Escapes: Taste Anderson Valley wines

The 18th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival will be May 15-17.
The 18th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival will be May 15-17. Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association


Don’t keep your pinot noir enthusiasm bottled up

The 18th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival just might be the only one of its kind in the world: a wine festival that focuses on just one varietal from just one appellation.

Expand your wine horizons with a hefty blast of pinot May 15-17. The grand tasting event is likely sold out already, as are many of the fancy winemaker dinners, but there’s a more laid-back kickoff to festivities at a Lula Cellars barbecue, 2800 Guntley Road, Philo. Enjoy pinot noir with sausage, ribs, smoked chicken and live music for $50.

For those seriously interested in pinot noir, there’s a technical conference full of seminars about winegrowing and winemaking for $95. But for more casual festivalgoers, the highlight will be the May 17 open house, with more than 20 wineries welcoming folks with pinor noir tastings, food pairings, special discounts and live music. Those wineries are along Highway 128, mostly open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, go to


Greek food

What: Feast on lamb shanks, spanakopita and baklava at the ninth annual Greek Food Faire. Bask in the courtyard’s sun with imported Greek spirits, wine and beer.

When: 5-10 p.m. May 15, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. May 16, 12-8 p.m. May 17

Where: Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church, 223 Church St., Santa Cruz

Cost: Free




What: Now in its 58th year, the Penn Valley Rodeo provides family-friendly, old-fashioned fun with barbecue dinners, live music, a parade and, of course, rodeo events. See bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, calf roping and much more in one arena.

When: 5 p.m. May 15, 9 a.m. May 16

Where: 10513 Spenceville Road, Penn Valley

Cost: $10-$15 general, $5 kids, under 6 free



Butterfly walk

What: With luck, you’ll spot a dozen different types of butterflies on this guided, easy walk. Bring binoculars, lunch and water.

When: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. May 16

Where: Mitchell Canyon parking lot, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton

Cost: $6 parking



Geological train

What: A local geologist will come aboard to talk about the railroad an area’s mining history during this special Rockin’ & Rollin’ Geology Train. And of course, there’s plenty of geology to observe from aboard train cars pulled by a century-old steam engine.

When: 4:30 p.m. May 16

Where: 1100 Avenue A, Ely, Nev.

Cost: $38 general, $20 ages 4-12, free under 3


Bee Staff