While much of the world was witnessing unfathomable tragedy — from the bombing of New York’s World Trade Center to the killing of 22 United Nations troops in Somalia — a group of winery owners in California decided it might be a good idea to provide wine lovers with a “get-away-from-it-all” experience, if only for a few hours.
The year was 1993, and that spring, the first Monterey County Winemakers’ Celebration was held. The Celebration has been delighting visitors to California’s Central Coast ever since. The 2014 edition is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, and it’s once again shaping up as a not-to-miss event.
Thirty Monterey County wineries will be on hand, offering more than 125 wines for guests to sample. The admission price also includes a Q&A panel with some of the region’s forward-thinking vintners, an exhibit detailing how barrels are made, plus small bites of delicious food from La Balena Carmel, Il Fornaio Carmel, Little Napoli, St. Tropez Carmel, Lula’s Chocolates and other local purveyors.
There are two ticket packages from which to choose, with descriptions courtesy of the event organizers:
1. Main Event — 2-5 p.m., $65
“The Main Event will certainly be a celebration to remember as you experience the full array of what Monterey Wine Country has to offer. Enjoy over 100 Monterey County wines, select artisan cheeseries and chocolatiers, contemporary music, live demonstrations and help yourself to small bites prepared from only the best local chefs — all while you discover picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea.”
2. VIP Experience — 1-5 p.m., $95
“The VIP Experience will have a limited number of tickets that allow you access to the event one hour early to spend time with Monterey County’s winemakers in a more intimate setting. They educate you personally on the finer details and entertain as they pour exclusive vintages not featured in the Main Event. You can taste the rich history of the wines first hand and dive into the minds of the growers and vintners. There will also be private seminars and demonstrations to choose from as you get an inside look into the world of Monterey wines.”
Monterey County has gained a well-deserved reputation for producing world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But many other varieties are embraced as well, which means there will be something for everyone at this year’s Celebration. There even are discounted tickets available for designated drivers.
To order tickets for the 22nd annual event, click here.