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Cider and Beer Added to the Lineup at Sonoma County’s Harvest Fair

Images courtesy of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair

For nearly 40 years the Sonoma County Harvest Fair has offered a fun-spirited way to taste some of wine country’s best. But over the years, the definition of wine country’s best has changed a bit, so the Harvest Fair is changing too. Along with sipping medal-winning wine, thirsty visitors can enjoy craft beer and cider for the first time here.

The 2013 Sonoma County Harvest Fair takes place October 4 - 6 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. It’s a celebration of the county’s rich agricultural history and salutes much more than just grapes, but making wine is arguably one of the most popular parts.

The Tasting Pavilion is bound to be popular throughout the weekend, hosting all-inclusive wine tasting with 150-plus wineries. Alongside some of the area’s best wines, close to a dozen breweries and cider houses will be pouring. The new tasting ticket also offers guests a chance to taste entries in the Harvest Fair’s Professional Food Competition.

Tickets to enter the Tasting Pavilion are $50 per person; or $90 for two (pre-sale only). Tickets are all-inclusive covering wine, food from the competition, as well as local beer and ciders. On Friday, October 4th the Tasting Pavilion is open from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday, October 5th & 6th, it will be open from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

The Tasting Pavilion is just one part of the Harvest Fair. There are a number of other free events taking place throughout the weekend. Along with a cooking competition, multiple cooking demonstrations are planned, led by chefs from well-known kitchens like John Ash & Co. Restaurant and Dry Creek Kitchen. Add on wine tasting seminars, port & chocolate pairings and the much-loved (and messy) World Championship Grape Stomp and you’ve got the makings for a busy weekend.

There will also be a Marketplace where you can buy your new favorite wines, local beer and cider. An assortment of local, hand-crafted wares like jewelry, soap and olive oil will also be sold.

The complete schedule of events will help you narrow down what’s the best day or days to go to the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Santa Rosa’s Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa is just a couple minutes drive away, making it easy to come and go from the Fairgrounds. In between tastings, you can take a nap at the pool, or hit the health club for a workout or spa treatment.

You can find Dana on twitter @drebmann