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One of Sonoma County's most beloved annual events - The Gravenstein Apple Fair - is right around the corner. On August 12 and 13, families, friends and foodies will gather to celebrate all things Gravenstein, an apple that thrives in Sebastopol soil. Raise your glass to our favorite fruit with five drinks served at this year's fair - click through the gallery for all the details.
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Tilted Shed's Honey Cider
This year's fair theme is "In Praise of Pollinators," and craft cider creators Tilted Shed will offer a cider made just for the fair: Gravenstein Honey Cider. The naturally dry sparkling cider is made with 100% organic, local Gravenstein apples. The cider is co-fermented with honey from Sebastopol-based Monte-Belleria de California. As if that's not hyperlocal enough - the apples are pollinated by, and the honey is made by, local bees that live near Ragle Ranch Park, where the fair takes place.
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Heidrun Meadery's Mead
Mead is the oldest "adult" beverage in the world - it's been found in vessels dating back to 7000 BC China. The ancient drink is now experiencing a resurgence in the Bay Area, in sparkling form. Heidrun Meadery, in Point Reyes Station, uses honey from around the country to create "single varietal" sparkling meads using the methode champenoise tradition. Start with a lecture about mead followed by a tasting of Heidrun's offerings in the Artisan Lounge.
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Spirit Works Distillery's Bee's Knees Cocktail
Local distillery Spirit Works will showcase a special cocktail to celebrate pollinators: the Bees Knees. A contemporary twist on a pre-Prohibition cocktail, it comprises Spirit Works' Barrel Gin, fresh lemon juice, and honey syrup - the cocktail is served chilled. The barrel aged gin has candied citrus notes that complements the syrup, made from local honey.
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Jackson Family Wines' Vino
A Sonoma County event isn't complete without wine! Jackson Family Wines will showcase a selection of wines in the Artisan Tasting Lounge, which features wine, beer, and craft beverages paired with gourmet food from local chefs (tickets are an additional $20 for the lounge). Enjoy a flight of the greatest hits of Jackson: Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Roseé, La Crema Russian River Chardonnay, Siduri Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and Arrowood Knights Valley Cab.
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A handful of local breweries will be pouring the fruit of their hoppy labor at the fair's Microbrew Tent. Folks like Bear Republic, Crooked Goat, HenHouse, Woodfour, and Moonlight Brewing will be pouring their latest releases and classics. Be sure to try Moonlight Brewing's refreshing Reality Czech pilsner, and Crooked Goat's signature fruit-infused ales, like First Crush, made with raspberries.
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The 44th Gravenstein Apple Fair will be held on August 12th & 13th, 2017 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. under the shade of majestic oaks in Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol. Pre-sale discounted tickets available online now.