Taste. Sip. Indulge.
Since the late 1960s when trailblazers carved a path north to Mendocino County to live off the land, artisan farmers had no idea their simplistic farm-to-fork ethos would evolve into a culinary trend. From Scottish sheepherders to German viticulturists, hippie farmers and high-brow brew masters, today the region’s diverse mix of entrepreneurs have set an inviting table laden with locally-produced Piment d’Ville, farm-raised bison, candy cap (mushroom) ice cream, farmstead chévre and an entire season focused on foraging for Mr. Fungi.
The 2018/2019 line-up of culinary celebrations is as authentic as it is ambitious. From pick-your-own farm stays to foraging for fungi, Mendocino County is ripe for a seasonal visit, be it cracking Dungeness crab or savoring a sleek Alsatian wine. www.visitmendocino.com.
2018 Top Culinary Celebrations
February 24-25, 2018 – Aromatic White Wine Festival
Truly a one-of-a-kind event and the ideal time to tap into the region’s rich reserves of dry Alsatian wines including crisp Rieslings and Gewürztraminers from around the globe. Enjoy foods perfectly suited to these aromatic whites in a casual setting. Event includes a technical conference and area-wide winery open houses. www.avwines.com . Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Boonville, Calif.
April 7, 2018 – Fifth Annual Sparkling Wine Festival
A stellar wine and food festival showcasing Mendocino County’s renowned bubbles. Set on a working olive oil ranch — Terra Sávia Winery in Hopland — wines will be paired with smoked salmon, local oysters, patés and canapés with a backdrop of vineyards and olive orchards. The North Coast climates of Mendocino County are known for producing wonderful sparkling wines with some 20+ wineries pulling out their local stash. www.terrasavia.com. Hopland, Calif.
April 28, 2018 – The 22nd Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival
Hop on over for a brewfest fit for kings at Anderson Valley Brewing Company. Craft beers from dozens of breweries from San Diego to Portland pour suds all afternoon at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. Food and music round out the day. www.avbc.com. Boonville, Calif.
May 5-6, 2018 – Spring Wine Weekend
Destination Hopland, set at the gateway of Mendocino County along the Inspiration Highway, is the locale for this annual tasting event. Browse the quaint town and enjoy a bevy of local varietals paired with food and entertainment. www.destinationhopland.com. Hopland, Calif.
May 19-20, 2018 – Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival
Bring out the big stemware for this remarkable tasting of the region’s world class Pinot Noir wines. Set deep in the rustic redwoods of Camp Navarro in Anderson Valley, the event includes a grand tasting, technical conference, scrumptious food pairings and winemaker dinners throughout the valley. www.avwines.com. Navarro, Calif.
July 7, 2018 – World’s Largest Salmon BBQ
Set in scenic Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, this annual event spotlights the region’s rich salmon haul with all proceeds directed to improve salmon populations on the Northern California coast. Enjoy grilled salmon and all the fixings to benefit Salmon Restoration. https://salmonrestoration.com/the-world-largest-salmon-bbq/. Fort Bragg, Calif.
July 21–22, 2018 – Anderson Valley Barrel Tasting
Glass in hand explore the Anderson Valley AVA in all its summer glory; events and tasting throughout the region from Boonville to the Deep End. www.avwines.com. Boonville, Calif.
August 18-19, 2018 – Round Valley Blackberry Festival
It’s all things blackberry this August in northern Mendocino County. The festival features arts and crafts booths, blackberry delicacies, Mendocino County wine tasting and children’s games. http://www.roundvalleyblackberryfestival.com. Free. Covelo, Calif.
September 1, 2018 – Beer, Bison & Bluegrass
Enjoy a feast of the original American meat with all the fixings paired with beer and wine tasting and live music by headliners The Mendocino Quartet. Rumor has it hard cider may be available for tasting this year! http://www.parentsandfriends.org/beer-bison–bluegrass.html. Fort Bragg, Calif.
September 2, 2018 – Seafood & Harbor Festival
Amazing local seafood, craft beer, spectacular Mendocino County wines and the vibe of Point Arena await visitors on Labor Day weekend. Dive into fish tacos, albacore kabobs and fresh seafood salads backed with live entertainment. www.pointarena.net. Point Arena, Calif.
September 14–15, 2018 – Winesong Charity Auction & Tasting
Held in the luxuriant Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg, the Winesong Grand Tasting and Charity Auction offers sumptuous bites from the county’s chefs served alongside a panoply of county wines. The live auction features spectacular wines, rare vintages, large format bottles plus special vertical and horizontal collections and luxury vacations. The Pinot Noir Celebration precedes on Friday at the Little River Inn. www.winesong.org. Mendocino, Calif.
October 6, 2018 – Abalone Cook-off
Slip into Noyo Harbor for a feast for the senses. Attendees will enjoy live music, local beer from North Coast Brewery, fine wines, a dockside crafts fair, silent auction and Mr. Abalone in all his glory. Compete as a cook or judge the dishes at Noyo Harbor South. http://www.mendoparks.org/abalone-cook-off/. Fort Bragg, Calif.
October 14-15, 2018 – Fall 2018 Wine Weekend
Swirl and whirl with wine, food and music spotlighting Hopland area wineries. Explore the quaint town of Hopland with its tasting rooms, shopping and dining and the one-and-only Solar Living Center. www.destinationhopland.com. Hopland, Calif.
November 2-11, 2018 – Annual Mushroom, Wine & Beer Fest
Fall means fungi and as the season turns so does the annual crop of coveted candy cap, chanterelle, porcini and hedgehog mushrooms. Some 3,000 mushroom varieties lace the landscape nurturing nirvana for local chefs, winemakers and fungi foragers. On tap are regional mushroom-laced menus, 20+ winemaker and brew events, educational seminars, foraging treks and mushroom-inspired hotel packages. www.visitmendocino.com. Mendocino County.
January 18-27, 2019 – 20th Annual Crab, Wine & Beer Festival
Celebrate the region’s local rock star – fresh Dungeness crab – with a variety of events including countywide crab-centric menus, hotel packages at cozy inns, crab and wine events, a cioppino feed and crab cake cook-off paired with award-winning wine and local brews. www.visitmendocino.com. Fort Bragg, Calif.
January 19-20, 2019 – Barrel Tasting 101
Join Destination Hopland for this annual spotlight of wineries along the Upper Russian River Valley and dotting Highway 101 in Mendocino County. Talk with winemakers; learn how to evaluate barrel samples for their potential and purchase futures at a discounted price. This is a two-day tasting along the Inspiration Highway in the heart of Mendocino County. http://destinationhopland.com/hopland-passport. Hopland, Calif.