On Saturday, September 6, 2008, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., more than 170 varieties of heirloom tomatoes in every size, shape, and color imaginable are going to be freshly picked from their Culinary Gardens, and sampled on a beautiful Wine Country afternoon.

One of my delights, when working at the KJ Wine Center, was being given the garden tour assignment. Their extensive gardens are an area that was created to be an essence experience. Aromas and flavors of herbs, fruit, and vegetables grow in beautiful harmony and symmetrical visuals. This section is divided into two areas: one’s related to white wine, with the other having a red wine orientation.

The festival raises money for the School Garden Network of Sonoma County. This is an ingenious program created by Kendall-Jackson that’s a collaboration of garden coordinators, classroom teachers, parent volunteers, and community partners who are dedicated to the creation and support of sustainable garden and nutrition based learning programs for students in Sonoma County. They provide students with opportunities to establish a life-long dedication to the environment and their communities, to develop a healthy understanding of nutrition, and to further their academic achievement through hands-on learning.

The Heirloom Festival is held in the lovely walnut grove behind the Château at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center. If you attend this amazing festival, there’s going to be a lot to experience besides great Kendall-Jackson wines:

gourmet food purveyors
the fabulous Bruschetta Boulevard
Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef’s Challenge
wine education seminars
tomato growing contest
garden tour
live entertainment

Purchase tickets by calling: 800-769-3649.

General Admission: $65.00 per person (Children under 12 are free)
Wine Club Members: $60.00 per person (limit 2 per membership).