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21st Annual Family Winemakers of California Event & A Food Gal Giveaway

Fans of California vino will want to head to Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 21, for the 21st annual Family Winemakers of California tasting soiree.

Enjoy the opportunity to sip wines from more than 300 California wineries that will be pouring about 1,000 different wines — all in one place.

This year’s event will be dedicated to the late-great Jess Jackson, founder of Family Winemakers and the Kendall-Jackson Winery, who passed away this spring at the age of 81.

It also will feature a new perk: Wineries will be selling select wines on site. So, if you fall in love with a particular vintage or varietal, you can buy a bottle to take home to enjoy.

Participating wineries include: Ceja Vineyards, Eden Canyon Vineyards, and Paltz & Hall.

Tickets are $65 each in advance or $75 at the door. Big spenders who fork over $100 per ticket can gain early access to the tastings for the trade before the doors to the public open up.

Contest: I’m thrilled to be able to give away one pair of free tickets to the Aug. 21 event. Entries are limited to those who can actually be in San Francisco that day to attend the wine tastings. Entries will be accepted through midnight PST Aug. 7. Winner will be announced Aug. 9.

How to win?

Just tell me what one of your favorite California wineries is — and why.

Here’s my own answer:

“OK, I may be biased, since I wrote an article about this winery back in the day when I was the food writer at the San Jose Mercury News. But I love Eden Canyon Vineyards. It’s the only Filipino-American estate winery in the country. It was started by Danny Villamin, a skilled woodworker who never grew anything before, but somehow got a hankering to try his hand at growing wine grapes. The winemaker is his daughter, Elaine, who is blessed with a naturally astute palate and a wicked sense of humor. I love that they followed their dreams to become pioneers. And I adore that every glass of their complex Cabs has a story behind it.”

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