The gregarious Talley winemaker, Eric Johnson, will be part of the winemakers dinner at Filippoini Ranch on Friday evening Nov. 1.

This is the last of the many Central Coast fall events that take place annually, but it’s one I am certain you don’t want to miss. I never forget SLO Coast Wine Collective Harvest on the Coast in early November.

Now that the mid-summer Central Coast Wine Classic is no longer running, after a great 30-year history, this excellent event has taken its place as a premier wine event. It provides a collaborative winemaker dinner, a grand tasting with an auction for charity, and ends with surf’s up Sunday, where you can hit your favorite winey open house events.

The good thing about this three-day event is that you can buy a single ticket for the event you choose and day you choose to attend. The only difference between this event and the CC Wine Classic is that it doesn’t offer several events each day, typically over five days. Yet this event makes it much easier to choose which tasting or dinner best suits your taste and your budget.

This year, festivities begin on Friday, Nov. 1, and end on Sunday, Nov. 3. One thing I really appreciate, if you buy a ticket for the Saturday grand tasting, it provides free entry to the surfs up Sunday to get access to the open house events at wineries in Arroyo Grande, Edna Valley, and Avila Valley.

All that’s required is keeping your grand tasting entry bracelet and wine glass to enter each winery on Sunday. I didn’t realize that the first year they started it and forgot everything. One winery was not going to let me in without my proof of the wineglass or bracelet. I was particularly shocked because they knew me. It wasn’t like I was visiting a place where they never met me. As you can see the being part of the industry doesn’t alway get you VIP treatment. When I told the woman blocking me she had served me at their table the day before, she finally acquiesced.

On Friday evening, the dinner part takes place from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. It takes place at Filipponi Ranch Winery, which is conveniently located just off Hwy. 101 at the Los Osos Valley Road exit. It’s a lovely outdoor event (and they will have heaters if necessary), learn more at www. Filipponiranch .com. The ticket price is $160 per person, but that’s all inclusive for this elegant, alfresco dinner affair.

The amazing sounding harvest dinner features six wine brands, a farm to table dinner by Chef Jeffery Scott, and fresh seasonal produce from the highly respected Talley Farms in rural Arroyo Grande. The dinner host, Filipponi Ranch Winery will provide a complimentary “splash” of wine to welcome you to the party.

Once on the patio, there will be passed hors d’oeuvres like Maine lobster “croquettas” and more, paired with Laetitia sparkling wine. It is indeed a sit-down meal from then on. The second of five courses is an heirloom beet salad with barrel-aged feta cheese paired with Edna Valley Vineyard rose. The third course features Pacific salmon, miso-charred, with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms paired withe Talley Vineyards chardonnay. That’s just an enticing sample of the outstanding courses you’ll enjoy on this night.

The best value, undoubtedly, is the grand tasting on Saturday, Nov. 2. I love convenience of visiting all of the wineries in one place, alongside food samples from many excellent restaurants and caterers. Believe me, you will see me there, and please say hello.

On Saturday, the SLO Coast Wine Collective Harvest on the Coast celebration takes place at Avila Beach Resort next to Avila Bay. “It’s a beachfront extravaganza of food and wine, culminating in a spirited, live auction,” according to the SLO Coast Wine’s press release. You’ll enjoy enticing wine and food from over 50 top-notch wineries and restaurants.

To attend the grand tasting, live auction, and surfs up Sunday, it will cost you $90 per ticket, but that covers two days of fun experiences in wine country. If you hope to get a reserved table at the auction, you can insure that by paying $130 per person for the live auction from 2:30 until 4 p.m.

You can still attend the auction, even if you don’t reserve a table. Should you have a designated driver, their ticket to enjoy food and entertainment with soft drinks and/or water is only $40 per person. That driver’s ticket includes parking fee and stadium seating at the auction.

On surfs up Sunday, not all of the wineries participate, so do check out the vintners association webpage at SLOCoastWine .com to learn who will be open. Otherwise do not hesitate to call on your favorite wineries to inquire in advance so you won’t be disappointed in discovering they are not offering specials tastings. It really pays off to plan your wine country trail visit in advance, then you relax and enjoys the many treats they have provided for you. 

Reach Kathy Marcks Hardesty at Kathymhardesty @gmail. Com.



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