AN OPEN HOUSE... is just about the most blitheful of all happenings. While other events have their ups and downs — a dinner party may produce an underwhelming roast, while a movie night may feature a yawner of a flick — open houses are just about hearty hellos, lively conversations, and the joy of not overstaying. They happen in our neighborhoods, yes, but businesses also stage open houses quite regularly, all to meet new customers and say hi to regulars. And, come the holidays, you're bound to find a quality open house scene around your favorite wine country, for vineyards are eager for visitors to stop by, try the latest merlot, and get better acquainted. As is tradition, the Heart of Sonoma Valley Winery Association will hold a Holiday Open House weekend just after Thanksgiving wraps, giving everyone a chance to get out of the kitchen, and into spectacular SoCo, on Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26.
PARTICIPATING WINERIES? Count up, up, up to 16, and then begin to name them all off, one by one: Valley of the Moon at Madrone Estate, Manzanita Creek Winery, and several other regional gems are on the list. Getting out and supporting the winemakers of the area following the fires of October 2017 is at the top of many an oenophile's list, and swinging by an open house or two or five, with your designated driver in tow, to buy a few bottles of something sparkly or sweet for an upcoming holiday feast, fits the "supporting" part of the equation well. Speaking of your designated driver? That ticket is ten bucks ahead of time, while a Weekend Pass is $45, per person, in advance. More information, more wineries, more Sonoma County, more come in, come in convivialness? It's all right here.