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Wine Road 2011 Winter Wineland in Northern Sonoma County

The first year I attended Wine Road Winter Wineland I was shy about checking in before noon. Now I arrive shamelessly a few minutes before the official starting check in time. I’m armed with my photo I.D., my plan for the day, and the right attitude. I expect there will be crowds. I expect there will be tasters who don’t sip and spit as much as they should. I know that rain or shine I’m going to have an amazing adventure. I know I’m going to make some new wine-loving friends. I know I’m going to lose track of time and stray from my original plans.

Ideally, the 19th Annual Winter Wineland is a two day experience to be savored; however tickets are available for Sunday only. Click here for all the details. A great way to start planning your Winter Wineland experience is to view the list of what each winery will be offering and choose the ones that are offering what you're most interested in. View which wineries to visit to meet owners and winemakers, go on a tour, enjoy certain types of art, sample wines from the barrel, taste limited productions, taste new releases, taste library wines, sample tasty bites offered to accompany the wine served. With the tally currently at 135 wineries, the process of elimination among so many award-winning wineries is heartbreaking. Each winery has something special to offer.

Visitors to Amista will enjoy an award-winning 2005 Syrah

At Amista Vineyards visitors will meet owners Mike and Vicky Farrow while tasting pairings of wines with hearty soups and chocolate. A Golden Butternut Squash soup will be paired with Amista 2008 Chardonnay and a Mushroom Bisque will be paired with Amista 2005 Syrah. Chocolate Truffles will be paired with Amista’s Port style wine. Amista will host resident artist Carol Watanabe as she performs demonstration paintings.

Fans of Petite Sirah and Syrah need to visit Christopher Creek Winery. Barrel samples of their 2010 wines will be offered. Visitors will meet the winemaker, explore the differences of the two types of wines, and learn what foods deliciously pair with each.

If you’re looking for live music, the historical Foppiano Vineyards presents Richard Bolman on Saturday and the Jump blues band named, Bill Noteman and the Rockets, on Sunday. The photography of Michael Ecton will be on display. A Smoked Chicken Chowder will be paired with Foppiano Petite Sirah.

Twomey Cellars in Healdsburg

Twomey Cellars will offer a unique demonstration of the 19th century winemaking technique that creates the magic behind Twomey Cellars single-vineyard Merlot. Older vintages of Twomey Cellars Merlot will be paired with one of the most delicious fried creations ever invented – Arancini.

Wilson Winery will pair their award-winning Zinfandels with another sumptuous food – tri tip. Visitors to Wilson Winery will also be able to view a sculpture made entirely of wine bottles.

The wineries participating this year range from smaller wineries requesting no groups larger than eight people to bigger wineries with familiar names such as Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Kendall Jackson, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, and Chalk Hill Winery. All participating wineries will be offering discounts to Winter Wineland participants which makes this unbelievable weekend even sweeter.

Advance online ticket sales end January 10, 2011. After the deadline, the ticket price will increase. Remember to make a reservation with Pure Luxury for a professional, chauffeured, designated driver. Your private chauffeur can handle any traffic snarls and can safely negotiate the roads while you plan your next stop.

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