Now in its fifth year, the acclaimed Berkeley Wine Festival held at The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, will kick off with a Grand Opening Reception on Saturday, March 1 from 4–8 p.m., where guests will be able to taste over 45 wines and savor selections from Scott Quinn, chef de cuisine of The Meritage at The Claremont, as well as other local chefs. The Berkeley Wine Festival will continue every Thursday night at 6:30 with a winemaker from a California vineyard or winery leading a reception and dinner prepared by Chef Quinn. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Alameda County Community Food Bank, which will also be accepting donations of perishable goods at the hotel.
The Berkeley, California hotel will operate a complimentary shuttle from the Rockridge Bart station parking lot to the hotel during the Grand Opening Celebration. Shuttle service will run approximately every half hour 3-9 p.m.
“The entire Claremont team is honored and excited to welcome our Bay Are community for the festival’s fifth year,” said chef de cuisine Scott Quinn. “The Berkeley Wine Festival is one of the most looked forward to events in the area and we’re making it even bigger and better for 2014.”
- Saturday, March: The Berkeley Wine Festival will officially commence with the Grand Opening Reception from 1–8 p.m. A selection of more than 45 wines will be available for tasting that can be paired with an exquisite menu created by chef Scott Quinn as well as other distinguished local chefs.
- Sunday, March 2: Following the opening reception will be the Sparkling Wine Brunch. Take in the sweeping views of the East Bay with a bountiful buffet brunch comprised of decadent fare including prime rib, sushi, waffles, omelets and seasonal California cuisine as well as free-flowing Moet Chandon Champagne. Served from 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
- Thursday, March 6: As the first vineyard featured in the Festival, Dave Miner will share the Miner Family Vineyards sensational portfolio of wines including its Wild Yeast Chardonnay, single-vineyard pinot noir, as well as their Oracle blend. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, March 13: Frog’s Leap Winery founder John Williams, a perennial favorite, returns to display the full scope of Frog’s Leap philosophy and organic approach. Guests will be able to sip and dine with a selection of merlots, sauvignon blancs, cabernet sauvignons and zinfandels. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, March 20: Founded in 1970, Kenwood Vineyards is ideally located in Sonoma Valley. Kenwood has been committed to producing premium varietal wines that reflect the county’s finest vineyards in character and style. Senior Winemaker Pat Henderson will discuss what makes these wines unique and share his perspective on winemaking. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, March 27: Steve Rogstad from Cuvaison will lead the fourth dinner in the series to discuss the wineries’ award winning Brandlin Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, merlot and pinot noir. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, April 3: David Ramey, owner of Ramey Wine Cellars, is known for his big cabernet sauvignons and full bodied chardonnays produced at his Headlsburg, California winery. David has been making great wine for more than two decades in Sonoma and Napa. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, April 10: Tom Eddy Wines is a small, ultra-premium winery producing a wide range of limited production varietal wines in Napa Valley. Winemaker Tom Eddy will lead the discussion on his goal to find the best grapes and make the best wine including his new petit verdot, malbec and Mendocino chardonnay. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, April 17: Hailing from Napa and Howell Mountain, owner Robert Foley of Robert Foley Vineyards will treat guests to an extensive selection of his pinot blanc, semillion, pinot, charbono, cabernet and petit sirah wines. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, April 24: Robert Kamen, a larger than life personality, produces not only wonderfully crafted, organically farmed wines for Kamen Wines, but is also the screenwriter of “The Karate Kid Series,” “The Fifth Element” and “Taken.” Robert will present wines from the Mayacamas Range in Sonoma including his syrah, sauvignon blanc and award winning cabernet. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 1: Brian Talley, the third-generation to oversee Talley Vineyards, will be on-hand to discuss the expressive wines produced to pay homage to traditional Burgundian methods and purely reflect their specific vineyard origins. Talley Vineyards is a third generation farming family located in San Luis Obispo with a commitment and respect of the land. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 8: Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley and founded by legendary winemaker Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, the winery is among the most recognized in California. Daughter Violet Grgich will showcase their richly textured and understated wines from classic Napa chardonnays, zinfandels and cabernets to the vineyard’s dessert wine Violetta. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 15: Tonight is a special occasion as it will feature wines from four sister properties, Far Niente, Nickle & Nickle, Dolce and EnRoute. Partner Larry Maguire will lead guests through a tasting from the wineries that were founded as early as 1885. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 22: Damian Parker, vice president and director of wine making for Joseph Phelps, will join The Claremont for an evening featuring wines from their large portfolio. Founded in 1972, Joseph Phelps Vineyards is an independent estate-based winery located outside St. Helena. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 29: Chimney Rock was established in 1908 in the Stags Leap District in Napa Valley, the smallest but arguably the best Napa Valley appellation. Acclaimed winemaker Elizabeth Vianna joins us to discus the history and future of this extraordinary winery. Reception and Dinner, 6:30 p.m.