theCorkHead.com

theCorkHead.com

The online home of Mark “The Cork Head” Stuart, Certified Wine Professional, speaker/educator, judge, and columnist.

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December 2017
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Sunday March 14th The Del Mar Fairgrounds will play host to the largest tasting of California wines in the San Diego area.

More than 240 family owned wineries will be on hand to pour samples inside Exhibition Hall at the 2010 Family Winemakers of California San Diego Tasting. Exhibitors will represent most wine growing regions from around the state, with the highest concentration being from Sonoma and Napa Counties. Owners and winemakers will be on hand to share their wines with the public at this one-of-a-kind tasting.

Though the event has a folksy name, the wines being poured are anything but. The tasting features a star-studded lineup of producers, including Napa Valley standouts Corison Winery, The Terraces, and Grgich Hills. From Sonoma look for Saxon Brown Wines, Fritz Winery, and Landmark Vineyards. Other notable producers scheduled to pour include the likes of Tablas Creek Vineyard, Pisoni Vineyards and Winery, and Alfaro Family Vineyards, among countless superstars.

Wine tasting events with this degree of transparency to winery ownership traditionally were reserved exclusively for those in the wine business. What makes this exhibition so special is the unprecedented access to winery executives by the general public. “Their intimate involvement with many more aspects of the winemaking process provides for a much more unique experience as far as the dialogue goes”, said Michelle Metter, an organizing consultant for the event.

The Terraces owner and winemaker Timm Crull has high hopes for the first time exhibition. “This event will have great wines”, said Crull. “San Diego and North County are important areas. We are very excited to be there.”

Saxon Brown winemaker Jeff Gaffner is also pleased to continue inroads to the San Diego market, and in such an open format. “It gives us a chance to pour all our wines”, said Gaffner, who plans on offering 12 different choices.

With so many producers on hand, patrons should go with a plan so they may seek out their preferred producers, wines, and varietals. The Family Winemakers of California website, www.familywinemakers.org has a complete list of scheduled exhibitors. Additionally, an advanced feature on the website allows web surfers the ability to select varietals they are interested in tasting and will be directed to the producers who will be pouring them.

The 2010 Family Winemakers of California San Diego Tasting is open to the public from 3-6 p.m. Tickets are available online for $45, or at the door for $55. Organizers recommended attendees purchase tickets online as the event may sell out and tickets at the door may not be available. For more information visit www.familywinemakers.org.

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