Chardonnay, cabernet, riesling, zinfandel, pinot noir, merlot, dessert wines – all your favorites are there. These wines and more will all be making an appearance to satisfy the palates of wine enthusiasts at the 2011 Riverbank Cheese and Wine Festival on Oct. 8-9.
Organizers are featuring a new twist this year in order to accommodate all the event patrons by hosting the wine tasting both inside the Community Center and outside under tents in Community Center Park.
“We’ve kind of gone back to our roots again by having it in the Community Center,” said committee member Karen Bickford. “It’s not just in there though… Usually the weather is nice that weekend. (Attendees) can hear the music outside and get a breath of fresh air (while they taste).”
Representatives from nearly 20 wineries will be pouring a variety of wines for the thirsty crowds at the event. Last year’s wineries are all returning to have a presence again at this year’s festival.
Wine tasting times on Saturday are from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., again from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and then from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tasting times for Sunday are 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and also from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Bickford made a strong recommendation to purchase tickets online if you’re interested in tasting at a specific session. She said that the last session on Saturday sells out.
Tickets for the wine tasting are $35 and will be sold online via the website at www.riverbankcheeseandwine.org until midnight on Friday, Oct. 7. Tickets will also be $35 at the door. A 2011commemorative wine glass is included in the ticket price. All wine tasting ticket holders must be 21 or older.
There will be appetizers and cheese to nibble on in the wine tasting area, also included in the price of your ticket. The cheese companies that will be offering samples at the wine tasting are Hilmar Cheese, Nicolau Farms, Valley Ford, Point Reyes, and Rizo Lopez. Nicolau Farms and Valley Ford are new this year.
A new feature at this year’s festival is “Cheese Row” on the corner of Fifth and Santa Fe streets where cheese lovers will find cheeses to sample and buy from producers from all over California.
The following wineries will be present at this year’s event: Allure Winery, Apothic Winery, Bakers Dozen Winery, Barber Cellars, Barefoot Winery, Barsetti Vineyards, Concannon Vineyard, Cupcake Vineyards, Edna Valley Paragon, FlipFlop Wines, Forest Glen Winery, Frei Bros RRV, Gallo Family Vineyards, Gallo of Sonoma, Green Truck Winery, Masked Rider Winery, Quady Winery, Red Rock Winery, and Turning Leaf Vineyards.