Register by October 18

Can’t Miss Events

11/11
Thursday

Welcome Reception

Vintners Resort – River Vine Sun Porch

Enjoy an evening of hors d’oeuvres, libations, and friendly conversation.

11/12
Friday

Group Dinner

Kendall-Jackson Winery

Kendall-Jackson is the benchmark of excellence in family-owned California winemaking. When Jess Jackson crafted his first Chardonnay in 1982, his goal was to create a wine with integrity and an unwavering commitment to quality. “When my family and I founded Kendall-Jackson in 1982, we simply wanted to create extraordinary wine from California’s best vineyards” said Jackson.

The Chateau, where the VMAE group dinner will be held, is located just 5 minutes away from Vintners Resort and is the centerpiece of the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens. Kendall-Jackson estate vineyards are located throughout cool California coastal regions, where they sit atop mountains, ridges, hillsides and benchlands. Kendall-Jackson’s sustainability initiative involves water conservation technologies, leveraging the largest solar generator in the wine industry, and land preservation to support biodiversity.

The menu for VMAE’s group dinner has been developed by Justin Wangler, executive chef at Kendall-Jackson whose culinary focus is farm-to-table wine-country cuisine. Justin says, “For a chef the idea of having access to Kendall-Jackson’s world-class wines and a superb culinary garden is a dream come true.” His affinity for fine food began at a young age in Asheville, North Carolina, where he frequently visited his stepfather’s restaurant and where by age 10 he was helping prepare meals for family and friends in his mother’s kitchen. His passion for food grew from there, through formal culinary training and restaurant experiences to joining Kendall-Jackson in 2005. He finds many incredible ingredients in his own backyard at Kendall-Jackson’s estate gardens, where the broad selection of fruits and vegetables provides inspiration as he strives to create dishes with balanced flavors that bring out the best in the accompanying wines.

Wines for the VMAE dinner are distinctive small-production, terroir-focused varietals from estate vineyards. Cultivating many of California’s greatest cool, coastal mountain ridges and benchland soils allows Kendall-Jackson a broad perspective of terroir and showcases some of California’s finest appellations. A wine educator will guide dinner guests through the tasting to reveal insights about each wine and expand the experience of wine appreciation.

The dinner is included for registered attendees, guests are $150.

11/13
Saturday

VMAE Tasting Event

Thanks to a special grant from Banfield Pet Hospital, VMAE is offering an optional tasting tour on Saturday afternoon that you won’t want to miss! Small groups (of eight) will ride in style with a chauffer to one of four vertical wine tastings or a non-alcoholic tasting of cheese, chocolate, and cupcakes! The tastings will conclude with everyone coming back together for a reception featuring sparkling wines and charcuterie bites at Breathless Sparkling Wines. It’s going to be memorable! Participants will register for one tasting option:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon Varietal Tasting
    • Jordan Vineyard
    • Silver Oak Cellars
  • Chardonnay Varietal Tasting
    • Sonoma Cutrer
    • La Creama
  • Pinot Noir Varietal Tasting
    • Merry Edwards
    • Emeritus Vineyards
  • Zinfandel Varietal Tasting
    • Dutcher Crossing
    • Mazzocco Vineyards
  • Foodie Tasting
    • Bohemian Creamery Artisanal Cheeses
    • Sonoma Chocolatiers
    • Sift Dessert Bar

Breathless Sparkling Reception

Following the tasting tours, your chauffeur will take you to Breathless Sparkling Wines – a family affair of three sisters dedicated to creating sparkling wines that pair well with life’s special moments. Just three blocks from Healdsburg’s town square, Breathless features both indoor and al fresco options for tasting the impressive and award-winning methode champenoise sparkling wines crafted by winemaker Penny Gadd-Coster.

In addition to tasting four Breathless sparkling wines (or sparkling beverages if preferred) and enjoying tastes from bountiful charcuterie boards, guided tours of the winery – including the amazing and specialized equipment used for methode champenoise production – will be conducted. A special moment will occur when everyone gathers for the exciting sabrage ceremony, where an authentic saber is used to pop the cork in dramatic fashion with one sweep of the blade against the bottle.

Bubbles, tastes, camaraderie, sabers – what better way to conclude the tasting experiences at VMAE | Fall Conference 2021! Transportation will return to the Vintners Resort by 7 PM.

Registration for each of the tasting options is first come, first served – so register early!

The grant from Banfield Pet Hospital provides each VMAE member registrant with one complimentary ticket for the tasting excursion. The fee for Strategic Initiative Partners and guests is $150 per person and includes all tasting fees, transportation, and the reception at Breathless Sparkling Wines.

Optional Small Group Dinners

Various Sonoma County Restaurants

Come out and enjoy good food and conversation on Saturday evening. VMAE will make small group dinner reservations as various Sonoma County restaurants and will send out a sign-up closer to the event so you can select the restaurant you are interested in. Please note, this optional dinner is not included in the conference fee; each participant is responsible for the costs of their dinner.