Barrel Tasting returns to Sonoma County

Chardonnay. Pinot Noir. Cabernet Sauvignon. These are just some of the types of wine that were found at the 37th Annual Barrel Tasting. This three-day weekend event attracts many wine enthusiasts from all over, including a large amount of Sonoma State students.

This event includes more than 100 wineries that are open for barrel tasting. Coordinators of this event have said that while approximately 19,000 people paid for the advance admission, an additional 6,000 to 8,000 were expected to purchase same-day admission tickets. The event is a phenomenon that has brought extra tourism to Sonoma County . 

“Barrel Tasting Weekend in Sonoma County has grown from a small grass root efforts to a very successful example of wine tourism,” said Liz Thach, a professor of Wine Business and Management at Sonoma State University. “Locals and visitors alike look forward to celebrating the birth of a new vintage and the opportunity to taste from the barrel, while spending time with friends and family, and enjoying music, games and good food.”  

Sonoma State has a wine business and management department which allows for interested students  to learn  about the industry. For those choosing to participate in the Barrel Tasting event, it’s a good learning experience about everything involving wine. Wine representatives from each winery are more than happy to talk to participants about their products. 

“Barrel tasting weekend is a great event for Sonoma Sate students to be able to branch out and learn more about the wine industry,” said wine business major Brielle Charmasson. “Sonoma County wineries are hidden gems within our own backyard and we are so lucky to have the opportunity to explore and have fun with friends.”

For participants who purchased tickets to the event, their first day usually starts with them having to sign in to whichever winery they agreed to start at in order to get their tasting glass. However, for those who sign up to start at different starting points, they  simply grab their glasses and move on to a different winery. The tasters are poured for those who are drinking, allowing them to learn and gain an understanding for the diverse types of wine. 

VML Winery, Matrix Winery and Kendall Jackson, all located in Healdsburg, were  just a few of the wineries that were open for Barrel Tasting. However, this weekend event had  more than 100 wineries catered to Barrel Tasting participants. 

“The weekends of Barrel Tasting are where some of the best memories are made, especially for students in this area,” said student and Barrel Tasting participant Katrina Blickenstaff. “It’s pretty cool to see just how many people come out for this event. I feel like it’s a great chance for Sonoma County to show off its beauty.”

It’s because of the Barrel Tasting event that thousands of people come to visit the Sonoma County area. This event is open to the public and to students over the age of 21. The event  also allows for those who don’t live in the area to join in on the tasting experience. 

For those choosing to participate in this  event, make sure to have a designated driver in order to get to and from each of the wineries. Keeping everyone safe as they experience a fun, wine-filled weekend allows for the true beauty of Sonoma County to be seen by many.