If I had to pick one food event to attend this summer it would be the fourth annual Cochon Heritage Fire on Aug. 3. There is nothing like it. This meat orgy at St. Helena's Charles Krug Winery will feature more than 30 chefs and 40 winemakers, breweries and cider makers in a celebration of fire-grilled, responsibly sourced meat—beef, chicken and pork, but also goat, lamb, squab, duck, thresher shark and spit-roasted sturgeon. A portion of ticket sales will benefit the St. Helena Farmers' Market and the American Institute of Wine & Food. A pop-up butcher shop will donate all proceeds to students of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Be sure to fast for a few days before the event so you'll be ready for a full day of eating. Tickets start at $100. Go to www.cochon555.com for more information.—Stett Holbrook
West of West Wine Festival Celebrating the wines of the Sonoma Coast, this fourth annual festival takes place this year at the Barlow in Sebastopol. Winery-hosted dinners, seminars and, of course, tastings highlight this three-day festival. Aug. 1–3 at various wineries and locations around Sebastopol. $100–$475. 888.878.9645.
Music in the Vineyards Now kicking off its 20th season, this chamber-music festival brings together nearly 40 renowned classical musicians from around the world. This year features soprano Dawn Upshaw, the Escher Quartet, the Pacifica Quartet and several returning string players.
Aug. 1–24. Various locations in
the Napa Valley. $50–$534.
Petaluma Music Festival The seventh annual festival features a healthy mix of national and local artists on three stages: Galactic, the Mother Hips, Brokedown in Bakersfield, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, David Luning, T Sisters, Andre Thierry
and Zydeco Magic, Adam Theis
& Jazz Mafia, the Highway Poets, the Pine Needles, the Market Farmers Band, Ariel Garcia and others.
Aug. 2 at the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds. 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. Noon. $35–$85.
San Rafael Food & Wine Festival Wine, art, smooth jazz and classical music are the major players in this Marin County event. Chef demonstrations from local restaurants and pours from 25 local wineries too. Aug. 9, 1–5pm, at the Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Ave., San Rafael. $25–$30, all–day food and winetasting. 800.310.6563.
Gravenstein Apple Fair Billed as the "sweetest little fair in Sonoma County" the fair will feature local food (like Gravenstein apples, of course), live music and crafts. Look for the new cheesemakers' tent. Aug. 9–10.
10am–5pm at Ragle Ranch Park.
Main Street Reunion Cruise in and check out the pre-1976 classic cars
and trucks at this rain-or-shine event. Music by Juke Joint on Friday. Aug. 15–16 in downtown Napa, First and Main streets. Friday, 5–8pm; Saturday, 10am–3pm. Free. www.donapa.com.
Napa Valley Art Festival A celebration of fine visual art continues for a seventh year in the heart of downtown Yountville. Works by over 25 artists will be on display, and Bryan Mark Taylor gives a painting demonstration at noon. Sip Napa Valley wines and taste other delicacies while listening to live music. Aug. 16 in downtown Yountville. 10am–4pm. Free.
Cotati Accordion Festival An international cavalcade of stars takes the stage at the 24th annual Cotati Accordion Festival, including acts from Russia (Trio Voronezh, Miroslav Lelyukh), Brazil (Lulinha Alencar, Matuto), China (Jianan Tian) and the U.S. (Dick Contino). Other acts include Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, Alicia Baker, Motordude Zydeco, Polkacide, Due Zighi Baci, the Mad Maggies and many others. Aug. 18–19 in La Plaza Park. Old Redwood Highway, Cotati. 9:30am–8pm. $15–$25; under 15, free. www.cotatifest.com.
Blues, Brews & BBQ Three stages, more than 30 microbrews and enough barbecue to fill a pickup truck. There's a rib-eating contest, kids' area and live music. Aug. 23 at First and Main streets, Napa. Noon–6pm. Free, beer tasting tickets available for purchase. www.donapa.com.
Seafood Art & Wine Festival Over a dozen culinary companies come together to offer delicious seafood specialties at the 20th incarnation of this annual event. Three stages of entertainment and don't forget the duck races. Aug. 23–24. 16855 Bodega Hwy.. Saturday, 10am–6pm; Sunday, 10am–5pm. $8–$15; under 12, free.
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Taste of Sonoma is the big food
and wine event in Sonoma County
with samples from over 200 wineries and chefs on Aug. 30 at MacMurray Ranch. 3387 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. 11am–4pm.
Solfest The 16th annual solar-power festival's theme is "Beyond the Grid." Speakers this year include author and founder of clean-energy marketplace Mosaic, and Solar Energy Industries Association president Rhone Resch. Music and vendors also included. Sept. 6 at the Solar Living Center. 13771 Hwy. 101, Hopland. 10am. 707.472.2450.
Napa Artisan's Festival Formerly known as the Napa Wine and Crafts Fair, over 200 artists show their wares in the park with wine and music to entertain the aristocratic crowd. More than a dozen food vendors and local wineries are also on hand to please the palate. Sept. 6 at Veteran's Park. Main and Second streets, Napa. 10am–5:30pm. Free. www.donapa.com.