On a hot evening in August, the Rutherford Dust Society held its 21st annual “Original Chili Ball.”
This year, the neighborhood celebration of food, music and merrymaking was held on the bucolic grounds of Rutherford Grove Winery. While 400-plus adults enjoyed the music and wine, numerous children had a blast in the jump house.
Though the party is primarily a celebration for the residents and winery employees of Rutherford, each year the profits are donated to the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department, the local 4-H, and the Rutherford Grange — all of which have people helping out at the event.
If you missed that event — and chances are you did — be aware that for the first time ever, the Rutherford Appellation Wineries will open their cellars to the public for the “Roll Out the Barrels” Passport Weekend.
The event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, December 6-7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Beach day.
Guests will have an exclusive opportunity to sample wines from the barrel, including finished blends and components of future wines, while learning about Rutherford varietals, Napa Valley terroir and diverse barrel types and toasts.
Many participating Rutherford wineries will offer future sales of their barrel samples, an opportunity to meet the winemaking team, and tastings of reserve and limited-production wines.
Visitors can enjoy the unique barrel weekend experience for $75 per person for the two-day pass, or $60 for a Sunday-only pass.
Tickets can be purchased online at rutherford-appellation-wineries.com and will be available for pick-up at the designated winery purchase point. Profits from the event will be donated to a Rutherford community charity.