Check Your Passport: Destination Dry Creek Valley April 27&28, 2013

Even with the ever-increasing selection of wine tasting events all across Sonoma County, one thing remains the same. Passport to Dry Creek Valley sells out every year.

That’s because of the wonderful wine and food offered throughout the weekend, certainly, but also because of the flat-out fun. Each winery is challenged to come up with a distinctive theme, and they roll out the stops, for celebrations in the style of Escape to the Caribbean, Spirit of the Andes, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Elvis and such.

As one of the originals and a longest-running regional wine event, Passport celebrates its 24th anniversary this year with more than 50 marvelous wineries popping the corks for an elaborate display of world-class wines.

Designed around the theme of “A Modern Tradition with Century-Old Roots,” the festivities feature wine tasting, gourmet food, fun themes, and live entertainment from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. For a deeper immersion into the world of wine, guests can sign up for vineyard tours at select properties – click here for details.

And there’s still more. In a new amenity, Madrona Manor wine-country inn of Healdsburg will host a Passport theme dinner on Friday, April 26 at 6 p.m. in its Michelin-star restaurant. Four Dry Creek Valley wineries – The Vineyard at Pasterick, Hawley Winery, Del Carlo Winery and Montemaggiore Winery – will pour their best during an hour-long reception of tray-passed appetizers, then pair them with a five-course dinner created by Madrona executive chef Jesse Mallgren.

Tickets are $120 for the Two-Day Passport; $70 for a Sunday-Only Passport. Purchase at For the Madrona Manor supper, call (800) 258-4003 or visit

Tip: Designated drivers mean more wine enjoyment in a safe, worry free weekend. Reserve a private limo or Town Car, and invite a couple of friends along for the ride, too.

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