Stop what you’re doing and mark your 2013 calendar for September 7. Do it now.
If you don’t yet have a 2013 calendar, go out and buy one. Do it now.
You’ll want to set aside that Saturday to attend Winesong 2013 at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in northern California.
I have attended more than 100 wine-tasting events and festivals through the years. Each was unique in some way—be it the setting, the selection of wines, the food served, the music played or the seminars presented.
Given the sheer number involved, it might be hard to believe that one of those events stood out above all the others. But one did: Winesong. Call it an “all-inclusive” wine tasting.
Just ask Tammy or Robert Swensen, who attended the 2012 edition in their wedding outfits, and brought along their wedding guests.
“We had to hire no caterers, buy no wine — it was so easy,” Tammy said. “Winesong had it all.”
When I attended my first Winesong in 1994, it seemed as if a vast majority of the wines were local, with either “Mendocino County” or “Anderson Valley” appellations on their labels. And that was just fine; the Pinot Noir and Alsatian-style wines provided plenty of drinking pleasure.
These days, Winesong is a much more far-flung wine-tasting event. In addition to Mendocino, California this year was represented by Napa Valley, Sonoma County, the Sierra Foothills and the Central Coast.
There also were bottlings from Oregon and Washington.
And there even were selections from Italy, Chile and South Africa.
But even without that breadth of vinous geography, Winesong would be special because of the setting and the music.
As its name implies, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens overlook the Mendocino Coast—one of the more spectacular seaside settings anywhere. And as one strolls the pathways of the Gardens, moving from wine table to wine table and food purveyor to food purveyor, a number of musicians are encountered, offering sublime acoustic sounds. They provide the “song” of Winesong.
I couldn’t put it better than new bride Tammy Swensen: “Winesong had it all.” And it will have it all once again next year.
If you love wine and music, not to mention great food and fabulous scenery…you have to go.
To learn more about Winesong and how the local Mendocino coast community benefits from it, visit the event’s website.