Photo by C.K.Itamura
SONOMA COUNTY, CA – Dubbed “The Sweetest Little Fair in Sonoma County”, the Gravenstein Apple Fair is careful to keep its roots showing and is proud of it. Originally formed by coalition of farmers to celebrate the Gravenstein apple and other farming ventures in Sonoma County, the event now boasts that there is something for everyone at the Gravenstein Apple Fair, and there is: live music on two stages, arts and crafts vendors, international food by local vendors, contests and activities for adults and kids alike, a children’s corner, the Life on the Farm arena and of course there are plenty of heirloom Gravenstein apples, everywhere.
In the time since the humble beginnings of the Gravenstein Apple Fair, Sonoma County has increasingly become an internationally renowned epicenter of high quality, sustainable agriculture, and the varied microclimates, healthy soil and other factors in the region, make Sonoma County virtually capable of growing and producing nearly anything. So, to highlight the bountiful and diverse food products that begin as seeds of ideas, then are grown, harvested and processed in Sonoma County, the Gravenstein Apple Fair has organically evolved into a summertime life-sized cornucopia of flavor steeped in traditional hand-crafted ways of making food, drink, arts, crafts, music and fun.
New to the Gravenstein Apple Fair this year is The Artisan Cheese Tent. Developed to delight tastebuds and celebrate local cheese producers, The Artisan Cheese Tent presents pairings of fabulous local cheese and vintages in an intimate setting seated around a big wooden table under the majestic canopy of shady oaks. It is here, the cheese makers and libation producers will describe their creations as cheese plates and corresponding beverages are served. A separate ticket is required to experience The Artisan Cheese Tent, but shopping at the adjacent Artisan Cheese Marketplace is open to everyone. The line up of artisan cheese and libations parings includes: Tomales Farmstead Creamery paired with Balletto Vineyards, Weirauch Farm & Creamery paired with Tilted Shed Ciderworks; Gypsy Cheese Company paired with Heidrun Meadery; Valley Ford Cheese paired with Dutton-Goldfield and Dutton Estate Winery; Freestone Artisan Cheese paired with Paul Mathew Vineyards; and Pugs Leap Cheese paired with Preston of Dry Creek.
The Gravenstein Apple Fair Chef’s Tent, sponsored by Oliver’s Market and deliciously curated by Donna Del Rey of Relish Culinary Adventures hosts a star-studded and colorful array of local chefs, including: the rock-n-roll Executive Chef Billy Reid from HopMonk Tavern; the occasionally emerald-corseted owner and chef of Red’s Apple Roadhouse, Berry Salinas; Tina Green of Chef Tina’s Kitchen; Chef Daniel Kedan of Backyard Forestville; Jamil Peden, Executive Chef of Woodfour Brewing Company; and Anne Cornell of Relish Culinary Adventures, all demonstrating the preparation of dishes with a wink and nod to the event’s namesake Gravenstein apple.
At the Gravenstein Apple Fair, cider has come out from under the shadows of the Wine Tent and into a Craft Cider Tent of its own. The Craft Cider Tent features local cider makers Troy Cider, Tilted Shed Cider, Specific Gravity Cider Company, Devoto Orchards Cider and Boonville Cider pouring their artisanal Gravenstein-based ciders, and visitors to the tent are provided with ample opportunities to meet the cider makers in person each day of the fair.
In the Beer Tent, Woodfour Brewing Company and Lagunitas Brewing Company will be pouring their very cleverly named Sonoma County based handcrafted brews to the delight of microbrew fans and of course, the Gravenstein Apple Fair wouldn’t be a real Sonoma County event without wine, so in the Wine Tent enthusiastic tasters can expect to listen to live music while sipping on a wide selection of exceptional Sonoma County wines including wine from: Balletto, Chasseur, Cline, Francis Coppola Winery, Davis Family Vineyards, Duckhorn Vineyards, DuMol, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, Frey Vineyards, Graton Ridge Cellars, Hartford Family Winery, Hood & Ladder, Korbel California Champagne, Martin Ray Winery, Martinelli Winery & Vineyards, Preston of Dry Creek, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Russian Hill, Russian River Vineyards, Taft Street, Toad Hollow Vineyards, Truett-Hurst, Vintage Wine Estates and Woodenhead.
None of these savory and sweet offerings would be available if not for the farmers of Sonoma County. In celebration of the farmers who grow the plants and livestock from which all of these products are made, the Gravenstein Apple Fair is highlighting over a dozen farms by featuring a bounty of Sonoma County farm products including everything from honey, organic butter, eggs, vinegars, oils and sauces to wool bedding, yard and quilt batting, candles, wellness produces and live nursery stock, and many other items.
For a full line up of products and the farms they come from, the arts and crafts and food vendor line-up, as well as all of the schedules for the D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) Tent, Life on the Farm Stage, the music stages, children’s activities, contests and more, visit www.GravensteinAppleFair.com
The Gravenstein Apple Fair is sponsored by Manzana Products, Co., Dutton Ranch, Oliver’s Market, Exchange Bank, Redwood Credit Union, Sonoma County, California, Lunardi Electric, Sonoma County Regional Parks, The Sonoma County Gazette, Relish Culinary Adventures, Sonoma West Times & News, Whole Foods, Bragg’s, The KRUSH, Charles M. Schulz Museum, North Bay Bohemian, Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery, Artisan Website Design, ZenGei Works, Mom’s Apple Pie, AIM Mail Centers, Wright Contracting and Charles Wolf, CPA.
The Gravenstein Apple Fair is produced by Sonoma County Farm Trails to fund their efforts to support sustainable agriculture in Sonoma County. More information can be found on the Gravenstein Apple Fair FACEBOOK page and at www.GravensteinAppleFair.com.
EVENT: Gravenstein Apple Fair
DATE: August 9 & 10, 2014
TIME: August 9 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, August 10, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
TICKETS: Advance tickets to the Gravenstein Apple Fair are now available at all Oliver’s Market and Copperfield’s Books locations and will also be available at the gate. Advance $12 adults/$8 kids 6 to 12. Free for kids 5 and under. At the gate $15 adults/$12 kids 6-12. Free for kids 5 and under.
PARKING: Premiere on-site parking is $5 at the gate. FREE shuttles are available from the Holy Ghost Hall and O’Reilly Media parking lots. (See GravensteinAppleFair.com for details.)
Bicycling to the Fair is encouraged and bike riders receive a free pack of La Tortilla Tortillas when they park their bike at the Fair.
INFORMATION: Visit the Gravenstein Apple Fair on FACEBOOK and at www.GravensteinAppleFair.com