There’s More to ‘Wine Country’ Than Wine

I attended the very first Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival. On September 27, K-J will host this fun event for the 18th time.

Yikes! Where did all of those years go?

Back then, about all I knew about a tomato is that it’s a fruit — and I was pretty proud of myself for possessing that knowledge. My 9-year-old granddaughter still doesn’t believe it.

I’ve been back probably three or four times through the years. I’m still no tomato expert, but I’ve learned something new each time. I’ve also come to appreciate that heirloom tomato growing is just as much of an art form as artisan winemaking. Each endeavor requires not only knowledge, but passion.

What can you expect at the 2014 edition of K-J’s tomato-focused event?

“This signature event reveals the delicious flavors of more than 150 heritage varieties of tomatoes grown in Kendall-Jackson’s expanded estate culinary gardens,” a winery press release states. “Enjoy the perfect fall day with garden tours, exceptional wine and food pairings, dynamic wine and garden seminars, the popular Chef’s Challenge, and music provided by The Carlos Herrera Band.”

It’s a five-hour event, and in my experience, you’ll need all five for the “total experience.” And you can feel good about attending, because proceeds will benefit a very worthwhile cause.

“The festival benefits the Ceres Community Project,” K-J says. “Ceres builds healthy and caring communities by engaging teens as gardeners and chefs, and nurturing their leadership skills and commitment to healthy eating. In 2014, Ceres’ volunteer chefs will prepare 88,000 free and low-cost healthy meals for hundreds of Sonoma and Marin County families facing a health crisis such as cancer.”

Ticket information for the 18th annual Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival is available here.

Posted in Wine Buzz
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