Garden Party: If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Carneros"

It all started with Tuesday. That's the day the Carneros Wine Alliance holds their annual barrel tasting get-together each spring. When you arrive, you get a wine glass; when you leave, you get a commemorative coffee mug. So when it's Tuesday, I think of Carneros.
Shared between Sonoma and Napa Counties, the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established way back in 1983. The region's key claim to quality is that it's cool two ways - the rolling, windswept vineyards are influenced both by Petaluma Gap ocean breezes and San Pablo Bay.

Among other treats offered at this intimate event, which is only open to member wineries and a few trade and media folks, is a sneak peak at the latest vintage - usually organized into a theme, like this year's sampling of Pommard clone Pinot Noir from member vineyards - and sometimes a behind-the-scenes look at a winery locale.

This year's event was held at the Donum Estate.