The centerpiece of Rare Blends -- a fundraiser to support viticultural research -- will be a tasting and auction of unique barrel blends. Wineries have been paired based on amusing or interesting connections, ranging from similar names to shared heritage, and each set of winemakers is working together to create a blend from the two wineries' offerings.
Among the pairings are Frog's Leap and Toad Hollow, Bonny Doon and Au Bon Climat, La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi and Niebaum-Coppola, Firestone and Fisher, Windsor and Elizabeth, Staglin Family Vineyard and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Silverado and Sterling, Cosentino and Galleano, and Geyser Peak and Eberle.
The Trellis Alliance -- a group of winemakers, grape growers, other members of the wine industry and consumers -- organized the Rare Blends festival to support viticultural research and enology studies at the University of California at Davis. The group first began holding its occasional fund-raising event, formerly known as "Rootstock," in the early 1990s to back the university's efforts to develop rootstocks resistant to the destructive phylloxera vine louse.
Rare Blends will also feature live music from bands such as Pele Juju, Mumbo Gumbo and Gator Beat; food from restaurants including Live Fire, Catahoula and Sciambra Bakery; and cooking demonstrations by the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.
The event will be held on Aug. 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Richard's Grove at Sara Lee's Vineyards in Windsor, Calif. The cost is $75 per person. To order tickets, call the UC Davis campus box office at (530) 752-1915 or the BASS ticket service at (916) 766-2277.
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