Wine Country Fundraisers and In-Person Events Return

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With an increase in in-person wine events compared to the last two years of the pandemic, many traditional Wine Country events are returning. Here’s a preview of a few coming this spring, summer, and fall.

Sonoma County Barrel Auction, May 6: After a 2-year hiatus, the wine trade event will be held in person at MacMurray Estate Vineyards. SoCoBarrelAuction.com

Taste of Sonoma, June 25: After canceling in 2021, the Taste of Sonoma will return live and in person, this year for the first time on the grounds of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens. tastedesonoma.com

Sonoma County Wine Auction, September 15-17: The event will be held in person again this year at Chalk Hill Winery. sonomacountywineauction.com

Collective barrel tasting in Napa Valley, June 3: The organization will host an in-person barrel futures tasting on June 3 at Raymond Vineyards, hosted by Jean-Charles Boisset and Gina Gallo. It will replace the now defunct Live Auction Napa Valley. collectivenapavalley.org

Collective Napa Valley kicks off its year-long fundraising program on Thursday, March 24, with a 60-minute live virtual show titled “Welcome to Collective Napa Valley.”

Organizers in both counties are no doubt encouraged by Premiere Napa Valley’s fundraising efforts. The shopping event was the first event to release last month. It tumbled $2.7 million and while the numbers were flat from 2021, it was still impressive as it featured the 2020 vintage, devastated by the Glass fire and crippled by the pandemic.

After closing the Auction Napa Valley live auction chapter, Collective Napa Valley organizers said they were pleased with their progress. They have attracted around 1,000 members from 38 states and 16 countries and the Thursday, March 24 event is meant to welcome them into the fold.

“Our goal with Collective Napa Valley was to reach a wider audience,” said Stacey Dolan Capitani, vice president of marketing. “We want everyone who loves Napa Valley wine to have a seat at the table with Collective Napa Valley. We are working with SommTV to produce the show and already have over 30 winemakers involved. Tasting kits will be sent out in advance and a small studio audience will also be present.

Dolan said the organizers are treating Collective Napa Valley like a start-up.

“This new model allows us to be flexible and agile,” she said. “We plan to change and modify as needed to ensure our goal of caring for our community is achieved. I can promise you that Collective Napa Valley won’t be leaving in a year or two. Our winemakers want to see this model succeed and we have made a commitment to our community that we will continue to support.

Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at [email protected] or 707-521-5310.

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