Wineries are the driving force behind many social events here in Healdsburg, so we've decided to take a weekly look at what they are offering in music, get-togethers, barbecues and other events of interest to Patch readers.
By far the biggest winery every this weekend is the 16th annual Heirloom Tomato Festival, down at the winery off River Road. It kicks off with a Friday evening dinner at KJ's wine center with celebrity chefs Guy Fieri and Mario Batali. Other participating chefs include Douglas Keane (and ), John Ash, Domenica Catelli and Kendall-Jackson Executive Chef Justin Wangler.
All of the menus will showcase local ingredients and wine pairings enjoyed al fresco in the vineyard. The dinner is neither cheap ($350) nor sold out as of this writing; for more information about it or to purchase tickets, visit Kendall-Jackson’s website.
The event continues on Saturday, Sept. 15, as the Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival showcases the bounty of Sonoma County, including a tasting of more than 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes (grown in the Kendall-Jackson culinary gardens); a chef competitions, tomato-inspired dishes and an array of food, wine and gardening seminars. This day's merriment is $75, from 11 to 4.
Meanwhile, VML Winery out on Westside Road is making a big play for entertainment capital of the self-designated "Miracle Mile" of pinot producers. Friday, Sept. 14 they have the popular local Pat Jordan Band playing in their patio from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, less at the winery or online, and includes a glass of wine. Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes.
The next day, Saturday Sept. 15, they'll do it again with a tri-tip barbecue featuring Brian Bergeron in performance, from 1 to 5 in the afternoon. This time there is no admission since it's during regular tasting room hours, but $10 gets you a wine and food pairing.
That same day, up on Lytton Springs Rd., between Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys, is releasing their vintages of award-winning zinfandel. There will be live music and new releases paired with "BBQ delights" from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as described online here.
You know the old canard about sausage making? Here's your chance to make it, grill it and eat it, as well as take some home with you, accompanied by 's award-winning Barbera and other wines. Grilled sausage meal will be catered by Chef Dino Bugaci of Diavola Restaurant in Geyserville.
The Portalupi family will host the event at the historical Vinehill Druid Hall, 3025 Laguna Road, Santa Rosa. The event is from 2 to 5 in the afternoon, Saturday Sept. 15, and costs $102 (less for club members); and there'll be a bus leaving from Portalupi's North St. tasting room at 2 ($30 extra). Details are here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not winery related, but put it on your calendar anyway: Sunday, Sept. 16 is the date of the Mexican Independence Day, and the is celebrating with an Ancestors of Mexico celebration in the Healdsburg Plaza, to pair with their .
This will include music by Mariachi Los Caporales, traditional ballet folklorico dancing by students, exhibits from the museum's collection, homemade tamales and aguas frescas by Healdsburg High School MAYO (Mexican American Youth Organization). It's from 1 to 4 in the Plaza, and it's free.