Cornhole & Wine Tasting on August 10, 2019 at Etude Wines, proceeds of which benefit the Carneros and Schell-Vista Fire Departments, The Carneros Wine Alliance is taking its cornhole seriously. The AVA, which straddles the southern edges of both Napa and Sonoma Counties and is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is not the only one; I see cornhole boards popping up everywhere from coffee shops to country clubs and even now on major sports channels. The American Cornhole League Championship (yes, it’s that official) has a broadcast deal with ESPN and the ACL Commissioner Stacey Moore says the beanbag-tossing sport even has Olympic-level ambitions.
Whatever your ambitions, it’s now a fact that cornhole pairs well with wine, food, music and fun. This year, the Carneros Cornhole and Wine Tasting will be held on the lawns of Etude Wines, located on Cuttings Wharf road. Ticket prices include a walk-around wine tasting from Carneros Winery Alliance member wineries including Artesa, Calmére, Ca’ Momi, Cuvaison, Etude, Poseidon Vineyard, Schug, Saintsbury, Sangiacomo, Truchard, and Viansa, as well as small bites from popular Carneros eateries.
As we approach the second anniversary of the devastating 2017 Wine Country Fires, which ripped through the Carneros hills in the very first hours of the fire the night of October 8, it seems especially appropriate that the event’s proceeds will benefit the Carneros and Schellville Fire Departments. Though the Carneros area has largely recovered from the fires, it’s always a good idea to support the local fire teams which were among the first on the scene in 2017 and will continue to be vigilant as the surrounding hills dry out and turn golden as Harvest approaches.
I had the opportunity to chat with the Carneros Wine Alliance Vice-Chair, Nichole Peterson, to ask her more about this year’s event.
Q: How does 2019 (the third annual) differ from the past two Carneros Cornhole & Wine Tasting events?
A: This year we are thrilled to have the addition of Carneros-area fare from BoxCar Fried Chicken and Carneros Resort! This event has grown in the last three years and to have the partnerships with Hint water, along with our food vendors to support our local volunteer fire departments has been amazing to see. We are also excited to be able to add a raffle this year with our wineries graciously donating experiences for the participants to win.
Q: Do you have to come with a planned partner or will people be put into teams?
A: Once you check in you are able to either be placed on a team with your planned partner or you can be paired up should you wish.
Q: Any secret tips for winning at cornhole?
A: None that I am aware of aside from holding a glass of Carneros wine to balance you out as you toss!
Here are the details: Carneros Cornhole Tournament & Wine Tasting
What: Taste exceptional Carneros wines from Carneros Wine Alliance member wineries including Artesa, Calmére, Ca’ Momi, Cuvaison, Etude, Poseidon Vineyard, Schug, Saintsbury, Sangiacomo, Truchard, Viansa, and then compete against local winemakers in a Cornhole Tournament! All proceeds go to the Carneros & Schell-Vista Fire Districts.
When: Saturday, August 10 2019, 4-6 PM
Where: Etude Wines, 1250 Cuttings Wharf Road, Napa CA 94558
Tickets: $60, which includes participation in the cornhole tournament, wine tasting with our 12 wineries and small bites by BoxCar Fried Chicken & Biscuits and The Carneros Resort and Spa plus special guests Hint Water and California Olive Ranch. Buy tickets here, proceeds go to the Carneros and Schell-Vista Fire Departments.
ABOUT The CARNEROS WINE ALLIANCE:
The Carneros Wine Alliance is a non-profit association of wineries and grape-growers in the Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA). Carneros is the bridge between two major wine regions, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. A cool-climate appellation influenced by the waters of the San Francisco Bay, Carneros has long been known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wine production. The Carneros Wine Alliance is committed to promoting the distinction, diversity and above all, quality, of grapes and wines from Carneros. www.carneros.com
Alison Crowe is the Director of Winemaking for Plata Wine Partners which produces Garnet Vineyards, Picket Fence Vineyards wines as well as bespoke and custom wines for retailers and restaurants and is happy to disclose that she’s a member of the Carneros Wine Alliance. @alisoncrowewine email@example.com
Carneros Wine Alliance Hosting Bean-Bag-Toss Tournament and Tasting to Benefit Local Fire Department
Ever wanted to go head to head with a winemaker in a gripping bean bag tournament? You’ll have your chance on Saturday, August 12 at Liana Estates. The Carneros Wine Alliance is hosting an open-to-the-public event where you can hang out, taste wine and play Cornhole, the newest outdoor game to sweep wine country.
Tickets are $40 (purchase them here) and all proceeds go to the local Carneros and Schell-Vista Fire Department.
I got in touch with Carneros Wine Alliance Vice-Chair, and Schug Winery Marketing Coordinator, Crista Johnson, to find out more.
Q: The Carneros Wine Alliance has held media and trade-only tastings in the past, but the Cornhole Tournament and Wine Tasting is the first public event the organization has held in a couple of years, right?
A: “Correct. We are excited to connect with our customers, locals and tourists -and to help our local fire departments!”
(Read: This is a unique and fun opportunity, so take advantage of all these great wines being in one place at one time in a gorgeous place.)
Q: What can the public expect at this event?
A: “The Carneros Cornhole Tournament and Wine Tasting will be a casual hangout at one of the finest wineries in Carneros and a friendly competition between the public and winemaking teams!”
(Read: this will be a great chance to get down and dirty with your friends, and with Carneros winemakers (who might end up being your friends) on the playing field. Oh- and eat good food and drink great wine.)
Q: What makes Carneros a fun/special/unique region to visit?
A: “The casual atmosphere (while making some seriously good wines) and warm and friendly people.”
(Read: You’re going to have fun and it’s going to be beautiful. I would also add that it’s super-close to the Bay Area and easy to get to, about an hour from San Francisco and Sacramento, even closer to Oakland and the East Bay. Liana Estates, one of Carnero’s newest coolest wineries to visit, is located at 2750 Las Amigas Road, Napa CA.)
Here are the details: Carneros Cornhole Tournament & Wine Tasting
What: Taste classic Carneros wines from Carneros Wine Alliance members Bouchaine, Cuvaison, Etude, Hyde, Liana Estates, Schug and Truchard and then compete against local winemakers in a Cornhole Tournament! All proceeds go to the Carneros & Schell-Vista Fire Department.
When: Saturday, August 12 2017, 4-6 PM
Where: Liana Estates, 2750 Las Amigas Road, Napa CA
Tickets: $40, buy them here, all proceeds go to the Carneros and Schell-Vista Fire Department
Alison Crowe is an award-winning winemaker, author and blogger based in Napa. She is the Winemaker for Garnet Vineyards and Picket Fence Vineyards and is on the Advisory Board for the Carneros Wine Alliance. @alisoncrowewine firstname.lastname@example.org
2015 was a record early Harvest in Northern California’s wine country. As a result, those of us (read: Winemakers) who rarely get to enjoy the festivities of fall are casting about for ways to celebrate the season.
I know some of us are thrilled to actually be able to make our kids’ Halloween costumes rather than throw something together from Safeway the day of. Many of we winemakers are mentioning classic fall food as the days get shorter; I’ve seen lots of recipes for pot roast, butternut squash ravioli and split pea soup on Pinterest lately. A lot better than taco truck burritos on the crush pad, to be sure!
We’re all talking about dusting off the hobbies, getting out for a little fall-weather hiking and maybe some “staycation” wine country activities with our friends and families. If it’s the kind of thing you like do (and it’s the kind of thing I’m getting back into doing), why not join me at the “Best Destination Race in the Pacific West”– the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon/Hallowine 5K on Halloween morning? It’s my first time doing this race, and, when I saw the invitation from Destination Races of course I had to say yes. I’ve never done this course because, of course, I’m always super busy on Halloween- except for this historically early 2015 season!
Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon Details:
Website: Click Here
When: Saturday, October 31, 2015
Start Times: 1/2 Marathon: 7:30am PST. The Hallowine 5k has 2 start waves, 8:45 and 8:50am PST
Fun Fall Extras:
-Welcome receptions and pre-race dinner events
-Race Day expo
-Post-Race wine and food festival
-costume contest, feed and beer, live band, awards, wine tasting ($35 extra fee
-Involved wineries include Truett Hurst, Coppola’s newest gig, Virginia Dare Winery, Kendall Jackson, Trione, Mazzocco and Trentadue Winery- what a lineup!
All info can be found here: http://destinationraces.com/runhb/
All in all this looks like a really fun wine country race. I’m so lucky to live in Napa, where it seems like there’s a 5K, 10K or half marathon within a 25 mile radius almost every other weekend. Now that I don’t have to grab a fright wig from the “Seasonal Sale” shelves at Safeway, I guess the only question is, what should I dress up as on race day?
Alison Crowe is a Napa-based consulting winemaker, blogger and author of The Winemaker’s Answer Book. She is the Winemaker for Garnet Vineyards, Picket Fence Vineyards and Buccaneer Wines, among others. She got back into running this summer and was invited to participate in the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon event as a local blogger. All Photos credit: Destination Races.