Raise a glass to Anderson Valley's inaugural harvest festival, October 21-23
(Jeffrey Woods, via @avwinegrowers)

Raise a glass to Anderson Valley's inaugural harvest festival, October 21-23

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“Fog-eaters and bright-lighters welk.” This unusual welcome sign in Anderson Valley comes from the Boontling dialect, a language created to confuse outsiders in Boonville in the late 19th century.

It's translation? Welcome to those from the coast and those from the city.

This October 21st through 23rd, Anderson Valley will extend its welcome to one and all at the Harvest "Tidrick," the Boontling word for a party.


Taste wines from various local makers at the Anderson Valley Harvest Tidrick.(Courtesy of @avwines)

“Harvest is such a magical time to visit the valley,” explains Courtney DeGraff, executive director of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association (AVWA). “Capturing the energy that happens around harvest and sharing it is the goal for the event.”

Harvest Tidrick weekend kicks off on Friday, October 21st with the evening Tidrick Boucherie at Mendocino County Fairgrounds; think of it as a Wine Country take on a traditional Cajun festival featuring a pig roast and live music, by the French folk-funk band Djinn. Chef Scott Baird has also designed a menu around local foods and flavors, with such dishes as local apple cabbage slaw, braised leeks, DuVigneaud sausage with Mendocino mustard, and Pennyroyal "laychee" (Boontling for milk) cheese. Vegetarian options will also be available. For pairings, you'll be spoiled by some two dozen local winemakers. Gowan’s Cider, Anderson Valley Brewing, and Mendocino Spirits will all be there, too.

The winery and cidery events on Saturday and Sunday will be spread throughout the valley and up onto the ridges. Like Carneros or the Russian River Valley, Anderson Valley in Mendocino County was established as an independent American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1983. The area is known today for its pinot noir and sparkling wine.

During the festival, wine lovers can nerd out at Seawolf Wines and learn about grape juice chemistry or tour the cellars at Navarro Vineyards (experiences typically only available to wine club members). At Meyer Family Cellars, you can taste-test the difference between wine aged in French oak and American oak, and also play bocce, wine plinko, barrel ring toss, and disc golf. At Lichen Estate, they'll be serving harvest-inspired tapas and their first 2022 blends.

On Saturday night, Pennyroyal Farm teams up with the Mendocino Film Festival for a screening of The Fantastic Mr. Fox and a pre-movie dinner.

// Tickets are $100 for the Friday Boucherie, $200 for a weekend pass including up to four winery visits, or $65-$75 for winery visits on Saturday and Sunday. Discounted designated driver passes are available. For more info and tickets, visit avwines.com.

Vineyards in the Anderson Valley.(Courtesy of Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association)

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