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Wines of March

A pair of worthy wine-focused weekend fests in Sonoma and Napa

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The ides of March may be upon us, but they aren't going anywhere until you head to a couple of area culinary events this week, in Napa and Sonoma counties.

The 2014 Savor Sonoma Valley, held over the weekend of March 15–16, will feature the wares of 26 wineries from the region, all of whom offer 2013 vintages straight from the barrel.

The event, sponsored by Heart of Sonoma Valley Winery Association, promises a Sauvignon-to-nuts experience. You can meet winemakers, drink their wine, check out local art and local music, and enjoy dishes from local restaurants paired with an appropriate wine.

A few of the vineyards that'll be representin': Arrowood, Benziger, Pangloss Cellars, Talisman Wines and others. Savor Sonoma Valley is also offering a bunch of cool promotions and deals for the event—go to WineCountry.com

A weekend pass to Savor Sonoma will run you $65. Designated drivers can roll for $20. A Sunday-only deal will set you back $50 (the designated driver pays $10 for a Sunday-only pass).

Meanwhile, over in Yountville, there's another great drinks-'n'-food-focused weekend event. The Taste of Yountville takes place March 14–16, and is essentially a three-day street fair with tasting menus and microbrews on offer, not to mention wines from dozens of Napa Valley vineyards. Tasting tickets cost $1 each and, at past events, have been redeemable for food at such places as Bouchon Bakery, Bottega, Hurley's Restaurant and wine at Cliff Lede, Domaine Chandon and others.

The event schedule includes a "Taste of Yountville" passport program—get your passport stamped five times, and you'll be in the running to win some top-notch swag from participating Yountville businesses.

On Friday, 5–7pm, the Yountville Community Center will host an artist reception featuring wine and small bites, and art. That's a $10 ticket. The rolling Saturday street party is free to attend, with $1 tasting tickets and the aforementioned "passport." There's art for sale all day Saturday and Sunday at the Community Center, and a bunch of chef demonstrations and garden tours, too.

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