Sunday, May 15, 2011

Out in the Vineyard | Gay Wine Weekend 2011

Out in the Vineyard, the very first Gay Wine Weekend will take place June 17-19, 2011 in Sonoma, California. Mark Vogler and Gary Saperstien organized the first Gay Napa Wine Train and realized that Wine Country was really missing an opportunity to host a Gay Wine Weekend, or possibly eventually a week-long event, much like Aspen Ski Week.

California Wine Country offers an incredibly unique lifestyle. Less than an hour outside of San Francisco, Sonoma is an escape from the urban life. A slower pace, breath-taking landscapes and amazing wine, Sonoma makes for the perfect host city to Gay Wine Weekend. Last year at an LGBT event, the mayor of Sonoma came to announce a proclamation that was unanimously passed by the Sonoma City Council that declared the city of Sonoma as an LGBT tourist destination. Sonoma has opened up to welcome the LGBT community and provide an Wine Country experience that is second to none.

Gay Wine Weekend will consist of events throughout the weekend, starting with a VIP Reception on Friday night, June 17th. This event is available for attendees that purchase the VIP All-Access tickets. Following the reception is An Evening of Gay Comedy at the Sonoma Community Center featuring Judy Tenuta. Individual tickets are available to this event, which benefits the Community Center. Additional acts including Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, Janine Brito, Scott Silverman and Dave Karraker have been recently announced, making for a full night of laughs.

Before the events resume Saturday night, attendees are free to roam Sonoma, visiting wineries and taking in the beautiful sites of Sonoma and the surrounding areas. Saturday night, the Twilight T-Dance at the beautiful Atwood Ranch benefits Face-to-Face, Sonoma County AIDS Network. At the T-Dance, the host wineries will be pouring their wines from 7:00 - 10:00 pm. Those host wineries include, Poem Cellars, Benziger Family Winery, Gloria Ferrer, Audelssa Estate, Deerfield Ranch Winery, Enkidu, Eric Ross Wines, Imagery Estate Winery, Loxton Cellars, Sojourn Cellars, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards and Westwood Winery. In the coming weeks, WinePHX will be tasting and posting reviews of the wines you will be able to taste/drink that night.

Gay Wine Weekend wraps up Sunday with the Brunch and Auction which is also open to those holding VIP All-Access tickets. This brunch and auction will also benefit Face-to-Face, providing much needed funds for the Sonoma County AIDS Network.

If you are interested in attending the very first Gay Wine Weekend, more details and tickets can be found at and follow them on twitter @OutInVineyard.

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