The best foodie festivals around San Francisco this summer

Food in focus: Here is a rundown of the seven best foodie festivals happening this summer and fall around the San Francisco Bay Area. Photo: SF Chefs, Image: Gamma Nine Photography.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 14, 2013 – Foodies, you’ve found your home in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Food festivals are everywhere this summer.  Here are seven don’t miss foodie events around the San Francisco Bay.    


Wine Country Weekend, Sonoma County. Image: WCW

1.  Wine Country Weekend & Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch, Healdsburg, Sonoma County

Wine Country Weekend is Sonoma County’s largest charitable event, featuring Sonoma’s award-winning wines and fresh, local cuisine, all while raising funds that make a better future for local children and Sonoma county.

There are three signature events that set the tone for the weekend: Sonoma Starlight at Coppola Winery, Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch, and the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean.  If intimate events are more suited to your style, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend also offers small-scale lunch and dinner gatherings at an array of unique winery properties.

SEE RELATED: Top Ten summer festivals and outdoor concerts around San Francisco

The Taste of Sonoma is wine country’s premier wine and food event. This food and wine lover’s paradise sells out every year.  “Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch has evolved into an expansive day-long experience,” said Maureen Cottingham, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Co- Director.  “The opportunity to taste more than 200 Sonoma County wines from fifteen different appellations while also enjoying offerings from Sonoma chefs and food purveyors is something that simply doesn’t happen anywhere else, ever.”

Dates: August 30th – September 1st

Tickets: Individual event tickets starting at $85 per person.  Taste of Sonoma tickets start at $115.


SF Chefs, San Francisco, CA. Image: SF Chefs

2. SF Chefs, San Francisco

Tantalize your senses and your palate at SF Chefs, San Francisco’s premier food, wine and spirits festival.  This food and wine event celebrates the flavors, diversity and bounty of Northern California.  The main tasting event is set on San Francisco’s legendary Union Square.  The festival offers numerous opportunities to mingle with master chefs, mixologists, winemakers, brewers and other culinary geniuses.

The Grand Tasting Tent on Union Square features 200 of San Francisco’s finest restaurants, bars, distilleries, breweries and wineries displaying their signature creations.  At various venues throughout San Francisco there are classes, demonstrations, panels, dinners and special parties.  SF Chefs also supports a number of local Bay Area food-related charities, so you can feel great about indulging and imbibing. 

2013 highlights include: Masters of their Craft: Celebrating the Great Female Chefs and Sommeliers of San Francisco; 5th Anniversary Friday Night Opening Celebration; Saturday Day: The Five Tastes – Bitter, Sour, Salty, Sweet and Umami; and Sunday Day: Brunch by the Bay.

Dates: July 28th – August 4th

Tickets: Individual Visa Signature tickets start at $28.  VIP tickets and other passes are also available.  Some classes and demos are free to the public.


Festival del Sole, winemaker dinner. Image: Festival del Sole.

3.  Napa Valley Festival del Sole, Napa Valley

This festival invites all of the senses There is the beautiful, romantic scenery of Napa Valley to enjoy while listening to wonderful musical performances.  Sip aromatic wines and dine on delectable treats.  The 10-day celebration offers food lovers the opportunity to dine in the vineyards and experience amazing food and wine pairings.  There is no better way to experience Napa Valley’s fine wine and cuisine than Festival del Sole.

2013 Foodie events include:
 Dinner at The Napa Valley Reserve; Allegro Brunch at Miner Family Winery; Festival del Sole Gala at Meadowood; Vintner’s Luncheon at Grgich Hills; Dinner at Keller Estate; 140th Anniversary Celebration at Spring Mountain Vineyard; Dinner at Opus One, and Dinner and Concert at Far Niente.

Dates: July 12th – 21st

Tickets: $45 - $7,500 (full VIP pass).  Note: many dinners are sold out, but VIP tickets may be available.  


Music in the Vineyards, barrel room performance. Image: Music in Vineyards.

4.  Music in the Vineyards, Napa Valley Chamber Music Festival

This is the 19th season of Music in the Vineyards, Napa Valley’s famous chamber music festival.  Music in the Vineyards is a fabulous fête of Napa Valley food, wine and music at what promises to be the most talked about celebration of the summer.  Hear twelve remarkable programs, performed in unique winery settings where the music, the ambience, the food and of course the wine, all share the stage.  Their concerts are presented at some of Napa Valley’s most storied wineries: The Hess Collection, Robert Mondavi, Beringer, Charles Krug Winery, Silverado, and Black Stallion.  The “must-attend” event is the dinner and concert at Charles Krug Winery: Beethoven, a gourmet Napa Valley dinner in hand and having it all under the stars in the utmost of iconic settings.

2013 highlights include: Roll Over Beethoven at Charles Krug, and the Closing Night Celebration and Dinner at Meadowood Spa and Resort.

Dates: August 7th – 25th

Tickets: Concert tickets start at $55.  Dinner and concert at Charles Krug is $225 per person.  Closing Night Celebration - $135 per person.  Festival packages are available.


Grape to Glass Harvest Party, Russian River Valley. Image: G2G

5.  Grape to Glass Pre-Harvest Party, Russian River Valley

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Russian River Valley as a designated appellation.  The party starts with a wine and food tasting reception showcasing more than 50 wineries and growers from the Russian River Valley Winegrowers association, along with local restaurants, caterers and food purveyors offering small bites that pair perfectly with the wine. Following the reception will be a feast fit for a king, or a Viking: a savory barbecue dinner with all of the fixings.  And, of course, it wouldn’t be complete without homemade Gravenstein apple pie.

Date: August 17th

Admission: Individual tickets start at $85 per person.  Table reservations and VIP passes are available.


Taste Our Terroir 2013 Event Poster

6. Taste Our Terroir, Livermore Valley

Livermore Valley’s premier food and wine affair spans four delectable days. On Thursday night, the annual quest for food and wine pairing excellence has 20 winemakers partnering with Bay Area chefs to compete for honors.  Friday through Sunday, wineries across the Livermore region host cooking classes, barrel seminars, and vineyard tours.  Saturday night, guests join winemakers for a varietal dinner in an elegant wine country setting.

Have you ever wanted to learn the best ways to showcase your favorite wines with delicious cuisine?  From Chardonnay to Petite Sirah, you will learn the ins and outs of wine and food pairing while sampling delectable combinations.

Event highlights: Taste Our Terroir, Wine and Food Pairing 101 at Concannon Vineyard, and 29 Minute Meals by Chef Tracy at Rodrigue Molyneaux.

Dates: Thursday July 18th - Sunday, July 21st

Tickets: Individual tickets begin at $35.  Various packages are available. 



SF Brew Fest, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco.

7. Bay Area Brew Festival, Fort Mason, San Francisco

With so many wine tastings and pairings, beer lovers also have something to celebrate.  The third Annual Bay Area Brew Festival follows last year’s sold out event, and this year’s promises to be even bigger and better.  The event will feature over 150 microbrews, with dozens of international and domestic beers.  And this event is not just for lovers of craft beer, but also for food truck fanatics.  San Francisco’s best food trucks will be there, featuring the absolute best of the Bay.

Dates: Saturday, August 24th

Tickets: Admission is $40 for general admission (3pm to 6pm), $50 for VIP (2pm to 6pm), and includes unlimited beer.  Food sold separately.


Read more of Sherrie’s work at Out And About San Francisco and Wine Country Weekly in the Communities section at the Washington Times.  Follow Out and About on Twitter and Facebook for even more inside scoop.



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Sherrie Perkovich

Sherrie is a perky, music and wine-loving, Northern California local that seeks out and spreads the word about San Francisco experiences as well as unforgettable wine-related travel experiences.  She is CMO of The Grape Hunter USA, where they focus on helping artisan wineries and developing unique wine travel for consumers. Follow her on Twitter @BigNoseWino

Sherrie is a San Francisco local that fancies herself an extroverted fine dining, wine drinking, know-it-all.  If it’s happening near SF, Sherrie is in on it.  Follow her columns,  for the widest range of Out and About San Francisco ~ San Jose treats and Wine Country Weekly.  


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