Journey to Winter WINEland in January

Try fresh tastes at this long-standing SoCo sip-tacular.

THE HUES OF THE HOLIDAYS... could match, tone for tone, the hues found on a wine shelf. Yes, the reds and crimsons are popular in both yuletide decor and among the cabernets and pinots in your pantry, but, truly, the richly rosy colors run the gamut for both the celebration and the sip. It's a solid connection to make if you allow those holiday hues -- vermillion and scarlet and ruby and cerise -- to remind you that another ruddy-tastic event is on the horizon. The near horizon, too: Winter WINEland, the Wine Road's Januarytime jubilee, falls just after the close of the end-of-the-year festivities. This means it makes a solid gift for the oenophile in your life, or simply a breezy, head-into-Northern-Sonoma-County adventure if you've felt a little too hectic over the holidays. The 2016 dates are Saturday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 17, and the celebration is an auspicious one.

IT'S THE 24TH ANNIVERSARY... of Winter WINEland in 2016, but the weekend-long happening is part of the larger year-long 40th party for the Wine Road itself. Both anniversaries fall on the impressive end of the equation, and the numerous to-dos and deals over that middle weekend of January will be out in full, flavorful force around NoSoCo. Look for new wines to try, as well as limited-production wines and library wines. Every participant will have something for sale that comes with "a special event price," say organizers, so if you're hoping to restock the kitchen, post-company, then this could be your moment.

MULTIPLE VALLEYS... are part of the glass-fun doings -- Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River, holler -- and multiple wineries within each valley are on the roster. So many vineyards are participating that the roster is especially large: Over 120 places around the trio of wine-making areas will be putting out, and on, their WINEland best. Whether they'll have wines in every hue of the holidays -- ruby, crimson, rose -- is up to the eye of the sipper, but calling Christmas and wine longtime neighbors on the color wheel isn't taking too much of a leap. Neither is making for Northern Sonoma over a chilly, bright-of-air January weekend to get the Wine Road's 40th anniversary year properly started. 

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