Every year, this ten-year-old festival gets bigger and more festive.Think of it as a double-hitter; at April in Carneros you get to toast springtime and one of the most beloved Sonoma appellations at the same time. This year’s event seems like a must-do for fans of Carneros’ award-winning Pinots, Zins and Chardonnays. More than 20 wineries are participating; for $40 you get your own glass etched with the April in Carneros 2010 logo, a map with directions to all participating wineries, and free tasting at all of them.
Larsen Family Winery will once again be spinning their “Lucky at Larson Wheel” to determine lucky winners of free bottles of wine. They will be serving barbecued oysters paired with their 2009 Estate Carneros Pinot Grigio.
Many of the wineries have live music, too; on Saturday, Anaba Wines will have hors d’oevres catered by Outta My Kitchen and live music by the Whisky Thieves, while Ceja will be hopping to the pulse of Orquesta Borinquen, a fiery hot salsa band. Meanwhile, at Cline Cellars they’ll be grilling homemade sausages with gourmet mustards and artisanal cheeses from Carneros Caves. Cline will also have an outdoor marketplace showcasing chocolate truffles, hand-painted glass and artisan jewelry.
Tickets are $40 when purchased on the day of the event; $35 when purchased ahead of time. Many of the participating wineries are also offering case discounts as high as 40 percent to event participants, so there’s one heck of an added incentive.
Because the Carneros region crosses the Sonoma-Napa county border, this is one wine event which involves participation by wineries from both regions, giving it a warm fuzzy cooperative spirit. And many of these are small boutique wineries that are a bit off the beaten path; you’re almost certain to discover a new favorite you’ve never heard of before. April in Carneros has a really high repeat rate of folks who come year after year; seems like they’re onto something.