Slow Down for Sebastopol

Many people on their way to a wine-focused getaway in Sonoma County zoom right past Sebastopol without even knowing it.

Intent on reaching the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir outposts of the Russian River Valley, or the Zinfandel stars of the Dry Creek Valley, they put the pedal to the metal on Highway 101. Inexplicably, they don’t even stop for a Double Double burger (with grilled onions, naturally) at any of the In-N-Out Burger drive-throughs along the way.

But there are more than 40 good reasons to stop in Sebastopol, which is home to that number of wineries.

A great way to experience all that these West Sonoma Coast wineries have to offer is to attend the West of West Wine Festival, now in its third year. The 2013 edition of “WOW” is right around the corner: August 2-4.

The schedule is packed with winemaker dinners, seminars, flight tastings and vineyard tours. There are Grand Tasting events both Saturday and Sunday, and the big Saturday night event is an oyster and white wine reception, followed by a Grand Dinner prepared by James Beard award finalist Steven Satterfield of Atlanta’s Miller Union restaurant.

The various events are priced a la carte, which means you can pick and choose, and even plan a little down time (or not, particularly if you’re one of those pedal-to-the-metal people).

If it’s too late to make plans to attend “WOW,” do not despair. Next Monday, I’ll share information on an exciting new culinary destination in downtown Sebastopol that’s open year-round.

Posted in Wine Buzz
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