I really felt like an insider.
Sonoma County, Calif. (Vocus) April 30, 2009
At Sonoma County Grape Camp , there are no sleeping bags, no mosquito repellent and no wake-up songs. Rather, it is a behind-the-scenes three-day wine and food adventure designed to explore the fine craft of taking winegrapes from the vineyard to the bottle and more.
Produced by Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and Relish Culinary Adventures, this camp offers consumers hands-on experience harvesting grapes and blending wine, as well as exclusive access to influential grape growers, winemakers and chefs who help make Sonoma County wine country a world-class destination.
"There was an incredible line-up of first-rate venues and celebrity-level hosts and speakers," said 2008 camper Steve Edison, of Thousand Oaks, Calif. "I really felt like an insider."
The third annual Grape Camp will take place during the exciting harvest season, Sept. 21-23. Camp highlights include an outdoor vineyard reception dinner overlooking the Russian River Valley at Arista Winery; a tour and tasting at Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves and lunch at St. Francis Winery in Sonoma Valley.
Campers will also enjoy a hands-on team pizza making contest at Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg, as well an al fresco dinner feast overlooking the Alexander Valley at the home of Tom Klein, owner of Rodney Strong Vineyards. There will also be a Spanish harvest lunch at Marimar Estate in the Green Valley region prepared by winery owner Marimar Torres.
Finally, campers will blend their own wine at Stonestreet Winery, under the direction of master winemaker Graham Weerts.
Tuition is $1,750 per person for each couple ($150 single supplement) that includes two nights hotel stay at the luxurious Vintners Inn, and all meals, seminars, transportation and activities listed on the camp schedule.
There is an optional $125 per person grower/vintner graduation camp dinner at John Ash & Co., with noted winegrape grower Steve Sangicomo and celebrity winemaker Greg LaFollette of Tandem Winery, with an additional night at the Vintners Inn for $250.
For further information, the camp schedule and registration, visit http://www.SonomaGrapeCamp.com or call (707) 522-5860.
In addition to the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and Relish Culinary School, camp partners include the Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma County Tourism Bureau.
The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission was established in 2006 as a non-profit marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion of Sonoma County as one of the world's premier grape-growing regions. With more than 1,800 growers, SCWC's goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County's grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world. For more information about SCWC and its programs, visit http://www.sonomawinegrape.org.
Editor's Note: Photos available at http://www.sonomagrapecamp.com/photo-gallery-2008.html A limited number of camper spots are available for media with coverage assignments. Please get in touch with Larry at larry.levine (at) sonomawinegrape (dot) org for an application.
larry.levine (at) sonomawinegrape (dot) org