Wine Country is a region of California in the northern Bay Area known worldwide as the premier wine -growing region. The region is famed for its wineries, its cuisine, Michelin star restaurants, boutique hotels, luxury resorts, historic architecture, culture, and nearly perfect year-round weather.
Picturesque Sonoma County is among the LGBT-friendliest areas in the nation and was identified as the number two gayest area in the US, just behind San Francisco. This is the backdrop for one of the premier gay getaway events in the country, Gay Wine Weekend, brought to us by Out in the Vineyard, an experiential Wine Country event and travel company promoting positive LGBT lifestyles.
Gay Wine Weekend started in 2008 as a way to introduce the LGBTQ community to this wine region and support local gay causes. It’s grown in participation over the years from 300 to an anticipated group of 700 this year. “We have a number of guests who plan their vacation around Gay Wine Weekend and return annually,” noted Gary Saperstein, owner of Out in the Vineyard. “Gay wine enthusiasts come from as far as New Zealand to participate each year,” he added.
In addition to offering a first-rate Wine Country experience, Gay Wine Weekend also serves as a fundraising event to benefit Face to Face, a non-profit organization in Sonoma County dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS. “Over the years, through ticket sales and our annual live auction, we’ve been able to raise over $400,000 for a local organization that makes a meaningful impact to our community,” Saperstein revealed.
This year the festivities will run Friday, July 15 through Sunday, July 17 at various venues surrounding the city of Sonoma. From the time you join the VIP kickoff on Friday afternoon, you’ll experience a weekend of gourmet food, winery tours, after-hour parties, a Drag Queen Brunch & Wine Auction, a pool party, and the ultimate vineyard fete: The Twilight T-Dance. It’s truly a weekend of wine and celebration.
You can choose to participate in as many or few Gay Wine Weekend events as you wish, but the All Access VIP Pass available at www.outinthevineyard.com will provide the best value for those ready to soak up the whole Sonoma experience.
The opening VIP reception is for All Access VIP Pass Holders, The Lodge at Sonoma hotel guests and sponsors of Gay Wine Weekend. Guests will enjoy light bites from our host hotel while sipping some fine wines poolside. Meet your hosts and other guests as the weekend events officially kick-off.
Local winemakers have partnered with restaurants and world-class chefs to create intimate and exclusive dinners Friday evening. Still available as of this writing are the Ashes & Diamond Winery’s dinner at Chef Michael Mina’s newest venue, Wit & Wisdom; Equality Vine’s dinner at El Dorado Kitchen hosted by Jim Obergefell; or join Etude Winery as they showcase their enticing pinot noirs with cuisine prepared by heralded Chef Chad Carlstedt of Classic Culinaire. Something new this year is an all plant-based dinner with two pioneers in the industry, Miyoko of Miyoko’s Creamery and Chef Eric Tucker of Millennium Restaurant. Their cuisine will be paired with the wines of Knights Bridge Winery and will be held at the original Williams-Sonoma store.
Select from three winery tours on Saturday which include transportation and lunch. Discover Carneros Region wines with a visit to both Roche Winery and Viansa Winery, with one of the most spectacular vistas overlooking Sonoma. Or get an up-close look, and taste, of two treasures of Napa Valley, Stag’s Leap and Etude Winery. Another option is a VIP visit to Dunstan and Sangiacomo Winery, two of Sonoma’s finest that are known for their wines and their vineyards.
Chateau St. Jean Winery once again will host the Twilight T-Dance, the signature extravaganza of the three-day weekend featuring food, entertainment, and a selection of their wines in one of the most stunning Wine Country settings imaginable.
Sunday morning starts with the Drag Queen Recovery Brunch. Guests will be entertained by San Francisco’s infamous hostess of hostesses, Ruby Red Munro, while enjoying a sumptuous Champagne brunch which is immediately followed by a fun and lively Wine Auction to benefit Face to Face.
The last splash of the weekend is a pool party hosted at a private estate, where guests can relax in an idyllic location with warm rays and cool vibes. It’s the perfect way to unwind on a Sunday in Wine Country before heading home.
For full details on event, lodging and ticket Information:
Last modified: April 5, 2022