Janice MacDonald is here to talk about Mendocino Sparkling and Oysters festival on California Wine Country with Harry Duke sitting in for Steve Jaxon, and of course with Dan Berger. Janice is the Festival and Events coordinator for Visit Mendocino.
Janice seems to enjoy what must be a pleasant and easy task, promoting and describing Mendocino County to people. In Mendocino there are cool climate wines growing in the Anderson Valley and the warmer climate wines in the eastern area of the 101 corridor. Mendocino is a slightly less travelled place, so there are not great crowds, but it is worth a visit because the views are beautiful and the wines are phenomenal.
Dan Berger started judging in the Mendocino wine competition in 1983. He has personally tasted the progress of Mendocino winemakers. Many years ago, their quality was “hit and miss” but today it is all first class. Their Cabernets have been great for the last five years and so have the Pinot Noirs, for the last ten years.
The Mendocino Sparkling Wine and Oysters Festival
The Mendocino Sparkling Wine and Oysters Festival is Saturday, January 27. Destination Hopland is hosting the event in the caves at Saracina Winery. There will be about 18 wineries pouring sparkling wines, and some others pouring still whites. There will also be generous servings of Hog Island oysters and delicious tastings from Left Coast Seafood which will also pair perfectly. Tickets are available on EventBrite, at this link. Here is the Mendocino Winegrowers web page about the event.
The climate and soils in Mendocino are ideal for sparkling wine so this event will show them all off. The caves were founded by John Fetzer, son of Barney Fetzer who founded Fetzer Vineyards.
In the studio they taste a Nelson Family Vineyards Brut Sparkling Wine, made from Chardonnay and carrying the North Coast appellation. Dan says it is beautiful with distinctive Chardonnay aromatics.
Five years ago there were two or three top quality sparkling wine producers in Mendocino, but now there are more like twenty. It has really taken off. The Crab Cake Cookoff is a benefit for the Mendocino Coast Clinics, and that is next weekend. Each winery is paired with a local chef and the guests will elect a people’s choice favorite. There is a live auction, too. February 3, from 11am-3pm, in Ft. Bragg.
Visit the website visitmendocino.com for all information about what’s going on in Mendocino County.