SAN FRANCISCO — As summer draws near, wine and music lovers are counting the days until they can pair their favorite pastimes – wine and music – at spectacular winery concerts in California wine country. Nestled in picturesque vineyards and wineries, these concerts and festivals offer a beautiful outdoor setting with the added benefit of delicious wines and food.
California’s wineries are serving up a wide variety of music events and wines all summer – one of many ways that this signature industry contributes to the cultural vibrancy of the state’s rural communities.
Gundlach Bundschu Winery’s Huichica Music Festival, Sonoma (June 13-14) – Known to some as the center-of-the-indie-verse, this festival boasts big names like Kelley Stoltz, Magic Trick, Vetiver and David Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors, served up with gourmet bites and wines.
Music in the Vineyards, Napa Valley (August 1-24) – Known to chamber music and wine lovers as “Nirvana,” this three-week festival is a true feast for the senses offering great melodies, stunning winery settings and complimentary wine tastings during intermissions. The event has gained national recognition for its unique combination of wine country ambiance and intimate performances by dozens of world-class artists-in-residence from the U.S., Europe and Canada performing new and classic chamber music. Concert venues include Robert Mondavi Winery, Raymond Vineyard & Cellar, HALL, Grgich Hills Estate, Frog’s Leap Winery, Domaine Carneros, Chimney Rock Winery, Black Stallion Winery and Beringer Vineyards.
B.R. Cohn Winery’s Summer Music Series, Glen Ellen – Relax and picnic in a lovely olive grove with delicious wines and items from the winery’s gourmet shop while listening to some fantastic Bay Area bands, such as Simple Creation (June 14), Dgiin (July 26), Crazy Famous (August 16), Falcon Christopher (August 17) and The Creak (Sept. 6).
Robert Mondavi Winery’s Summer Concert Series, Oakville – Now in its 45th year, this annually anticipated series gives guests a variety of vantage points to enjoy the show — from bringing your own picnic blanket and cooler to wining and dining at the edge of the To Kalon vineyard. Shows this summer include: Preservation Hall Jazz Band (June 28); Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (July 5); Five For Fighting (July 12); Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns 2014 with Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot (July 18); and Colbie Caillat (July 19).
Rodney Strong Vineyards’ 24th Annual Concert Series, Healdsburg – Enjoy great wines on the winery’s new patio or the beautiful Concert Green as great names in music perform, starting with jazz supergroup Jazz Attack (June 21), continuing with Bay Area favorites Chris Isaak (July 13), Mindi Abair (July 26), Chris Botti (August 16), and concluding with horns galore, Tower of Power (August 31), over Labor Day weekend.
Helwig Winery’s Summer Concert Series, Plymouth – Guests can enjoy casual bites and delicious wines and breezes as they hear the sounds of: Little River Band (July 12); Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads, “#1 Jimmy Buffet Celebration" (August 23); Pablo Cruise (Sept.13); and Gregg Rolie Band "Santana & Journey Hall of Fame" (Sept. 27). Bring low-back beach chairs and blankets or choose a seat in the general admission area.
The Concerts at Wente Vineyards, Livermore Valley -- For the last 28 years, Wente Vineyards has hosted many superstars at its picturesque natural amphitheater. Guests enjoy pre-concert sunset dinners outdoors or in The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. Upcoming concerts include: Chris Isaak (July 9); Wynonna & The Big Noise (July 16); Tony Bennett (August 6); Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons (August 14); Earth, Wind & Fire (August 26); and The Beach Boys (August 27).
Vina Robles Winery Amphitheater Summer Concerts, Paso Robles –This newcomer to the Paso wine and music scene opened last summer with big names like Bonnie Raitt, BB King and Lynyrd Skynyrd. In the 3,300-seat venue, nestled on a picturesque, oak-dotted hillside and boasting California mission-style architecture, guests can enjoy concerts from the grass all the way up to luxury boxes—paired with a variety of food and wine options. This summer’s lineup includes: Up in Smoke Tour with Multi-Platinum Band War / Cheech and Chong (May 30); Kenny Loggins (July 12); Ted Nugent (July 13); Sarah Brightman (August 8); Dirty Heads/Pepper (August 10); Under the Sun Tour: Sugar Ray / Smash Mouth / Blues Traveler / Uncle Kracker (August 13); and Chicago (Sept. 14).
Thornton Winery’s 2014 Champagne Jazz Series, Temecula Valley – Offering a stellar lineup of nationally-known artists for more than 25 years, this intimate Mediterranean fountain terrace overlooks the beautiful Temecula Valley. Coming soon are: Chris Isaak (May 24); George Benson and Comedian Alonzo Bodden (June 14); Lee Ritenour and Spyro Gyra (June 21); Boz Scaggs (July 3); Kenny G (July 5); Chris Botti (July 13); Pat Metheny Unity Group and Bruce Hornsby with Sonny Emory (July 19); Jesse Cook (July 20); Love & Soul featuring, Norman Brown and Jonathan Butler (July 26); Bobby Caldwell and Keiko Matsui (August 2); Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue/Preservation Hall Jazz Band (August 23); and Al Jarreau and Vincent Ingala (August 24).
Wineries throughout the state are hosting music performances during the summer. For the full schedule of activities, visit Wine Institute’s consumer website at: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/events. For more information on California wines, wine regions and winery activities visit www.discovercaliforniawines.com.
About Wine Institute
Wine Institute is the association of 1,000 California wineries and wine-related businesses dedicated to enhancing the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world, making 90 percent of all U.S. wine and three out of every five bottles enjoyed in the U.S. Each year, 21 million tourists visit wine regions throughout the state to explore and enjoy the wines, the cuisine and cultural offerings associated with California’s signature industry.
# # #
Editors: Photos available for download here.
Journalists requiring further information should contact the Wine Institute Communications Dept.