Russian River Valley Love: Grape to Glass

An auction, perfect wines, and Gravenstein Apple Pie are part of the night.

CHOICES, CHOICES: The Russian River Valley is synonymous with really beautiful wines, specifically Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But covering the entire valley's offerings in a full way over a weekend, or even a week, or even a month is a delightfully daunting prospect: The area's famous Wine Road touches upon dozens and dozens of wineries over a few distinct wine areas. What do we mean by "dozens and dozens"? There are over 150 in all in the larger region in which the Russian River Valley sits (and if you've spent a whole afternoon at even one excellent winery, you know how easy it is to spend a whole afternoon at one excellent winery). So, what is the best way for a person to get to know the valleys, bit by bit, or glass by glass, rather? Jumping into events that put the focus on a single appellate is never a bad idea. The Russian River Valley's annual Grape to Glass night is just ahead.

AUCTIONS TO APPLE PIE: The Saturday, Aug. 17 event is one of the swankest of the Russian River Valley calendar. The theme this year is a salute to the founding members of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers -- the appellation marks its 30th anniversary this year -- and there shall be convivial wine sipping from the local likes of Benovia Winery, DeLoach Vineyards, Joseph Swan Vineyards, and Lost Canyon Winery. Plus? A Gravenstein apple pie, "one of the largest apple pies you've ever seen!" Wine and apples are kind of from the same taste family, right? We're feeling it. We're also feeling the fact that the fire department will deliver said pie (that's rather festive).

A TICKET: It's $85, and a barbecue dinner is part of the Grape to Glass scene. Ready for harvest and all the fall-like wine country to-dos? Make this stop one. You'll be in the second half of August, officially, so we'll call it a pre-harvest shindig, in spirit.

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