North Coast Wine & Food Festival Will Showcase Award-Winning Wines and Gourmet Bites

The June 15 event offers a chance to sip award-winning wines and taste cuisine from some of Wine Country's top chefs.

Food and wine fans are invited to taste and toast the region’s best at the 2024 North Coast Wine & Food Festival. Set for June 15 at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, the afternoon event hosted by The Press Democrat (Sonoma Magazine’s sister publication) showcases 90 award-winning wines from its North Coast Wine Challenge, along with gourmet bites from some of the North Coast’s top chefs.

The tasting exclusively features gold medal-winning wines from Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Solano, Lake and Mendocino Counties. This includes the competition’s big winner, the 2021 La Storia Cuvée 32 from Trentadue Winery in Alexander Valley. The Tuscan-style red blend bested more than 1,000 wines to snag the Best of the Best award, along with the Best of Show Red and Best of Sonoma County honors.

Along with winning wines, the festival features delectable dishes from 25 local chefs. Peter Janiak, executive chef at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Santa Rosa, says he is looking forward to cooking at the event for the first time.

“I’m excited to feel the energy of the guests and be embraced by the camaraderie of all the great and talented winemakers and chefs,” he said.

Janiak is presenting a tombo tuna ceviche at the festival, inspired by the St. Francis 2023 Sonoma County Rosé, which won Double Gold and Best of Class awards at the North Coast Wine Challenge.

“I wanted a dish to really highlight our rosé, and also be super refreshing,” he said. “The herbs in the dish are from our farm, as well as the radish and onions. I always begin my pairing process by selecting the wine first. I then construct a dish with the intent of pairing it with a specific varietal and vintage.”

St. Francis is pouring the rosé, as well as four other award-winning wines, at the festival.

Several restaurants are making their North Coast Wine & Food Fest debuts this year, including Goodnight’s Prime Steak + Spirits in Healdsburg, The Redwood in Sebastopol, Goldfinch in Sebastopol, L’Oro Di Napoli in Santa Rosa, El Coqui in Santa Rosa and Arandas in Healdsburg.

The food lineup is anything but boring, with chefs such as Danny Girolomo of Sonoma’s Wit & Wisdom presenting an heirloom tomato and peach salad, and Sean Raymond Kelley of Healdsburg’s Lo & Behold serving up Vietnamese-Cajun po boys filled with shrimp, ginger pickles, and lemon grass chili crunch.

Festival tickets cost $95 for general admission or $160 for the VIP experience, which treats guests to early entry and access to a dedicated lounge. The event runs 1-4 p.m. or noon-4 p.m. for those with VIP tickets.

North Coast Wine & Food Festival, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, 707-546-3600,