Barrel Tasting Weekends

Barrel Tasting Weekends Offer Tradition, Education and a Glimpse into the Future of Sonoma County Wine

Healdsburg, CA – Wine Road, Northern Sonoma County presents their 43rd Annual Barrel Tasting, offering two weekends of barrel sampling and the opportunity to purchase “futures” at over 80 wineries. The event takes place in the beautiful Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys, and is the perfect way for visitors to explore much of Sonoma County, March 6 – 8 and March 13 – 15, 2020 from 11am to 4pm.

Visitors enjoying a taste directly from the Barrel.
Visitors enjoying a taste directly from the Barrel.

During the event, weekend wine tasters may purchase “futures,” essentially a chance to buy, often at a discount, a wine that is still aging in the barrel now, then come back to the winery (or have the wine shipped) when the wine is bottled, typically within 12-18 months. Many wines are so limited, buying futures is the only chance to purchase them. In addition to sampling wine from the barrel, most wineries also provide pours of a limited number of current release wines.

“Barrel Tasting is an educational weekend where you learn about the work winemakers put into their wines after harvest, but before the wine is bottled,” says Beth Costa, Executive Director of Wine Road. “This is your opportunity to invest in those hard to find, limited production wines, by buying futures.”

The event traces its origins to 1977 when the nine founding Wine Road wineries were searching for a way to bring visitors to the region during March, a typically slow month in the hospitality industry. The idea was hatched when they realized that much of their cellar work in the month of March was related to Barrels. Even 43 years later the event continues to be successful, which speaks to its appeal amongst wine lovers.  

Tickets to the event can be purchased via Eventbrite and are $60 for the weekend, $45 for Sunday only, and $5 for designated drivers.  Tickets to the Winemaker Breakfasts on Saturday, March 7 and March 14 are $20 and offer a casual morning of Q&A along with breakfast.


Wine Road is the best source for discovering Northern Sonoma County’s exceptional wine country, which is famous for its renowned wine producers and cuisine, scenic beauty, and wine country lifestyle. Wine Road is made up of 200 wineries and 54 lodgings throughout the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys in Sonoma County. Visit:, email, or follow on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram.