K-J Heirloom Tomato Festival No More?

Kendall-Jackson is replacing 20 year old event in 2017. See what's in store...

After 20 years of celebrating summer tomatoes, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens is scrapping its annual Heirloom Tomato Fest. But take heart, solanum lycopersicum enthusiasts, because the Fulton winery is replacing it with their new Harvest Celebration on Sunday, Oct. 1, which will of course include plenty of tomatoes.

The reimagined event will have a broader focus on the variety of produce grown at the estate by former French Laundry farmer Tucker Taylor, along with educational seminars on everything from bee hives to cheese and barrel making, chef demonstrations, wine tasting, outdoor painting and live music.

Organizers say they wanted to create a more intimate experience that captures the bounty of the harvest. Over the last decade, about 2,500 were permitted to attend each of the Heirloom Tomato Festivals, according to county records. Around 800 are expected for the new event, say insiders.

“After 20 years of hosting the Heirloom Tomato Festival each fall, we thought it was time for a change. We wanted to create a more intimate experience…that captures the bounty of harvest, while still indulging our love for tomatoes,” organizers explained.

Tickets for the event, which runs from 11a.m. to 3p.m. are $125 per person, and proceeds will benefit the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County. 

Want to try the bounty of K-J in an even more exclusive setting? We love the monthly Farm to Table Dinners, happening July 8 (salmon and Ccalamari), August 12 (fowl and heirloom pork), Sept. 9 (heirloom tomatoes and local beef) and Oct. 14 (oysters and steak). Tickets are $175 per person and includes an appetizer reception in the gardens, family-style dinner and plenty of wine. Details at kj.com.